Sebastian Priaulx converted his maiden F4 British Championship pole position into a masterful lights-to-flag victory to bring his first season in single-seater racing to an end in superb style around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this past weekend (29/30 September).
The 1st Central Insurance racer continued his love affair with Brands Hatch as he returned to the scene of his maiden British F4 win back in April and extended his run of taking at least one victory in each of his last five race meetings at the iconic Kent circuit.
On top of his win, Priaulx posted the fastest lap in two races as he set a new British F4 lap record around the world-famous GP circuit, while a second place finish in the final race of the season made it nine podium finishes for his maiden campaign.
Qualifying had generally proven to be Priaulx’s Achilles heel over the course of the season, however his persistence was rewarded on Saturday as he sensationally stormed to the top of the timesheets in his Arden Motorsport-prepared machine.
After instantly feeling at home around the Grand Prix layout during free practice on Friday,Priaulx went on to produce a blistering effort of 1m 25.822s to edge a closely fought qualifying session, with his first series pole filling him with confidence ahead of race one.
That showed as the Ravenscroft driver stormed off the line to lead the field into Paddock Hill Bend and build an advantage of half a second by the end of the opening lap; a gap that would steadily grow as he set the pace with consecutive fastest laps.
Pulling over a second and a half clear by the halfway mark of the race, Priaulx expertly controlled that gap over the remainder of the race to complete a truly faultless drive to victory – the twelfth success of his car-racing career so far.
The final two races of the year came on Sunday in front of a huge trackside crowd under the Kent sunshine, with the first of those ending up as a relatively subdued affair asPriaulx showed competitive pace throughout to run in sixth position from start-to-finish.
The 2018 British F4 campaign came to a close in front of the live ITV4 television cameras, with a great launch off the line seeing the Guernseyman maintain second position through the opening laps before an early safety car period.
Once the action resumed, Priaulx quickly broke clear of the pack behind and kept within a second of the leader throughout the race, however despite posting the fastest lap of the race he was unable to forge a clear overtaking opportunity and took second at the flag.
That result capped off a fantastic finale weekend to complete a first season of British F4 competition in which he has made huge strides forward as a racing driver both on and off track, with a final tally of nine podium finishes including two race victories.
Sebastian Priaulx: “I’m really happy to end the season with a win and a second place finish. Heading into the weekend, I certainly didn’t expect this level of success so I’m delighted to have ended the season this way and it is a massive confident boost going into the winter.
“It all came together in qualifying for the first time this season and I had so much confidence in the car. To convert my first pole into a lights-to-flag win felt amazing and to then add another podium and a top six finish seals a hugely positive weekend all-round.
“It’s been a tough season, we’ve had some terrible luck and I’ve not always had the car underneath me to battle at the front, but I’ve given it everything and had plenty of highs along the way, with nine podium finishes being a tally I’m pleased with.
“A huge thank you to 1st Central Insurance and Ravenscroft for their fantastic support. They joined us at Brands Hatch this weekend and I’m proud to have been able to share this success with them. Thank you also to Arden Motorsport for all their hard work through the year. I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring.”