Barnicoat beats Norris to set up BRDC F4 Autumn Trophy title decider

BEN BARNICOAT WINS_F2R3515

Fortec’s Ben Barnicoat survived a late attack from Lando Norris to win the penultimate race of the BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy at Brands Hatch.

Barnicoat led the race from lights-to-flag, but was forced to defend his lead on the run to the chequered flag, as Norris attempted to edge past on the line, in a near photo finish.

“I had a pretty good start but I short-shifted to second which nearly let Lando get past but I just managed to hang on,” Barnicoat said.

Harrison Scott came home third for Douglas Motorsport, meaning he and Barnicoat go into the final race of the Trophy tied at the head of the standings, with 176 points each.

“The main thing was to beat Harrison for the championship standings and I managed to do that so that’s good,” Barnicoat added.

“It’s definitely going to be a good end to the season with the final race of the Autumn Trophy later today.”

Barnicoat led away from pole, and set about building an early one second buffer back to Norris, who himself was shadowed by Scott.

The trio of cars stayed closely contested throughout the 25-lap race, with all three drivers covered by just 1.5s.

Norris made a late push to pass Barnicoat on the final lap, closing through Paddock Hill and Druids, before launching his attack on the run out of the final corner Clearways.

The MSA Formula champion pulled alongside his rival, but Barnicoat was able to hold out for the win, nosing his Tatuus-Cosworth across the line 0.104s clear of Norris.

“I had a few attempts to get past Ben and take the lead but to be honest, he was a little bit too quick for me to get the job done,” Norris explained.

“I nearly had him at the line obviously. I got a better run out of the final corner and pulled alongside but I couldn’t quite get it done. It was very close though!”

Sisa Ngbulana was the last classified runner in fourth, nine seconds back from the leading trio, with Foretell racer Faisal Al Zubair retiring late on.

Image: BRDC Formula 4

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Norris scores back-to-back BRDC F4 wins at Brands Hatch

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MSA Formula champion Lando Norris doubled up with a dominant victory in the second race of the BRDC Formula 4 Autumn Trophy finale weekend at Brands Hatch.

Norris, the winner of the opening race on Saturday, beat rivals Ben Barnicoat and Harrison Scott to score back-to-back wins at the Indy circuit.

“It couldn’t be a much better start to the weekend to be honest!” said Norris.

“We made a few changes to the car following race one earlier and that definitely helped.”

Points leader Scott started a wet race from pole by virtue of his fastest lap in the opening race, but it was Norris who made the best start to take the lead, with Barnicoat moving into second.

The 16-year-old quickly pulled car of 2015 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Rookie champion Barnicoat, who engaged in a race-long battle with Trophy rival Scott – down to third after a slow-getaway.

With his closest challengers engaged in an intense battle of their own, Norris cruised home to win the 25-lap race comfortably by 10.530s.

“Towards the end, I had one little moment going into the final corner, I almost did what Harrison did in the first race, but luckily I managed to keep it on the track and bring it home to win the race,” added Norris.

Barnicoat held off the advances of Scott to claim back-to-back second place finishes and cut his rival’s advantage in the Autumn Trophy standings to just 11 points with two races remaining.

“I think I definitely had the pace to get past Ben so it was frustrating,” explained Scott.

“I kept on trying to get past Ben all race, having a few looks down the inside into various corners, especially Druids, but I couldn’t quite get the exit coming out of the corner to complete the move.”

Sisa Ngebulana and Faisal Al Zubair were the last classified runners, in fourth and fifth respectively.

The Autumn Trophy will conclude with two final races on Sunday.

Image: BRDC Formula 4

Norris wins on BRDC F4 Autumn Trophy debut

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MSA Formula champion Lando Norris claimed victory on his BRDC Formula 4 debut as the second round of the Autumn Trophy kicked off at Brands Hatch.

Norris, who only drove the new Tatuus-Cosworth for the first time on Friday, profited from a crash for points leader Harrison Scott to claim the win.

With the race starting under fine rain, and the field lining up on wets, it was second-placed man Scott who made the best start, jumping poleman Norris for the lead into Paddock Hill Bend, as further back Ben Barnicoat passed Sisa Ngebulana for third.

Scott had built up a two second advantage from the chasing Norris by lap eight, only to spin out at Clearways, backing his Douglas Motorsports-run car into the barriers and handing Norris the lead.

“It was unlucky for Harrison as he dropped a wheel on to the grass and didn’t finish,” said Norris.

“I think he pushed a little bit too hard and made a slight mistake.”

A safety car – deployed to clear Scott’s stranded car – wiped out Norris’ healthy lead over new second-place runner Ngebulana, but the 16-year-old was uncatchable after the restart.

As Barnicoat and Ngebulana engaged in a squabble for second, Norris pulled 13.550s clear of his rivals over the remainder of the 25-lap race to secure a win on his debut.

Barnicoat bounced back from a qualifying crash to beat Ngebulana to claim second, with Fortec’s Faisal Al Zubair the final classified runner in fourth.

With Scott spinning out, Barnicoat now trails his rival by 16 points in the battle for the Autumn Trophy title, with races left to run.

Scott will start the second race of the weekend from pole after posting the fastest lap prior to his accident.

Image: BRDC Formula 4