Jordan Albert raced to a podium on the second weekend of the Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship season at Rockingham with third place in round six on Sunday, 3rd May.
Setting the pace from the outset at the Northamptonshire track, Chipping Norton’s SWR concluded pre-event testing fastest overall thanks to a sensational performance from Albert and Hoque was just as impressive with the third quickest time.
While qualifying wasn’t quite what the 18-year-old hoped for, Albert ending the session third fastest and clearly had the pace and performance to be a threat in all three races.
Some unfortunate on-track dramas did result in a mixed outcome, but a third for Albert in a rain-affected fifth round on Sunday morning confirmed his undoubted championship potential.
“It’s been a good weekend, it could have been better but it’s still good to get a podium and the pace shown by Jordan has been great”, said SWR team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “Jordan is driving very well and it’s just unfortunate that he encountered some contact. We know we have the car and the driver to be regularly at the front fighting for wins and podiums.”
Making a great getaway in round four on Saturday, 2nd May, from second on the grid – due to pole position qualifier Harri Newey being unable to take the start – Albert was in the battle for the lead heading into Deene Hairpin but ran too deep and eventually rejoined at the tail of the top 10.
When racing resumed on lap five after an early Safety Car, Albert moved up into ninth and continued to make progress by taking eighth on lap six while running fastest lap pace. With the lead octet separated by just five seconds, the close action resulted in Albert being elbowed back to ninth on lap nine. On the 12th and final tour, though, a tangle among the front-runners enabled him to leap into the top five.
Rainfall arrived for Sunday, leaving track conditions incredibly treacherous for round five. Albert, lining-up fourth on the grid, made a superb start to rocket into second and remained there until the Safety Car appeared on lap four. After the re-start a lap later, he slipped to fifth but recovered back into the top three in double-quick time to secure a well-deserved second podium of the season.
For round six, the weather had improved dramatically but Jordan’s race ended in a disappointing and frustrating retirement on lap nine after he sustained a damaged front-left wheel and suspension following contact. Moving from fifth to fourth on lap one, the SWR driver was then put wide on lap three out of Kirby and bundled down to seventh.
Staging a strong recovery drive, he was up into the top five by mid-distance and in the podium battle just behind his team-mate but Albert’s hopes were shattered following a tangle on lap seven which led to his retirement.