Frustrating weekend at Snetterton for Eastwood
June 23, 2014 by Leo Nulty
Charlie Eastwood faced a frustrating weekend at Snetterton after a gearbox failure at the start of qualifying meant he was unable to post a single lap in the session and was forced to start from the back of the grid for races one and two.
The Northern-Irish Douglas Motorsport racing driver headed into the third round of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship with his sights firmly set on securing some podium finishes after showing fantastic form and setting the second quickest time overall in Friday’s test sessions.
However, Eastwood was unable to post a single lap time during Saturday’s qualifying session after the car’s gearbox lost pressure at the very start of the 15-minute session, resulting in Eastwood being unable to select anything but fifth gear. The problem couldn’t be rectified, and as a result Eastwood was unable to post a lap time.
Lining up at the back of the grid for the first race of the weekend, Eastwood had it all to do in the short ten-lap race. Despite starting from last place and using very old tyres from the race at Silverstone, Eastwood still managed to make up some places and crossed the finish line in P15; securing six Championship points.
For race two on Sunday morning, Eastwood elected to start from the pitlane in an attempt get a clear run on track and set a quick lap to get the best possible starting position for race three. On the opening lap of the race the safety car was deployed to deal with Beer’s stricken car. At the end of lap four the safety car was eventually brought in and the race could get underway again with just 12 minutes of racing left on the clock. Eastwood managed to make steady progress during the race, along the way setting the second quickest lap time of the race, and moved up through the field to P14 by the end of the race, collecting a further seven Championship points.
Although Eastwood set the second quickest lap time in race two (which should have seen him qualify in P2 for Sunday afternoon’s race) the first race of the weekend had been much faster and therefore it left him starting in 8th place for the final race of the weekend. The opening stages of the race were again run under safety car conditions due to a stranded car at the hairpin. The safety car stayed out until the end of lap three and Eastwood took the restart in P9. When the checkered flag fell after 15 minutes of racing, Eastwood crossed the finish line in P9, picking up 12 Championship points.
Charlie Eastwood commented; “It’s been a very frustrating weekend as we easily had the pace to qualify in the first two rows of the grid, but due to the issue with the gear box we were unable to set a time. This basically ruined the whole weekend for us as the races are so short – just ten laps long – so there wasn’t the time to make much progress through the field. We managed to salvage 23 Championship points from the weekend, but we just have to hope for better luck at the next race weekend so that we can translate our pace into strong results.”
Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship take place at Oulton Park over the weekend of the 18th and 19th July.