- Fortec driver snares double pole for second meeting in a row
- Points leader Jewiss qualifies ahead of main title rival Simmons
- Four tenths of a second cover top twelve drivers in ultra-tight session
15 September, 2018 – For the second meeting in succession, Johnathan Hoggard proved to be the man to beat in qualifying after securing a double pole position ahead of the ninth meeting of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season at Silverstone.
The Fortec Motorsport driver made it three poles for the season after emerging on top of what proved to be a tight battle around the short Silverstone National circuit that ended with the top twelve drivers on the grid covered by less than four tenths of a second.
Hoggard set his best time on just his fourth lap of the session and then saw his rivals gradually erode what had been a gap of some two-tenths of a second at one stage, but a best time of 56.967s would ultimately prove good enough to secure top spot.
His second best time was good enough to take pole for race three.
“I’m really happy with that and I think I could have improved if the car hadn’t gone off a little towards the end,” he said. “I got my fast times early on in the session and couldn’t quite match them as it went on, but it’s great to be on pole again.
“The aim now is to try and make sure we win race one, and then we’ll have to see what happens in race two – hopefully not a repeat of Knockhill! From pole in race three, we’re in a good position there as well so hopefully we can challenge for at least two victories.
“For me, it’s important to end the season on a high to get my name out there to people. I started the year well and I want to make sure I end it well too.”
Hoggard’s closest challenger would ultimately end up being championship leader Kiern Jewiss, who came agonisingly close to taking his second pole of the season.
The Double R driver managed to get within 0.012s of pole before being forced to settle for second spot, but that still leaves him well placed to extend his points lead in the opening race, with closest rival Ayrton Simmons having qualified in seventh spot.
“I wasn’t really thinking about Ayrton in the session and just focused on doing the best job I could,” Jewiss reflected. “I think that’s what I’ve done and I’m pretty pleased to be on the front row; let’s see what race one brings now. The car was really good and I think we were able to learn a lot from the recent test as we took a few steps back to now go forwards.
“I’m feeling confident about my chances but I don’t have to win the race – it’s all about making sure I finish ahead of Ayrton and get some more good points on the board.”
Behind Jewiss, Patrik Pasma maintained his strong recent form with the third best time ahead of top rookie Jack Doohan, with the Arden duo split by just 0.018s on the second row of the grid.
Having held provisional pole early in the session, Paavo Tonteri (Double R) was fifth quickest as he seeks to bounce back to form after tough weekends at both Rockingham and Knockhill with Josh Skelton impressive in sixth – the best qualifying result to date for the JHR Developments racer.
Simmons (JHR) shares the fourth row of the grid with the current Rookie Cup leader Dennis Hauger (Arden), who faces a challenge in the opening race to try and maintain his six point lead over Doohan in the standings, with the top ten completed by Seb Priaulx (Arden) and Sebastian Alvarez (Double R).
Manuel Sulaiman (Double R) and Luca Allen (Fortec) rounded out the top twelve on the grid with the close nature of the times reflected in the fact that Allen – who had been quick throughout Friday practice – was just 0.381s slower than Hoggard’s pole lap.
Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) was 13th quickest whilst series debutant Christian Lester (Rosso Verde/Scorpio) will line up 14th after a late spin that caused the session to be halted a few minutes ahead of schedule.
Race one of the weekend takes place at 14:40
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional qualifying times Silverstone, 15 September, 2018
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 56.957
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 56.969
3 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 57.129
4 Jack DOOHAN / AUD / Arden 57.147
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 57.166
6 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR 57.179
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 57.216
8 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 57.271
9 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 57.285
10 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R 57.291 etc
Round 27 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Hoggard – Jewiss – Tonteri – Pasma – Doohan – Simmons – Hauger – Skelton – Sulaiman – Priaulx etc