Realistic hopes of a possible race victory were dashed for BRDC Formula 4 Championship team SWR at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk over the weekend, 11th/12th July, as series front-runner Jordan Albert had to settle for a brace of top five finishes instead.
With the fourth race meeting of the season impacted by rainfall on day two, tyre choice played a pivotal role in round 11 and Albert was on course to potentially grasp his second race win of the year until the drying track worked against him during the latter stages.
“Jordan had a couple of chances to be on the podium but it didn’t work out unfortunately”, said team owner Sean Walkinshaw, “In the last race he had a coming together with [Harri] Newey and there was nothing he could do, the possibility was there to take a very good result.
During a red flag interrupted qualifying on Saturday, Albert emerged as the fastest of the SWR trio but had to settle for 12th on the grid for race one after his best lap was removed when officials deemed him to have exceeded track limits.
Several tangles occurred on the opening lap of round 10 but all three SWR racers avoided being caught-up in the chaos with Albert gaining ground in 10th. Despite being nudged back to 11th soon after, Albert mounted a spirited fightback and with strong pace he began to carve his way up the order. Into the top eight by lap six, the category race winner was into sixth place a lap later and on the ninth and penultimate lap Albert sliced past Sisa Ngebulana to claim fifth. His best lap time was just 0.3 seconds shy of podium pace.
In round 11 on Sunday morning, Albert was close to claiming his second victory of the season but a drying track, after earlier rain, worked against the Englishman during the closing stages as those gambling on slick Pirelli tyres reaped the benefits.
With SWR and its drivers opting to take the safer option with treaded wet-weather rubber, Albert made a superb start from fourth on the grid to take the lead which he held until the start of the third tour when he was nudged back to second place at Riches.
Maintaining position with a substantial advantage of several seconds past mid-distance, a podium result certainly looked possible but as the track became more favoured to those on slicks Albert was eventually pushed back to fifth at the finish.
Unfortunately for Albert, hopes of a podium challenge from fourth on the grid in the rain-hit final race of the weekend went begging on lap one when contact with Harri Newey resulted in broken steering, leading to retirement at Nelson.