Caroline doubles up at Donington in British F4

  • Caroline and Carlin win again in spectacular fashion.
  • York claims maiden podium and Ford F4 Challenge Cup victory.

15 APRIL, 2017 – Jamie Caroline and Carlin made is two wins in quick succession at Donington Park in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost following a masterful drive from sixth on the grid.

A trademark Caroline opening lap saw him scythe through the order with some truly audacious overtaking. The Warlingham racer running around the outside of Linus Lundqvist and Billy Monger into turn one, and immediately setting his sights on Oscar Piastri and Oliver York who he dispatched seconds later at McLeans.

Not content with second, the Pirtek Racing-backed star then snatched the lead of the race from poleman Patrik Pasma with an opportunistic lunge going into the final chicane. Vintage Caroline and British F4 at its very best.

Following his double win at Brands Hatch the championship leader proclaimed that he had his sights set on winning all three races in a single British F4 meeting. A feat never achieved in the series before. Yet on the back of this performance he stands on the brink of history going into the final race of the weekend.

“I cannot believe it really,” said Caroline. “I nearly went off at the first corner, locking up on the way in, but managed to overtake two cars around the outside and then two more at McLeans, and then Patrik into the chicane at the end of the back straight.”

“I was very shocked to say the least when I realised I was at the front. We know how competitive it is in this championship, but I just seem to have the edge on cold tyres in the opening stages.

“Hopefully I can get the third win of the weekend, but Linus starts alongside me from pole. He is very quick so it’s not going to be easy at all. I would like it to be wet so I can show off a bit more Jamie Caroline magic.”

Caroline’s opening lap heroics were far from the only wheel-to-wheel exploits in the race. Having got past Piastri at the start, York diced with Pasma in an entertaining battle for second. The Fortec Motorsports driver triumphed and impressively matched the pace of Caroline out front on his way to a maiden podium and his first class win in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup,

“The first few laps were really exciting; then things kind of plateaued from there with Jamie and I pretty much matching each other in terms of lap times,” explained York.  “This second place is not bad for only my second race weekend.

“I didn’t expect Jamie to come around so quickly on the outside. It was a good race. Obviously I want to win, but hopefully that can happen in race three.”

Despite losing out to York, Pasma was still content with third, especially after a thrilling race-long duel with Piastri, Harry Webb and Ayrton Simmons, which was also joined by Jamie Sharp in the final stages.

“It was really close racing out there and it wasn’t easy,” explained Pasma. “It’s a long championship and I just wanted to bring home as many points as possible.”

“I’ve struggled to find the speed at Donington and third was probably the maximum I could do. I need try to find more speed for the next race to try to get to the top step of the podium.”

Piastri looked favourite for the final podium spot for much of the race, his TRS Arden-prepared racer had no shortage of pace as the young Aussie tried to fashion a deft overtaking manoeuvre to overcome Pasma’s robust defence.

However, in Piastri’s bid to get past, it was an opportunistic Harry Webb who seized the chance to squeeze by Piastri for fourth and then take the fight to Pasma. Although Webb couldn’t quite reach the podium is was a fantastic result for the Richardson Racing team. The best of the season for both them and their talented racer. A just reward following a pre-season full of promise.

Like his team-mate Piastri, Simmons showcased excellent pace, climbing five places from his starting position to bring home solid points in sixth. Meanwhile, having had his first taste of points in race one, Jamie Sharp was at it again, gaining a place to finish seventh for Sharp Motorsport to round off a fantastic day for Joe Sharp’s fledgling team.

Karl Massaad and Danial Cao scored precious points for Double R in eighth and ninth respectively after Lundqvist succumbed to a technical problem, while Hampus Ericsson finished in the final points paying position for Fortec Motorsports, denying Jacky Liu (GW Motorsport) his first points score of the season.

JHR Developments driver Billy Monger was another who succumbed to a technical glitch on the opening lap. Elsewhere, Logan Sargeant (Carlin) and Yves Baltas (TRS Arden) looked contenders for the top 10, Sargeant running as high as fourth at one point. However, damaged front wings scuppered their chances, with Lucas Alecco Roy succumbing to a similar fate from accident damage.

Sargeant was rapid following his front wing change. Fastest lap and the only man to pass Jamie Caroline (albeit to un-lap himself) coming as some consolation as he finished behind JHR’s Manuel Sulaiman.

The final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend takes place at 1220 on Sunday and will be televised live on ITV4. It sees Lundqvist start from pole with Caroline alongside, as the latter bids to make history by winning all three races in one British F4 meeting.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 5 Donington Park 15 April 2017
18 laps / 35.62 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 45.763s / 102.83mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +2.769s
3 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +16.877s
4 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +17.793s
5 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +18.342s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +18.874s
7 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +19.194s
8 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +24.823s
9 Daniel CAO / CHN / Double R +25.125s
10 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +25.491s etc.

Fastest lap: Sargeant 1m 8.007s / 104.76mph

Challenge Cup: 1 York; 2 Webb; 3 Ericsson

Grid for round 6: Lundqvist – Caroline – Quinn – Massaad – Piastri – Simmons – Monger – Sargeant – York – Pasma etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 110 points; 2 Pasma 63; 3 Piastri 61; 4 Simmons 49; 5 Monger 44; 6 York 40; 7 Quinn 39; 8 Sargeant 33; 9 Webb 20; 10 Lundqvist 18 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Monger 100 points; 2 York 97; 3 Webb 78; 4 Ericsson 27

Full times