- Caroline bounces back to win reverse grid race.
- York equals best result of season in second, as Quinn completes podium.
- Caldwell makes it two wins from two in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup at Snetterton.
29 JULY, 2017 – Championship leader Jamie Caroline returned to winning ways in Round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Snetterton. In doing so the Carlin ace set a new record for most wins in a British F4 season; his tally of nine one better than that of 2015 champion Lando Norris.
Starting alongside poleman Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments), Caroline made a trademark lightning getaway to jump the Mexican off the line. The Pirtek Racing backed rising star promptly set about building a gap to Oliver York who had passed Sulaiman later on the opening lap. The latter spinning moments later which promoted Quinn up to third, who had already climbed a place from his fifth place grid slot.
While York and Quinn duelled for second place they began to eat into Caroline’s lead before the safety car was deployed on lap five. This was due to Karl Massaad’s Double R-prepared racer leaking fluid onto the track following contact with York’s team-mate Hampus Ericsson. The Swede would later be excluded from the race for causing avoidable contact with Massaad.
Caroline nailed the restart to put him sufficiently clear of York and proceeded to record the fastest lap on the penultimate tour of the Norfolk circuit before taking the chequered flag.
“I thought this race was my best chance to get a win this weekend and I did it,” said Caroline. “I capitalised on a good start, stayed calm out front, looked after the tyres and handled the safety car restart well, keeping the engine cool to go even faster at the end of the race.
“It’s been way too long since the last win at Oulton Park. To go a whole race weekend without a win at Croft was tough. I’ve been missing the top step more than I thought I would so to get a win again is great.
“In race one I just tried to keep out of trouble and bring home points and get a good grid position for the reverse grid race. I’m happy with that decision, especially after this race! I used my head in the first race and it has worked out.
“I take every weekend as it comes. I’ve had eight wins this season before this weekend so when you do have a bad day you know you’re still good enough.
“I think I didn’t put things together well on Friday or in qualifying and then we made some changes going into the races. I also raised my game to get the result we wanted this afternoon.”
“Qualifying wasn’t great for us,” said York. “We were P5 on Friday, but changed something overnight and it didn’t pay off so we ended up further back than we should have been.
“The reverse grid helped us and we’ve scored some valuable points for the championship. I got a good start, getting up to P2 on the first lap. I didn’t quite get close enough to Jamie to make a move.
“If the safety car hadn’t come out I might have been able to do something as I was closing in on him up until that point.
“When it came to Quinn, he was faster than me in the first part of the lap and I was faster through the second part of the lap and I was able to do enough to hold onto second.”
Commented Quinn: “The car felt so good in that race so big thanks to the team. It gave me the opportunity to really pressure York, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite get past him.
“I’m still very happy with the result. I think we got the maximum having started fifth. We start fifth again tomorrow so hopefully we can move up a few places again.
“I knew my best opportunity would be the opening laps and I managed to out-brake Olli to go around the outside of him into fourth. Sulaiman then spun ahead of me which gave me third and from then on I was pressuring York.”
Having been passed by team-mate Quinn in the opening exchanges Caldwell then had to contend with Linus Lundqvist (Double R) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin) who both found a way past him before the safety car period.
Simmons and Piastri followed suit to get ahead of their team-mate, finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Spectators were treated to some spellbinding formation flying in the final laps as Simmons, Piastri and Caldwell jockeyed for position. Caldwell still doing more than enough to comfortably take his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win, just hours after his first triumph in the class.
Up ahead Sargeant gained revenge on Lundqvist by making a move stick for fourth in the closing stages, after just missing out on the podium to the Swede in the opening race.
Patrik Pasma and Lucas Alecco Roy completed the top 10 ensuring that all Carlin runners finished in the points, Roy doing brilliantly to pick his way through the field from 16th on the grid.
Elsewhere, Fortec Motorsports’ Hoggard just missed out on his first points score in 11th having fought his way up through the field from 17th, ahead of Sulaiman who worked his way back up the order following his spin.
The final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend is scheduled for 1450 tomorrow and will be broadcast live on ITV4. Piastri will start from pole and will hope to replicate his race one performance. Meanwhile Sargeant will start alongside him and bid for his maiden British F4 win.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 17 Snetterton 29 July 2017
10 laps / 29.68 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 50.451s / 85.47mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.056s
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +1.436s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +3.631s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +3.923s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.363s
7 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +8.595s
8 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +9.427s
9 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +9.793s
10 Lucas Alecco ROY / GER / Carlin +11.109s etc.
Fastest lap: Jamie Caroline 1m 52.575s / 94.94mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Allen
Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 267 points; 2 Piastri 201.5; 3 Lundqvist 177.5; 4 Quinn 164; 5 Sargeant 158; 6 York 124.5; 7 Pasma 110.5; 8 Simmons 107.5; 9 Webb 52; 10 Massaad 47 etc.
Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 York 279.5 points; 2 Webb 239.5; 3 Ericsson 115.5; 4 Monger 100; 5 Caldwell 74; 6 Allen 30