Fortec Motorsports opened its F4 British Championship campaign at the weekend (April 27/28), as heavy rain curtailed much of Sunday’s racing at Donington Park – including one of the F4 contests.

After practice on Thursday, April 25th, drivers Nina Gademan, Kai Daryanani, and Alex Berg were straight into qualifying on Saturday morning. In the first half of the 20-minute session, Kai and Alex vaulted up into the top ten, running sixth and seventh, then shooting to the top with five minutes to go as Alex led Kai by 0.074s. As the times improved throughout the field, Kai grabbed third on his final lap, with Alex 10th and Nina 21st, eighth of the Rookies.

Kai had an excellent start to race one later that afternoon, gaining ground, but then fell back to ninth on the opening lap after taking contact at the final chicane, while Alex moved forward three spots and Nina kept it clean on her single seater debut, making up a position on lap two. In the second half of the 20-minute race, Kai slipped back to 11th and Alex 14th, as a few spots of rain fell with five minutes remaining, before a red flag halted the contest early.

As the inclement weather set in for much of Sunday morning, racing was heavily delayed, with only race two being held late in the afternoon. Alex, lining up third, had a great start, taking the lead into turn one, while Kai dropped to 11th and Nina ran 19th, before the Safety Car was called. Going green with 11 minutes on the clock, Alex remained out front as Kai moved into 10th and later into eighth as he took advantage during a big battle on track.

Alex continued to lead throughout, with Mika Abrahams keeping him honest, but was handed a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits on the penultimate lap, and then was penalised further for weaving coming to the grid before the race, dropping him to sixth.

However, with all three drivers showing good pace and knowing where they can find improvements with the team, there is a sense of optimism heading to the next meeting of the 2024 season, which takes place on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit over the weekend of May 10/12.

Nina Gademan #3

Race 1: Start – 20, Result – 19 (Rookie: 8)
Race 2: Start – 21, Result – 18 (Rookie: 5)

Championship: 15 (3 points)

“I haven’t had a lot of dry running at Donington Park, which meant it was a little bit difficult as qualifying was the first time I went out on new tyres, so I had the find the limit in a short space of time. The start of race one was decent, and I overtook some people, but then I fell back from the cars ahead.

“I didn’t expect to have a dry race on Sunday, and I struggled to get the max out of the cold tyres, so the pace came for me a little late. At the end I made up a few places in the final laps, so I just need to work on getting the pace from the start. We know what we need to work on, so when we do that things will be fine. For Brands I already feel more confident as we’ve done more testing there and my lap times were good.”

Kai Daryanani #8

Race 1: Start – 8, Result – 11
Race 2: Start – 10, Result – 8

Championship: 14 (3 points)

“Qualifying was alright. It took a bit of time to warm up the tyres but that was down to my procedure, so we’ve looked at that, and it was nice to come away with P3. I had a really good start and made my way to P5. I then had a bit of contact into the final chicane on the opening lap, which cost me a few positions and from there I was just trying to maintain my place. The rain made it tough, but I know what I need to do to improve moving forward.

“Race two went better for me. I didn’t have quite as good a start but once I got into a good groove, I was able to pass a few people. When it settled down it was about maintain good pace and didn’t make any mistakes. There were a couple of moments in the pack where cars were everywhere, people almost going off or hitting someone, so it was definitely difficult. In clear air we would have had more pace and a better result but I’m looking forwards to Brands Hatch.”

Alex Berg #42

Race 1: Start – 15, Result – 14
Race 2: Start – 3, Result – 6

Championship: 11 (4 points)

“Saturday was alright. It would have been better if we were running close to the front though the team gave me a great car. Things are different coming from America, so there were things I needed to get used to, and the rain in race one made it interesting. I had a big moment and lost a few spots from that.

“I felt like I had driven a flawless race until the second to last lap. It’s heart-breaking, really heart-breaking finishing first on track but not getting the win. I thought I had a podium which was a good thing to salvage on my first weekend of British F4. I raced in US F4 last year and had my first win taken away from me too, but went on to win the very next race, so it’s not the first time I have felt this but it’s not the way I wanted to finish the weekend. I am really happy I could be here, thanks to my sponsors Rohde & Leisenfeld, Foxxr Marketing, BBC Chartering, FLS Group, Transcar Projects, Atna Pharma Consulting, Easydrift Official, OXBO Mega Transport Solutions, Marshall Logistics, Jevitty App, and Road2Racing Canada.”