- Championship leader Caroline snatches pole by less than a tenth.
- Front-row lockout for Carlin with Caroline and Sargeant.
20 MAY, 2017 – Jamie Caroline and Carlin doubled up with pole positions at Oulton Park in a super-close qualifying for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.
Caroline and Oscar Piastri (TRS Arden) were the first men to lap in the 1m 22s bracket as the session raced towards its climax with five minutes to go. Logan Sargeant (Carlin) then joined the party, demoting Piastri to second momentarily, before the Aussie responded to regain second.
Sargeant struck back and snatched provisional pole with just over two minutes of the session remaining. His time of 1m 22.773s putting him 0.086s clear of Caroline and throwing down the gauntlet to the championship leader who duly delivered with a lap of 1m 22.690s to claim pole, albeit by a mere 0.083s.
The margin for pole for race three of the weekend, decided on second fastest times, was even finer, Caroline securing it by just 0.008s from Piastri.
“I knew it was going to be close. It is always is in the F4 British Championship,” said Caroline.
“Heading into qualifying I had to get on the front row because it’s so difficult to overtake around this track.
“I didn’t quite piece things together in FP2, but I knew the car was good and I was happy with the setup. I just had to do the job today and so far I have.
“The car was faultless and there was probably a bit more time in there. I didn’t drive a perfect lap, but I’ll save that for the races!
Added team-mate Sargeant: “It’s been the highest we’ve been in qualifying this season and we’re coming off the back of a really good Thruxton having finished P2 in the last race so I’m just trying to carry the momentum from that race.
“Hopefully I can get a good launch off the line and battle for the win. In FP2 yesterday we were really on it. We were setting consistent times, but we weren’t quite quick enough to top the session.
“We worked really hard and with the Carlin boys I’ve put it all together today. It’s great to see Jamie and I P1 and P2. I think we have an excellent chance to do well this weekend. All I can say is massive thanks to Carlin.”
The second row for round 10 was secured by the TRS Arden duo of Alex Quinn and Piastri. The former just edging his team-mate by 0.074s late on.
Double R Racing’s Karl Massaad was another late improver. Climbing three places on his final flyer, to ensure a third row grid slot behind team-mate Linus Lundqvist who was only 0.274s adrift of pole.
Massaad improved by four tenths of a second to leapfrog Patrik Pasma (Carlin), Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Harry Webb.
Webb took qualifying honours in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. The Richardson Racing ace proving to be the quickest driver in the class for the first time in a qualifying session this season to line up just ahead of Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York.
Daniel Cao (Double R Racing) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) were last gasp improvers, moving up to 11th and 12th respectively. It relegated Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) to 13th and he will start alongside Jacky Liu (GW Motorsport).
Rounds 10 and 11 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost follow at 1415 and 1745 respectively this afternoon.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional qualifying times Oulton Park 20 May 2017
Round 10 grid order
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:22.690
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:22.773
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 1:22.792
4 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:22.866
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:22.964
6 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R 1:23.344
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:23.425
8 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:23.532
9 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson 1:23.631
10 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:24.041 etc.
Round 12 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Caroline – Piastri – Sargeant – Quinn – Lundqvist – Massaad – Pasma – Simmons – Webb – York etc.