Nearly one year ago at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport went down in Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda history as the first team to sweep a podium. Today, the feat was repeated during the Keystone Speedfest for the Dallas-based squad as three Crosslink/Kiwi drivers celebrated on the podium.
Controlling the race, Brazilian Arthur Leist drove the black and orange No. 18 Carnes Del Sur machine flag to flag for his maiden victory, while Aussie Joshua Car captured his fourth podium of the season, finishing second. Third member of the team, Jose Blanco, rocketed from a Row 6 start to complete the podium.
“I feel so good right now — my first win,” said Leist. “I knew I had the pace to win; I just needed to put everything together. We are going to go back and review for improvements, so I believe we have a chance to repeat for another win tomorrow.”
Brazilians lead the field during qualifying Saturday morning, Leist clinching pole position by sixth hundredths of a second over championship points leader Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing). With a fast time of 1m41.713s, Leist nearly beat the qualifying track record he set last year.
On the Formula 1-style standing start, pole-sitter Leist got the jump on Porto who challenged for the first few laps, then had to switch his focus to defending from a faster Car. Shooting from the inside to the outside of Porto, Car passed the No. 12 Petromega car exiting Turn 17. During the battle for second, Leist pulled out a gap, and finished the race nearly five seconds ahead his Crosslink/Kiwi teammates.
“It was a great race and a great move got me up here,” said Car. “We have a few minor fixes we are going to make so I can challenge for the top space tomorrow.”
Porto fell to third, then fourth as Blanco flew to the front from an 11th-place start, moving into third with just mintes remaining.
“Starting from the back is never easy,” said Blanco. “I just had to go as fast as I could to pass everyone in front of me. I had so much fun driving out there today and the battle that I had with Kiko was good. He was difficult to pass — he knows how to defend. But relentlessness paid off. Tomorrow is another day and I feel good about the position I am in. I should be right in there for the win.”
Porto finished fourth with Englishman Teddy Wilson completing the top-five.
With grids for Sunday’s Round 5 determined by drivers’ in-race fastest times, Leist claimed pole-position by one thousandth of a second over Blanco.
The F4 U.S. drivers still have two races remaining during the Keystone Speedfest, with Round 5 starting at 11:10 a.m. ET on Sunday. The weekend event concludes with the final 30-minute round at 3:45 p.m. ET.
Fans can follow live timing and scoring on F4USChampionship.com and live race updates on Twitter @f4championship.