Oxfordshire motor racing team SWR declared itself happy with the progress made during official BRDC Formula 4 Championship testing at Snetterton 300 Circuit on Tuesday, 23rd April, with Matty Graham and Zou Sirui gaining more vital experience ahead of this weekend’s season-opener.
With just a few days remaining until the first three races of the inaugural F4 championship take place at SWR’s ‘home’ track, Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, on 27th/28th April, 16-year-old Graham enjoyed a consistently strong test and concluded the outing ninth quickest overall on combined times.
In bright and dry conditions the former CIK-FIA Under 18 World Karting Champion, who makes his car racing debut this year, lapped in 1m52.682 seconds (94.85mph) during the morning to go fifth fastest at that point. Improving by half a second in the afternoon, the Edmundbyers teenager set a best time for the day of 1m52.195 seconds (95.26mph).
Chinese driver Zou Sirui, who only had a brief outing in his MSV F4-013 at Brands Hatch last Friday prior to yesterday’s test, spent time learning the track – which will host two race meetings during the season – as well as the car and set a day’s best of 1m56.593 seconds (91.67mph).
Sirui arrives in the UK this year for his first season of racing outside the Far East where, in 2012, he was a front-runner in the Chinese Formula Pilota Championship. SWR’s third signed driver, karting graduate Jack Barlow, didn’t run but will be back in action on Friday, 26th April, at Silverstone.
“We’re pleased with how the test went overall, it was a decent day”, said SWR team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “We managed to complete plenty of laps and continue the preparations for the opening round this weekend. Matty carried on developing his understanding of the car and we were pleased to see him end the day in the top 10, although we weren’t focusing on times too much.
“It was Zou’s first ever experience of Snetterton, and only his second time in the car, so we just wanted him to get to grips with the circuit and acclimatise as much as he could. We’re satisfied with the work we’ve done throughout the pre-season and can’t wait for the racing to start this weekend.”
All three of SWR’s drivers will be on track at Silverstone this coming Friday for general testing ahead of the first ever qualifying session for the BRDC Formula 4 Championship at 10.40 on Saturday, 27th April. Round one will follow at 14.40 on Saturday with rounds two and three taking place on Sunday, 28th April, at 11.55 and 15.05 respectively.
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.