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