- Carlin’s Caroline extends lead at top of standings with win number six of season.
- Plethora of wheel-to-wheel action and sublime overtaking will see race remembered as one of the best in recent history of the championship.
- Double R’s Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Piastri complete podium.
- Oliver York takes second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of weekend.
7 MAY, 2017 – Carlin and Jamie Caroline made it six wins for the season in round eight of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Caroline emerged triumphant after one of the most thrilling races in the history of British F4.
A trademark Caroline flying start saw him propel his way from sixth to first by the time he reached turn two. However, he was unable to break clear of the field.
Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist made amends for losing second off the line to Fortec Motorsports Oliver York, with a perfectly judged move down the inside of York coming into Club on lap three and then proceeded to hunt down Caroline.
A fascinating battle ensued as Lundqvist rapidly closed in on Caroline, finding a way past on the drag up Woodham Hill, only for Caroline to strike back a lap later into the final chicane and go on to take the chequered flag as more drama unfolded behind him.
“Sixth to first by the second corner is pretty good going,” said Caroline. “I beat the record I set at Donington which was sixth to first by the end of the lap.
“The car was mega throughout the whole race and I’m looking forward to bolting on some fresh tyres for the final race and will try to do the triple for Billy Monger.
“I knew after pre-season that Linus would be a contender for race wins along with a few of the Arden drivers, Billy and Logan [Sargeant] so I’m over the moon to come out on top in that race.
“Linus is very quick and he’s going to be up their fighting throughout the season. We were pulling some mega moves on each other as we battled for the lead and we’ve got a huge amount of respect for each other. Hopefully we can have many more races like that this season.
“Carlin have done so much work with me, making me mentally and physically stronger. They’ve won the British F4 title the last two years and there is pressure on me to do it this year.
“It’s still only the third meeting of the season so there’s no point in getting carried away. There’s a long way to go.
“I thought yesterday’s win was the hardest-fought victory I have ever had, but this race topped it.
“To produce racing like we have seen today, the F4 British Championship is the best of the best.”
“That was a lot of fun,” commented Lundqvist. “It was an incredible battle between myself and Jamie. Unfortunately he came out on top on this occasion, but we’ll try to turn the tables in the next race.
“We had good pace and I think anybody could have finished on the podium because it’s so even and in the races here it’s even closer because of all the slipstreaming.
“You can be first on one lap and then down to fifth on the next one! It’s good racing from everyone. We all trust each other and there’s a lot of respect. That’s what enables the kind of show we put on in that race.
“I didn’t get the best of starts, but I fought back and managed to get in the lead, just missing out on the top step in the end.
“It felt like we put on an amazing spectacle for everyone watching and I think they enjoyed it a lot.”
Ayrton Simmons pulled off a well-timed move to pass poleman Logan Sargeant at Club on lap three, after Sargeant had been shuffled down the order in the opening laps. However, Sargeant was having none of it and returned the favour just a lap later to regain fourth.
Behind him could be found team-mates Oscar Piastri and Alex Quinn with the former doing well to hold off the hard charging 2016 British F4 Rookie Champion. Patrik Pasma got in on the act as the race progressed, at one point inches apart from Quinn as they raced side by side down the main straight.
Elsewhere in the top 10 Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) got the better of Harry Webb (Richardson Racing) following an entertaining race-long duel, with York finishing in eighth and taking his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of the weekend having had Sargeant and the TRS Arden trio find a way past him.
Simmons and Piastri were on a mission in the latter stages, gaining the upper hand as they made their bids for the podium. The former taking the fight to the squabbling Caroline and Lundqvist, but it was Piastri who took the final podium spot opportunistically squeezing past his team-mate with Sargeant also scything through.
“It’s really good to be back on the podium,” said Piastri. “It was a very interesting race. I didn’t get the best of starts and had a really good battle with Alex. As the race progressed I managed to close up to the leaders and fought my way up to the podium places.
“There were no team orders in that battle with Alex. It was really hard, but very fair racing. Obviously we’re in the same team so if we had come together it wouldn’t have been good, but there’s a lot of respect between us as team-mates.
“I thought once I closed up to the pack at the front that the podium was on. I don’t quite know how I actually got into third place to be completely honest.
“I almost threw it away coming out of complex on the last lap which made the last corner a bit exciting, but I managed to hold on.”
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 8 Thruxton 7 May 2017
16 laps / 37.69 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 05.985s / 112.52mph
2 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +3.880s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +5.405s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +5.601s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.683s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +7.217s
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +7.641s
8 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +8.204s
9 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +13.487s
10 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +13.705s etc.
Fastest lap: Lundqvist 1m 14.167s / 114.35mph
Challenge Cup: 1 York; 2 Webb