Goddard seals second victory
Super competitive F4 British Championship racer Zane Goddard eased to an absolutely dominant second win of the season for Double R Racing at Knockhill in Scotland on Sunday, 14th August, to cap a sensational triple-podium finishing weekend for the rapid Australian.
For the second time this year, the previous occasion coming at Croft in North Yorkshire in late June, the 16-year-old from Surfers Paradise chalked-up podium finishes in all three contests and has now climbed into seventh place in the championship standings as a result. Although taking the chequered flag in fourth place during round 19 on Saturday, 13th August, Goddard was elevated into third post-race due to an exclusion for a rival. Going on to deliver a fantastically competitive second place finish on the road in round 20 on Sunday morning, despite a misfire, he then starred in round 21 to take an unchallenged victory from third on the grid.
It’s a great track and I really enjoyed it from the start, said an elated Goddard, The fans have been fantastic, I really enjoyed their support, and it’s been an awesome weekend with three trophies to go home with – I’m stoked! It seems like our luck has turned, the team has been fantastic and it’s been a picture perfect weekend.
Saturday morning’s qualifying session proved frustrating for Goddard and Double R with the drying track not working in their favour in the end. But despite qualifying eighth fastest for round 19, the Australian lined-up an improved sixth for race one of the weekend as a result of a grid penalty for one rival and with Rafael Martins’ car having to be wheeled off the grid due to a problem. Making an absolutely electric getaway off the line, Goddard immediately leapt ahead of Devlin DeFrancesco and then swept around the outside at Turn One to take fourth place. Following an early Safety Car period, between laps three and six, he swarmed all over the back of Nicolai Kjaergaard. At the end of lap six a shake-up at the hairpin resulted in DeFrancesco moving up into the top three with Kjaergaard dropping back behind Goddard, so the Double R driver remained fourth as the contest entered the seventh tour. Another Safety Car period was called on lap 10 and when racing resumed on lap 13 Goddard again did a superb job at the re-start. Tight under the rear wing of DeFrancesco’s car, Goddard shadowed the Canadian to the finish on lap 20 to just miss out on the podium by a mere 0.389 seconds. He also lapped within a single tenth of a second of the race’s fastest lap.
Beginning round 20 on Sunday morning from third on the grid, Goddard immediately moved up into second place ahead of Jamie Caroline and ran within 0.6 seconds of compatriot Luis Leeds before the Safety Car was deployed in time for the start of lap three. Racing resumed on lap five and Goddard really made his presence felt, pressuring Leeds and reeling off a series of fastest lap times. Closing to within just 0.5 seconds of the race leader by the end of lap nine, the Double R driver continued to circulate extremely quickly and in the end just missed out on the fastest lap of all by less than three hundredths of a second. During the second half of the race the gap to Leeds did increase due to a misfire from Goddard’s Ford engine but the Safety Car then appeared on lap 17 as a result of a multi-car tangle at Duffus Dip. Shortly afterwards, officials displayed chequered flags with Goddard taking second place.
Again producing an electric getaway at the start of round 21 on Sunday afternoon, Goddard cut across to the outside of the track into the first corner and brilliantly grabbed second place from Leeds around the outside. Then latching on to the tail of leader Alex Quinn, the Double R racer pressured his rival into the hairpin at the end of the lap and as Quinn locked-up and ran wide, Goddard was able to slice up the inside and on the run up the hill over the line he moved into the lead of the race. From then on he didn’t look back as he reeled off fastest lap after fastest lap, utterly dominating the final race of the weekend. With a lead of two seconds at one third distance, the Double R ace increased his advantage to a huge 6.2 seconds into the final tour before taking the chequered flag on lap 24 some 5.8 seconds to the good. He also set fastest lap with a time of 50.232 seconds.
It’s been a great weekend, fantastic to win again, reflected Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, Double R Racing team principal, Qualifying was alright, with the drying track it was always a question of do we pull Zane in while he’s P1 or stay out? In the end it didn’t work out but he raced fantastically. Knockhill is a new circuit for him but he learnt it pretty well in testing, he kept calm and out of trouble and probably had the pace to win more than one race really. He did a fantastic job, set fastest lap in the last race and it was a great team effort from the boys. It’s nice to beat Carlin, Fortec and Arden again – I’m confident we had the best set-up and driver combination this weekend.
Rockingham in Northamptonshire will host the next three races of the F4 British Championship season a fortnight from now, on 27th/28th August. German starlet Carrie Schreiner, who is focusing on commitments in ADAC Formula 4 in her homeland, will bring Double R’s entry back up to two cars at Rockingham as she rejoins the British series for the first time since the Thruxton event in May.