Rookie podium places for Beauly racer on debut in F4 British Championship
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Beauly racer Ollie Stewart began his F4 British Championship career last weekend by claiming two rookie podium finishes at Donington Park.
Coming into the weekend with limited testing, the 15-year-old showed continuous improvement throughout, getting closer and closer to the overall pace of his more experienced rivals.
Having benefitted from two 45-minute free practice sessions on Thursday, Stewart put his track experience to good use in the first half of Saturday’s qualifying session to record the seventh fastest time. But as the clock ticked down he found himself in 13th place.
Looking to make amends in the first of the weekend’s three races, Stewart found himself boxed in behind a stalled car as the lights went out, but once he was able to get up to race pace he was able to race competitively, finishing 12th.
The teenager had a clean start to race two and was able to make decent progress, fighting his way up to 10th place to nett his first overall championship points of the year and claiming a maiden rookie podium.
He again got a good start to the final contest of the weekend, gaining three places on the first lap. He was placed inside the top 10 for the majority of the race before a lock up on the final lap let fellow rookie Daniel Guinchard pass him.
Stewart now has another two weeks to wait until the next rounds of the season at Brands Hatch in Kent, over the weekend of May 14/15.
“We had a lot to build on in free practice,” Stewart reflected.
“I worked on a few different things that I wasn’t quite doing right, and the team made some little tweaks on the car.
“There are a few things I need to do differently having looked at the data.
“We’ve learned a lot over the weekend, and I’ve gone faster each time I’ve been in the car.
“We’re a mile behind everyone else in terms of testing, whereas most other drivers have a year of racing experience or at least a lot more days in the car.
“Two rookie podiums are always good on your first weekend, I learned a lot, and hopefully we can carry that forward to Brands Hatch.”