Last weekend saw Jonathan Brewer (18, Lincoln) head to Viverone in Italy for the 2020 UIM F4 World Championship. The World Championship normally consists of a number of events hosted by different nations that sees the team compete I each round to crown a World Champion. This year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the campaign would be fought out over one weekend consisting of four heats with the best three results to count.
Jonathan and team made the 900 mile journey to the picturesque location. The fleet consisted of 15 racers with representation from Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.
With racing in the UK postponed for the season Jonathan Brewer and fellow Brit Harvey Smith were looking forward to getting back out on the water and racing for the World title.
Saturday morning saw teams faced with gusting winds meaning racing was on hold until conditions improved. As free practice got underway Jono was making good progress, with his experienced team changing set up and propellers to achieve the optimum result for him during the race. Everything was going to plan until a racing incident with Germany’s Phillipp Franz saw Jono barrel role out of the session leaving the team with a lot of work t get the boat and engine repaired for the qualifying session.
A further delay to proceedings due to a decline in the weather seemed to assist the team as they battled to restart the engine and repair the boats sponson. As the evening drew in it looked like Mother Nature may have ben on their side with the racing still delayed at 17.00pm the likely hood that qualifying would be postponed to the following day.
At 17.30 the Italian officials announced that the boats were to launch and qualifying would go ahead. Despite the teams best efforts the boat was not ready, Jono would miss qualifying and would start the race from the back of the grid.
The team work diligently late into the night to ensure the boat would be ready for the first race on the Sunday.
Free practice on Sunday morning with vastly improved conditions saw Jono struggle at first to get to back in the groove following the previous days incident. A few laps and minor adjustments and they were ready to race. Times showed Jono played in 8th position just 3 seconds off the pole boat.
Heat 1 saw Jono start in 13th on the grid and whilst Finland’s Alexander Lindholm flew into a strong lead it left the rest of the fleet to jostle for position. Jono fought throughout the race working his way past 5 of his fellow competitors to finish in a strong 8th position just behind fellow Brit Harvey Smith.
Heat 2 saw another phenomenal start from Lindholm and once more the following fleet were left to battle it out for positions behind the Fin. Jono had his work cut out for him with every racer pushing their boats to the limit in the perfect race conditions. Jono battled hard with several of his fellow racers and was making up speed on Swedens Matilda Wiberg when Latvian hopeful Nikita Ljics crashed out on the final lap causing the race to be red flagged and the race ended before Jono could claw back another position finishing 8th again.
Another delay in proceedings again due to the weather saw time dwindling away and the light beginning to fade. As the F4 Fleet launched for the third heat at 17.30 officials made the call that this would be the final heat of the event and the World Champion would be announced from the results of the three heats instead of four.
As the lights went out Lindholm once again got the strongest start and led the race through to the chequered flag to claim the World Championship title in a faultless performance. Ljics’ team pulled off the impossible and Latvian made it out for the final heat. Jono fought his way past three of his fellow competitors including fellow Brit Harvey Smith to sit in 5th position about half way through the 11 lap race. For the remainder of the race he was forced to defend his position as Ljics fought hard to get passed the Brit.
With the Results in and calculated it was Gold, Silver and Bronze to Finland as Alec Weckström and Roope Virtanen joined Alexander Lindholm on the podium respectively to complete the championship medal winner line up.
Jonathan despite the incident on Saturday managed to secure a very respectable 8th place in a strong international line up.
He had this to say on the weekend “It’s been a difficult weekend, first and foremost I have to thank my team, Colin, Ben, Jeni, Nikki and My Dad Jason. They had already put a lot of hard work and effort in to get me here to the World Championship, and then I made everybody’s job all that harder when I flipped after the incident with Phillip on Saturday. Most people would have given up then and there, but with such a fantastic team behind me they got me back out on the water and fighting for positions.”
He continued “Huge congratulations to Alex he drove like a demon all weekend. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors LJM Design & Management and Leighton Vans for making it possible for me to have the opportunity to compete especially in the current climate in the World where finding god sponsors is so difficult. My thanks also to the safety crews, officials and organisers and to all the supporters back home for their continued support.”
Cover photo Image Credit – Massimo Ciuchi
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Press Release Jonathan Brewer (18) of Lincoln this weekend heads to Viverone, Italy for the 2020 UIM F4 World Championship. 16 Teams will head to the Italian Lake to battle it out over four races, with the best 3 results to count towards the World Crown. Jonathan known by Jono amongst his racing peers has…