Seb Morris delivered an expectedly consistent showing on home soil at Oulton Park International Circuit on Saturday, 6th July, to retain his hard-earned position in the top three of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship standings and secure his fifth podium of the season in the process.
Qualifying within just 0.3 seconds of pole position for the first of three races at his local track, which were all packed into one day, the Marford 17-year-old began round 10 from the second row of the grid and after a good start he maintained position well.
In touch with the podium battle, Seb pressured third place runner Jake Hughes but on lap two both were elevated a position when Raoul Hyman slipped from second to fourth at Hislops after running wide off the circuit.
Remaining third from that point forward, the Ginetta Ambassador saw off a late challenge from Ross Gunn to make his fifth visit of 2013 to the Formula 4 podium and keep his championship challenge well on course. Post-race, Seb received his round 10 silverware from British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) member, and former Isle of Man TT and RAC Tourist Trophy winner, Stuart Graham.
Starting round 11 from sixth on the grid, due to the top eight finishers from the opening race of each BRDC Formula 4 race weekend being ‘reversed’ to form the upper order of the race two grid, the Welsh ace made another clean getaway and ran in sixth until lap four when he gained two places.
As Matty Graham and Ross Gunn contested third position, the pair made contact at Old Hall giving Seb a golden opportunity to slice past into the top four. Initially in touch to challenge for the podium again, during the closing stages of the race the Hillspeed driver had to instead focus on fending off the ever-present attentions of the recovering Gunn which he managed expertly despite tyre issues.
Round 12 delivered another third row start for Seb but after holding sixth place for the first three laps, he was elbowed back to seventh on the fourth tour. Repelling a further attack from James Fletcher as the race neared its conclusion, the Abbey Gate College student held seventh to the flag.
Underlining the importance of front-running consistency, Seb’s hat-trick of strong points finishes this weekend means he stays third in the championship standings – just eight points shy of second place and only 14 points away from the series lead.
“I’m quite satisfied with our weekend”, commented Seb, “We were strong in qualifying and carried that through to the races with three consistently good performances. We’re still not quite where we want to be, or should be, but to stay third in the points and take another podium is great. From now on our testing schedule picks up, so we should be stronger still at Brands Hatch later this month.”
Straight from this weekend’s races, Seb returned home to Marford in readiness for the start of a challenging 700-mile cycle ride around the circumference of Wales along with his father Phillip and best friend Matt Groome. The trio will be raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity – to lend your support please visit http://www.justgiving.com/SebMorris-MattGroome
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent will host rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship season three weeks from now on 27th/28th July. Television coverage of the Oulton Park races will be screened on ITV4 next Sunday, 14th July, from 18.00.
Provisional 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship Standings (after Rd12):
3rd Seb Morris, 198pts
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.