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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Megan Bruce makes GB4 debut with double top-10

Megan Bruce made her single seater debut with two top-ten finishes in the GB4 Championship's season opener at Oulton Park, where the young British driver had very solid pace in the wet and came home with a personal best of seventh, collecting valuable experience.

Megan Bruce, Fox Motorsport, 2024 GB4 Championship, Oulton Park
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey

Megan Bruce enjoyed a successful debut in the GB4 Championship with two top ten finishes and a personal best of seventh in race 3 at Oulton Park, showing quick adaptability to the car and determination in the battles throughout an action-packed season opener.

Bruce, 19, joined Fox Motorsport for her single seater debut after competing in the Caterham Academy, where she made great progress and impressed by qualifying for the front row in her third race. Without any prior racing experience, she would stand on the podium during the season.

The move to formula cars was therefore a natural progression - and pre-season testing highlighted a big improvement as she familiarized with the car. At the Silverstone test day, Bruce impressed with great pace and was within a second to the top spot - less than a tenth from her teammate.

"To come from Caterhams to slicks and wings has been such a unique experience, it’s been a massive learning curve getting used to many different aspects of the car, having to trust the grip, high speeds and so much more", she wrote after pre-season testing. "I’m so grateful for everything so far and so looking forward to getting the season started, I will be giving it my absolute everything!"

At the tricky and unforgiving Oulton Park, wet weather in pre-event testing made for some extra challenges, but Bruce progressively reduced the gap to the top ten and, by Friday practice, she was within 2.5 seconds having made huge steps forward.

Despite having a lap disallowed for track limits, Bruce missed out on a top-10 in qualifying by a little over one tenth of a second; she would line up in P11 for the first race of the season, while her second best lap placed her P14 on the grid of race 2.

The first race of the 2024 GB4 season saw Alisha Palmowski snatching the lead at lights out, ahead of Burgoyne and Harrison, who had jumped ahead of McCaughan. Megan Bruce gained one spot to move into the top ten on the first lap, in a good getaway for the Fox Motorsport driver. By lap five, though, she had dropped back to P12 but continued to push through.

Bruce moved up the order on the final lap, when she overtook Marcus Luzio and took the chequered flag in eleventh, completing her first race in the position where she started after a particularly positive first part of the race.

"Struggled with race pace, but was happy to get my first race done", Bruce commented.

Megan Bruce, Fox Motorsport, 2024 GB4 Championship, Oulton Park
Photo credits: Jakob Ebrey

After a day off on Sunday, racing resumed on Monday afternoon in very different weather conditions: heavy rain and poor visibility marked race 2. McCaughan lined up on pole position alongside Alisha Palmowski for the second race of the season - but at lights out the yellow #21 Elite Motorsport car remained stationary and Saturday's race winner had to recover from the back of the pack.

From P14, Bruce had again a good getaway but had to take evasive action from a car that spun in front of her and took to the grass in avoidance.

Nevertheless, she kept her cool and showed good pace in the wet, closing in on Luzio and on the pack ahead.

With Taylor dropping down, she then advanced to P11 on lap 4, when she could pick up positions on Baxter and Grant - as the latter had slid through the gravel but rejoined.

In the closing stages, Bruce was keeping her pace consistent and made no mistakes, despite the tricky conditions catching out several more experienced drivers.

The race eventually ended under red flag conditions when Finn Harrison crashed on lap 6. A 30 second penalty for Leon Wilson promoted Bruce to P9 - who therefore scored her first top ten of the season thanks to a remarkably solid drive.

The full-reverse grid race 3 offered another good chance to further display her speed in the afternoon, as Megan Bruce would be lining up in fourth place, eager to keep momentum after a strong second race. The rain had ceased and the track was back to slick conditions for the start, although off line the track remained damp and tricky.

Dan Hickey retained the lead from Luzio at the start, 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 before the safety car was deployed. Megan Bruce had a difficult getaway and fell to eighth and, when the green flag flew with 10 minutes left to go, she lost a place to the fast charging Harrison - but was back ahead of Leon Wilson one lap later.

Megan battled elbows out and the two traded places in the second half of the race, where they battled for sixth following retirements for Deonarine and Palmowski. While Wilson found a way past, Bruce defended masterfully from Jack Taylor and eventually crossed the finish line four tenths ahead, securing seventh place and topping her previous best from race 2.

"Although my best result, a disappointing start off the line resulted in dropping down from P4. If not for this, pace showed a top 5 could have been potentially possible, however great battling nonetheless and finishing P7", she said.

Bruce should take pride in both her results and improvements throughout the opening weekend, as the single seater rookie proved that she has the potential to fight for positions in the top ten with consistency, while at the same time enjoying mistake-free races - a skill that could prove very rewarding in such a tight midfield.

"This weekend at Oulton Park has been an intense surreal experience to say the least", she summed up. "Coming into the weekend I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I aimed to finish in the top 10, not to put too much pressure on myself but to settle into the car and learn from there. Classic British weather meant we had all types of conditions which was great fun to experience."

"Overall a massive learning weekend mentally and physically in terms of race-craft, race prep, tyres and more. I’ve already learnt so much in just 3 races, happy to come home with 2 top 10 finishes on debut against really experienced drivers. However, disappointed from me with the final race but it means more things to learn from and improve for the next round."

Bruce currently sits ninth in the drivers' standings, with 31 points to her name.

The GB4 Championship will make its on-track return at Silverstone for the second round on 27-28 April.



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