- Hoggard tastes victory for the first time since April.
- Second place for Jewiss sees him extend championship lead as Simmons doesn’t finish.
- Doohan stars on podium once again and takes lead in Rookie class.
12 AUGUST, 2018 – Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard made a welcome return to the top step of the podium to take his third win of the season in round 20 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
Hoggard last tasted victory in April, but looked very much at home out front around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire circuit. Leading from pole he had enough to keep his pursuers at bay for the duration, most impressively mastering a Safety Car restart on the way to the chequered flag.
“It feels really good to be back on the top step of the podium,” said a thrilled Hoggard. “It’s been a while since I’ve been on the podium, let alone winning.
“I knew after the start of the race when Priaulx got really close to me that I had to excel at the Safety Car restart otherwise I would be under serious pressure due to the tow.
“I got a good restart, kept my head down and built a gap.
“We’ve found a big chunk of pace between qualifying and the races this weekend. It’s all about getting everything together when it matters really.”
Added Fortec Motorsports British F4 team manager Ollie Dutton: “This win has been a long time coming. Johnathan deserves this. He’s raced and driven well this season, but he’s just not had the luck.
“He got a good start, handled the Safety Car restart well and then built a bit of a gap. He looked really good out there.
“I’m over the moon for him and his family. This win is also a good morale boost for the team.”
While it was smooth running out front for Hoggard from the outset, there was drama behind with a tangle at Deene involving Kiern Jewiss (Double R Racing), Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) and Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments). It led to Priaulx and Simmons’ races coming to a premature end and the Safety Car deployed for several laps.
After the race Jewiss was handed a 10-place grid penalty to be taken in the next race for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety. It means he starts round 21 from 12th.
Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) was disqualified for the same misdemeanour due to contact with Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports).
Following the opening lap skirmishes on track, Jewiss and Dennis Hauger (Arden) were left as Hoggard’s closest challengers. However, at the Safety Car restart Doohan was keen to stake his claim for the podium places with a brave lunge down the inside of team-mate Hauger at Deene and completed the overtake through Yentwood.
Hauger then had to endure another attack from a team-mate. This time in the form of Saturday’s race winner Patrik Pasma who pulled off an overtake at Deene and proceeded to light up the timing screens with his rapid pace, recording fastest lap on his 10th tour of the circuit.
Doohan was able to hold off the advancing Pasma in the closing stages to take third. He also finished as the highest placed rookie to earn his eighth Rookie class win and with it the lead in the standings from rival Hauger who wound up fifth overall and second in class.
“The aim for that race was to get into the top three and we did that,” explained Doohan.
“Points mean prizes. We’re closing the gap on the guys in front and we’ve now just taken the lead in the Rookie standings.
“I’m now just going to try to build on that and keep the momentum going.
“I got a really good Safety Car restart. Johnathan went for it a little bit earlier than I expected, but I got a really good exit out of the last corner, tracked Dennis down the straight and opened the steering to head towards the outside. He mirrored that and that’s when I dived down his inside.
“I tried to manage the tyres as best possible to minimise degradation. I saw Patrik coming in the closing stages and he was so fast in the clear air, but once he got closer to me he found it more difficult.
“Most of the corners where you overtake here are preceded by high or mid-speed corners and that’s where it’s harder to follow a car in front and that’s what makes it hard to overtake.”
Jewiss’ second place could prove pivotal in the title fight with chief rival Simmons failing to score a point. The Double R ace able to extend his championship lead to 45 points.
“I’m pleased to get all these points for my championship,” said Jewiss. “Extending my lead at the top takes a bit of pressure off my shoulders.
“It was a good race, but it was pretty tough too. We’re not completely happy with the setup of the car, but we’re chipping away at making it better.
“Rockingham is not one of our strongest tracks so we’re just trying to maximise our opportunities here and then look ahead to the next meetings.”
Jewiss’ team-mate Paavo Tonteri picked up a couple of places to finish eighth and scored his 17th Rookie class podium, ahead of JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman.
Josh Skelton (JHR Developments), Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports) and Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) were locked in an entertaining battle for the final points paying positions. The trio completing the top-10.
The ITV4 live-televised Rockingham finale follows at 1550.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 20 Rockingham, 12 August, 2018
14 laps / 27.16 miles
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 20m 13.645s / 80.56 mph
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +0.941s
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden +1.532s
4 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +1.869s
5 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +7.248s
6 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R +8.931s
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +9.555s
8 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR +12.633s
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +15.672s
10 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +17.517s etc.
Fastest lap: Pasma 1m 20.087s / 87.21 mph
Rookie class: 1 Doohan, 2 Hauger, 3 Tonteri, 4 Skelton, 5 Alvarez
Provisional championship standings
1 Jewiss 307 points; 2 Simmons 262; 3 Hauger 258; 4 Doohan 234; 5 Tonteri 209; 6 Priaulx 168; =7 Hoggard 163; =7 Pasma 163; 9 Skelton 68; 10 Sulaiman 57 etc.
Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 367 points; 2 Hauger 366; 3 Tonteri 339; 4 Skelton 253; 5 Alvarez 181