F4 World Series roars into Stewartby!
The stage is set and top teams from 8 nations competing in the 2017 UIM F4 World Championship are now beginning their long journeys to the UK to the Stewartby Powerboat & Hydroplane Club in Bedfordshire for Rounds 3 and 4 of the F4 World Series.
Making the journey is championship leader Juho-Matti Manninen of Finland who is a familiar face on the Stewartby lake after winning the F4 European championship there in 2016 and will be looking for a repeat performance as he continues his flying form following the opening event.
Looking to stop him in his tracks will be fellow countryman Kalle Vippo who got his 2017 campaign off to a storming start taking the win at round 1 in Finland in front of home crowds. Following a technical infringement in round 2, Kalle is looking to get his campaign back on track and will be looking to catch championship leaders Manninen and Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs to stop them expanding their lead on the chasing fleet.
There is a strong contingency of British F4 teams ready to fly the British flag for the home crowds, amongst them reigning British Champion Sam Whittle will be looking to make amends for a unsatisfactory start to the season for the British hopeful following an early bath in qualifying in Finland. He came back to fight hard but will be unhappy with his current 12th place in the championship.
Brits Ben Morse and Ben Jelf will be looking to cause double trouble for their foreign counterparts. Both put in strong performances in at the previous round but will be looking to prove themselves on home water and are brimming with confidence in front of home crowds and in conditions they have competed in all their racing lives.
Sweden’s Morgan Jernfast currently sits joint 4th in the championship with Finland’s Magnus Sederholm and Brit Ben Jelf. Morgan has been busy since Finland working tirelessly to improve his start speed to make sure he gets the best possible chance to reach the 1st turn ahead of everyone when the start lights go out.
Another racer looking to boost his way up the championship table from his current third place is Finland’s Tuukka Lehtonen. Round 1 saw Tuukka finish in 6th place and he was determined in round two to boost his way up the field, eventually securing 3rd. Tuukka will definitely be bringing his ‘A-Game’ to the UK and will be hot on the heels of Juho-Matti.
Whilst most of the fleet have been busy reflecting on Finland and the improvements they need to make, the competitors will have to watch out for one racer who could upset the front-runners this weekend. The UK’s Rob Veares will be going all-out to grab maximum points from the weekend and has his eye firmly on the main prize. Rob currently sits in second place in the British Championship and has been putting the pressure on championship leader Ben Morse and will be hoping he can continue his strong current form into Europe.
Whatever the weather, the stage is set and the action this weekend looks set to be as thrilling this weekend as the opening rounds were in Finland. It’s certainly not going to disappoint!