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Moore clinches first 2014 win in dramatic F4 Oulton Park finale

Saturday, July 19 2014

Struan Moore claimed his first win of the 2014 season, and made it three wins from the three Oulton Park races for Lanan Racing, with a controlled drive from pole position has chaos ensued behind him. Chris Middlehurst and Will Palmer claimed second and third.

Championship rivals George Russell and Raoul Hyman collided at Cascades on lap two and both retired.

Sennan Fielding took fourth for HHC Motorsport, while Tom Jackson climbed from 10th on the grid to take fifth, his best F4 result yet. Gaetano di Mauro climbed from 15th to finish sixth for PetroBall, with Jordan Albert claiming seventh for Sean Walkinshaw Racing.

In a bizarre finish, Tom Bale passed Alfredo Zabalza for seventh starting the final lap, but both took to the pits before taking the flag. Zabalza and Bale were initially credited with eighth and ninth positions respectively, but because they didn't take the flag, were later classified as non-finishers. Diego Borrelli and Michael Claessens were therefore classified eighth and ninth, and were the last finishers.

Most the field raced on dry tyres apart from Albert, Borrelli, Zabalza and Rahul Mayer. 

Pole sitter Moore made the best start and led down to Old Hall on the first lap, while wheelspin from Russell put him into the clutches of Hyman. Moore built a lead of 1.3 seconds on the opening tour, while Russell fended off Hyman.

Exiting Old Hall on lap two, Russell ran wide, allowing Hyman to get a run on him down to Cascades. The pair made contact at the corner, forcing both into retirement, and handing the podium positions to Chris Middlehurst and Will Palmer, with Palmer the major beneficiary in the championship battle.

Middlehurst set about closing down the gap to Moore, which stood at two seconds after the Russell/Hyman incident, and after setting a fastest lap on the third tour, had the gap down to 1.5 seconds.

Moore was able to pull out a gap once more, but again Middlehurst closed in, the pair finishing just over a second apart after 12 laps. Palmer followed Middlehurst closely and challenged on the run down to Old Hall on lap eight, before settling for third. Palmer's third moves him level on points with team mate Hyman, and only 20 points off championship leader George Russell.

Arjun Maini ran as high as fourth but he was forced to retire at the Shell hairpin on lap four after outbreaking himself while defending from Sennan Fielding. Taht and other incident promoted Jackson to fifth, where he ran in free air for the remainder of the race.

Mayer, on his wet tyres was revelling in the tricky conditions and was running as high as seventh, before he too was forced into retirement after Michael Claessens, having his best showing of the year, tipped him into the gravel at Cascades. Claessens was able to continue to finish ninth.

The top three on the podium were presented with their trophies by BRDC member Andy Meyrick.

Speaking afterwards, Moore said: "It was all kicking off behind me and there were so many yellow flag areas that I had to control. It was just a case of finding the grip because some corners were wetter than others and on the first lap I had to try and find where was dry and where the grip was. Once I was comfortable I was able to pull out a gap, maintain it and get the job done.

"Slick tyres were definitely the right call as there was a definite dry line on the circuit. The team did a great job in calling that one. Hopefully this is the first of many more wins this year!"

BRDC F4 Championship, Oulton Park, race three result:

1. Struan Moore, Lanan Racing, 12 laps
2. Chris Middlehurst, Mark Godwin Racing, +1.085s
3. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, +2.727s
4. Sennan Fielding, HHC Motorsport, +6.589s
5. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +18.301s
6. Gaetano di Mauro, PetroBall, +26.327s
7. Jordan Albert, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1m31.061s
8. Diego Borrelli, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +1 lap
9. Michael Claessens, Mark Godwin Racing, +1 lap