Linus Lundqvist won in wet conditions in the first British Formula 4 race of the weekend at Croft, as dominant series leader Jamie Caroline recovered from a grid penalty to finish fourth.
The Swedish driver topped both practice sessions on Friday before claiming pole position in a wet qualifying by an eighth of a second over Caroline, who had to serve a 10-place grid penalty for the contact that caused his heavy crash in the final race at Oulton Park last month.
That put the winner of that race and Caroline’s closest points rival Oscar Piastri onto the front row of the grid but the Australian Arden driver couldn’t stay with Double R man Lundqvist once they were released following an early safety car period, with the winner finishing 6.691 seconds clear.
Piastri was pushed throughout by his fellow karting graduate Logan Sargeant, with eight tenths of a second between them at the flag.
Caroline, who missed out on four days of official testing – including two at Croft – following Oulton Park, came from 12th to sixth on the first lap before the safety car was deployed following an off for Karl Massaad.
He then passed Alex Quinn after the restart and took fourth from Harry Webb a couple of laps later when the Richardson Racing driver took the grass at the chicane, causing him to slip to seventh behind Ayrton Simmons having made an impressive climb from ninth on the grid.
Patrik Pasma was eighth in front of Oliver York, with Jamie Sharp finishing on the Fortec driver’s tail from 14th on the grid, having missed out on first practice due to a school exam.
Carlin’s racing newcomer Lucas Roy was a strong seventh in front of Simmons and on for his best result to-date before an off.