Supplied by driver’s PR
22 JUNE, 2016 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline endured a challenging weekend as the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford reached the half way stage at Croft, with his undoubted speed not reflected in the end results.
The fifth meeting of the year marked the start of Jamie’s relationship with the Fortec Motorsport team, with the 17-year-old having made the move to the multiple single-seater champions ahead of the weekend.
Qualifying around the high-speed North Yorkshire circuit saw Jamie post the 13th quickest time, but a customary storming start in the opening race of the weekend saw him rocket up the order to seventh before the end of the first lap.
Jamie would hold the place through to the closing laps when a Safety Car period bunched up the field, and then on the final lap, he battled hard to make up two places and cross the line in fifth.
That result put Jamie on pole position for race two but he lost out on the lead to rival Devlin DeFrancesco on the run to turn one to slip down to second place. Eager to reclaim the position, Jamie saw the opportunity to make a move for the lead later in the lap, but having gone down the inside at Sunny, the teenager was left with nowhere to go when DeFrancesco suddenly moved over with the resultant contact putting him out of the race on the spot.
From 14th on the grid for race three, Jamie was once again a man on a mission on the opening lap as he rocketed up the order to sixth place, and then moved ahead of Sennan Fielding to take fifth on lap two.
Jamie would then follow team-mate Alex Quinn all the way to the flag to secure a second top six finish of the weekend only to be handed a 10.5 second penalty post-race for cutting over the first chicane on lap one – demoting him back to eighth spot.
While Jamie ends the weekend having slipped a place to ninth in the standings, he has still closed the gap on the top seven in the standings heading into the summer break, with racing now resuming at Snetterton at the end of July.
“It’s a shame I couldn’t push for the podium positions on my debut with Fortec as that was the aim, but I was on the back foot after a difficult qualifying session,” he said. “I recovered well from that to score some good points in race one and I think we definitely had a car that was good enough to win in race two.
“Sadly, when I made the move to retake the lead, the guy ahead decided he was going to turn in and there was nowhere for me to go when I was already alongside him and committed to the move. It’s frustrating as that could have been the win I’ve been chasing.
“The car was better in race three than the end result shows because of the penalty but, even though I’d hoped for more this weekend, our performance and pace in the races shows that we can challenge at the front in the second half of the year.”