- Hoggard snares second career pole
- Rockingham double winner Pasma steals front-row start at the death
25 August 2018 – Fresh from his third victory of the season at Rockingham two weeks ago, Johnathan Hoggard maintained his recent strong form in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost by snaring pole position at Knockhill.
Having been on the pace throughout testing during the week leading up the event, the Fortec Motorsport driver emerged as the man to beat in a frenetic qualifying session that saw the top three racer covered by less than a tenth of a second by the time the chequered flag dropped.
Hoggard would find himself swapping pole with Arden’s Jack Doohan for a large part of the session and would lose three quick laps to track limits before becoming the first driver to break the 49s mark.
Despite the best efforts of his rivals, a lap of 48.982s would prove to be unbeatable as Hoggard secured his second career pole, whilst his second quickest time would be good enough to ensure he will also start race three on Sunday afternoon from the front of the grid.
“It feels really good and that has set the weekend up,” he said. “I’ve not had the best of luck in qualifying recently and to now be at the front of the grid means we’re in a great position going into the races.
“I’ve come here high on confidence after the win at Rockingham and Knockhill is a circuit that I enjoy; it’s really nice to drive with the hills and the bumps. Overtaking round here is difficult so it’s crucial that we’ve been able to put ourselves on pole.”
Doohan had looked well set to snare a front row start for the second meeting in succession having spent a large part of the session running in first spot, but he would be knocked back to third as the chequered flag dropped as Patrik Pasma earned a third straight front-row start.
The Finn would fall just 0.034s shy of making it three pole positions in a row to head the Arden challenge as he seeks to build on the double victory he enjoyed last time out.
“Qualifying was quite difficult,” he said. “I’m not too happy as I made a mistake at the final corner on my quick lap which has cost me pole but P2 isn’t too bad.
“I think our race pace will be good and I’m feeling confident about the races.”
Pasma’s late lap left Doohan to settle for the third, with the Australian missing out on the front row by just 0.012s.
“I think we had the pace to be on pole but I just didn’t get that little extra bit that the others did,” he said. “I think we have the strongest car in terms of race pace though and I’m sure we can be right there in the races. Overtaking won’t be easy round here but we have a great chance.”
Doohan would be another driver to fall foul of track limits during the session, as was championship leader Kiern Jewiss who was fourth quickest for Double R.
His best time was less than a tenth of a second behind Doohan, with Seb Priaulx and Dennis Hauger rounding out row three in the remaining Arden cars; both having taken turns at the top of the times earlier in the session. Hauger will however take a five place grid penalty carried over from Rockingham last time out.
Ayrton Simmons, a double podium finisher at the Scottish circuit last year, headed the JHR challenge in seventh spot with team-mate Manuel Sulaiman, Paavo Tonteri (Double R) and Josh Skelton (JHR) rounding out the top ten.
Sebastian Alvarez (Double R), the final driver to lap within a second of pole, and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) round out the twelve car field with both Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen missing this weekend.
The grid for race three takes on a similar appearance to that for race one, with the only difference being Tonteri starting ahead of Sulaiman in eighth spot.
Race one will take place at 1650.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional qualifying times Knockhill, 25 August, 2018
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 48.982
2 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 49.016
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUD / Arden 49.028
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 49.116
5 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 49.172
6 Dennis HAUGER * / NOR / Arden 49.239
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 49.348
8 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 49.410
9 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 49.541
10 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR 49.576 etc
* – denotes five place grid penalty
Round 24 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Hoggard – Pasma – Doohan – Jewiss – Priaulx – Hauger – Simmons – Tonteri – Sulaiman – Skelton etc