- Hoggard claims maiden pole at wet Donington Park.
- Pasma completes front row and will start from pole in final race of weekend.
- Championship leader Ayrton Simmons qualifies 10th.
28 APRIL, 2018 – Johnathan Hoggard and Fortec Motorsports came out on top in a rain hit qualifying session at Donington Park in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.
As drivers gained confidence in the tricky conditions and tyres reached optimum temperature, times tumbled during the session. Hoggard’s best lap of 1m 24.357s came with less than two minutes left on the clock. The Fortec Motorsports ace laying down the gauntlet to field.
Arden’s Patrik Pasma, Dennis Hauger and Sebastian Priaulx responded by mounting their challenges for pole. The three drivers recording personal best laps on their final flyers, but the trio were unable to steal pole from Hoggard. Pasma came tantalisingly close, just 0.054s adrift, with Hauger and Priaulx locking out the second row.
“Well that’s certainly a better start to the weekend than we had at Brands Hatch,” said Hoggard. “Things didn’t go to plan there, but we’ve started making up for it here in the best way possible.
“I was struggling a little bit for pace on Thursday in free practice in the dry, but we got thrown into wet conditions today for qualifying and came out on top.
“The first part of the session was very much about waiting for the tyres to come up to temperature and then you get a feel for what the car is doing and how it’s behaving. Then when it came to the end of the session it was time to really push and that’s why the times tumbled.
“It feels great to get my first pole in British F4 and now I want to get my first win!”
Pasma claimed pole for the ITV4 live-televised race which takes place at 1520 on Sunday, courtesy of recording the quickest second fastest lap of any driver. Hoggard will be the man alongside him.
“It was a good qualifying session for us,” said Pasma. “I’m not particuarly happy with the lap as I could have gone quicker. We had the potential to be P1.
“The front row start today and pole in the final race tomorrow mean we have a great chance of victory.
“It was really quite slippery out on track and I think my experience in the championship really helped me.
“We’re quick in the wet and the dry so that gives us plenty of confidence heading into the races regardless of what the weather conditions are.”
Added team-mate Hauger: “I think qualifying wasn’t too bad. On my last lap I was quite quick in the first sector, but I had two cars in front of me which cost me time. I think if I had been able to put all the sectors together it would have been an even better result.”
Hoggard’s team-mate Hampus Ericsson will line up on the third row this afternoon, with Arden’s Jack Doohan starting from sixth.
Free practice pacesetter Kiern Jewiss had to settle for seventh fastest. The Double R racer citing a wet weather setup he’s not completely happy with as the reason why his bid for pole was hampered.
“We struggled with the car in that session, but it’s one of those things,” explained Jewiss.
“We’ll get our heads down, look through the data, see where we can improve and come back stronger.
“We’ve struggled a little bit in the wet recently so that’s something we need to work on, but other than that it’s all good and it will most probably be a case of damage limitation this weekend.”
Double R team-mate Paavo Tonteri also qualified in the top 10 just two spots behind Jewiss, with JHR Developments driver Josh Skelton splitting the pair and championship leader Ayrton Simmons in 10th, ahead of team-mate Manuel Sulaiman.
Round four of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost follows at 1600.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional qualifying times Donington Park, 28 April, 2018
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:24.357
2 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:24.411
3 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:24.896
4 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:25.148
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:25.359
6 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:25.477
7 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:25.599
8 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR 1:25.717
9 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:26.034
10 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:26.059 etc.
Round 6 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Pasma – Hoggard – Hauger – Priaulx – Doohan – Skelton – Ericsson – Simmons – Tonteri – Jewiss etc.