BRASELTON, GA (May 22, 2018)- Fielding four cars, Global Racing Group continued its podium-finish streak in the second Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda event at Road Atlanta. Danish-American Benjamin Pedersen extended his season-win tally to two after taking the checkered in the opening round. Pedersen followed up his victory with a top-five finish in Race 2 and claimed another podium in Race 3. The successful weekend jolted the Global Racing Group veteran into first place in championship standings, and the points Pedersen accumulated from both F4 U.S. weekends, tied Global Racing Group for third in team points.
Global Racing Group rookie Blake Upton and Parker Locke both experienced their best finishes of the season at Road Atlanta. Overall, Upton completed the weekend with 19 gained positions, passing 11 of those 19 competitors in the final round. F4 U.S. sophomore Locke continued his rapid development under GRG at Road Atlanta, finishing the weekend with 13 overtakes, 11 of which were in Race 3.

Global Racing Group’s fourth driver, Angel Durazo of Los Angeles, was unable to compete after she experienced mechanical issues in qualifying that prevented her from laying down fast enough lap times to qualify her for the event.

“Road Atlanta brought the team great points and we now have a driver leading the F4 U.S. Championship,” said Global Racing Group team principal Christian Pedersen. “We’re obviously excited about that, and we saw great progress from our other drivers as well who continue to progress in their aggressive development programs. Unfortunately, we had a surprise technical issue with Angela’s gearbox, which greatly jeopardized her weekend.”

On the challenging 2.54-mile, 12-turn track, Pedersen began the weekend strong, clocking the fastest time in the first practice and running with the top-four in the second practice. That speed carried over into qualifying, as he secured the second fastest time of the session.

After missing pole position by only .025 of a second, Pedersen still started Race 1 on the front row in second. An incorrect stage in the back of the grid aborted the traditional Formula 1-style standing start, forcing Race 1 into a rolling start. Pedersen immediately passed the pole-position driver as the green flag dropped and the Global Racing Group pilot began building a gap away from the rest of the field. The calculated move allowed Pedersen to maintain the lead for the entire race.

After qualifying, Upton was issued a penalty for causing a red flag during a session, which forced him to start at the back of the grid for Race 1. However, the set-back didn’t faze the rookie, as he made up six positions to finish 24th. After dodging an on-track incident between two other competitors that caused him to lose position, Locke made gains to finish close behind his GRG teammate in 26th.

In Race 2, a pair of full course yellows slowed the pace of all the Global Racing Group drivers. With only five green laps, each driver was still able to make progress. Dicing all race long, Pedersen procured a point finish in fourth, with his teammate Upton sliding into 26th place. Locke defended his starting position and finished the race in 25th.

The final round of the weekend was the most successful for Global Racing Group squad. A multi-car crash at the end of the first lap halted the race, causing an extended full-course yellow. With under 12 minutes remaining, the three GRG pilots made a dash to secure position before the checkered dropped. On the final lap, going two-wide on the inside of Turn 1, Pedersen seized the last podium spot and set fast-time once again for the race. Locke charged from his P26 starting position to finish the race just outside the top-15 in 16th and Upton picked off competitors one by one completing 11 total overtakes.

The next stop for the GRG crew is Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course June 29-July 1 supporting Formula Race Promotion.

“As we look towards Mid-Ohio, the clear goal is to have Benjamin consolidate and extend his lead in the championship. We’ll target a top-15 for Parker during the weekend, and we’ll look to Blake and Angela to continue their progress and run with the main field,” C. Pedersen said. “Mid-Ohio has a tendency to always throw a few surprises during the weekend, so we’ll have to be prepared for a bit of everything.”