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Chloe Grant scores maiden podium in GB4 Championship

Chloe Grant saw her efforts rewarded and secured her first ever podium in single seaters on her return to GB4 Championship, with a stellar drive in race 3 that saw the Scottish driver battling for the win until the very final lap.


Chloe Grant, KMR Sport, GB4 Championship, 2024 Oulton Park
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

On her return to GB4 Championship, Chloe Grant enjoyed a breakthrough result in the final race of the weekend at Oulton Park, where the former F1 Academy driver took the lead and battled for the win until the final lap, eventually coming home with a second place and her maiden podium in single seaters.


The Scottish 18-year old only announced her racing plans a few days before the season opener, having joined reigning team champion KMR Sport in a last minute deal.

Grant, who made her single seater debut in GB4 in 2022, was then one of the four finalists for the 2022 Girls On Track Rising Stars selections, before she graduated to the inaugural season of the F1 Academy.


In the all-female championship, Grant drove the new gen Tatuus F4 car and collected a personal best of fourth in Valencia - equalling her fourth place in GB4 at Brands Hatch. Having finished in the top-ten on 9 occasions, she scored a total of 34 points to finish 12th in the standings. Chloe's late deal with KMR Sport left her short on pre-season testing, as she had to readapt to the first-gen Tatuus F4 car used in GB4 directly into the pre-event test at the Oulton Park season opener.


Tenth in the combined testing on Thursday, Chloe was ready to make more progress in the Friday practice - where she improved by 8 tenths in between morning and afternoon sessions. Setting a 1:36.900 lap, Grant placed ninth on the grid of race 1 after qualifying on Saturday morning, and her 1:37.043 was enough for ninth again in race 2.


At the start of race 1, Chloe held position on the first lap, marked by the battles for second place between Harrison and Burgoyne while Alisha Palmowski took the lead and pulled away. Grant moved up to eighth when Harrison retired following a contact; she chased Deonarine, just half a second ahead. Meanwhile, Linus Granfors was making up places in the midfield and overtook Grant, then cleared Deonarine on lap 9.


Chloe took the opportunity to attack the Canadian driver and completed a clean pass to reclaim eighth, then soon pulled away, opening a 6 second margin. But with three seconds to close to seventh-placed Granfors, Chloe was eighth across the finish line on her return to GB4, scoring a good haul of points in the first race and improving on her starting position.


Conditions changed dramatically on Monday when drivers gathered again for race 2: heavy rain made for a tricky second contest, with Grant again lining up in ninth. Plenty of standing water and difficult visibility resulted in a tricky start and Chloe lost out a couple of positions in an action-packed first lap - which also saw race 1 winner Palmowski stalling from the front row, Jack Taylor spinning and Megan Bruce taking avoiding action through the grass.

 

An unfortunate off-track moment for Chloe hampered her second race, as the #66 KMR Sport car slid through the gravel at the entry of Cascades, dropping all the way down to P14 but luckily making her way back on track.


On lap 6, a big accident for Finn Harrison brought out the red flag and the race wasn't resumed. While initially in P11 following a mistake by Mayer Deonarine, the red flag brought the result back to lap 6 and Chloe Grant was classified P13.


Chloe Grant, KMR Sport, GB4 Championship, 2024 Oulton Park
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey Photography

The full-reverse grid race, though, offered Grant a good chance to redeem her previous race: Chloe would line up from the third row in sixth place. The rain had ceased and the track was back to slick conditions for the start in the afternoon's race, although off line the track remained damp and tricky.

 

Hickey retained the lead from Luzio, as Deonarine moved up to third on a very hectic lap that saw McCaughan spinning off track and a few more cars finding the escape road. Chloe Grant had a spectacular first lap and, making good use of her experience and racecraft, she took third before the safety car was deployed.


The green flag flew with 10 minutes left to go and Hickey had a good restart, although he was soon under pressure from Deonarine. Grant held third comfortably, hoping to make the most out of that battle - and she did just that, first passing Deonarine and then snatching the lead once Hickey made a mistake and ran deep, leaving a door open for the Scottish racer into turn 1.


Palmowski made big moves and was already up to fourth place from P14; Harrison went off and retired for the third time this weekend, and Hickey picked up damage after contact. Palmowski was then hit and sent off track by Deonarine, with both having to retire from the race.


Amidst all the chaos, Chloe Grant kept her cool and led by two seconds from Burgoyne and Granfors on lap 6: the former F1 Academy driver now had a great chance to grab her best ever result in the series - but would have to defend from Linus Granfors, who cleared Burgoyne and caught Grant with two minutes to go.


Grant defended but Granfors eventually found a way past on the final lap into turn 1; nevertheless, Chloe held off the pressure from KMR teammate Burgoyne to secure her maiden podium in the GB4 Championship after a stellar drive in race 3.


"So many emotions" - she commented just after the race. "I was obviously annoyed that I lost the win but Granfors was so quick. I know that I've got work to do after not so many days in the car but I think this is a really good way to end the weekend and I'm going to Silverstone confident."


"I'm just so happy, I hope we can have more podiums in Silverstone and in the rest of the season".


Chloe Grant currently sits seventh in the championship standings, having collected 42 points over the opening weekend. Silverstone will host the second triple-header on the Grand Prix layout on 27-28 April, where Grant will aim to continue to re-acclimate with the car and climb again onto the podium.

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