Perfect 10 for Caroline in British F4 at Knockhill

  • Dominant display from championship leader Jamie Caroline ensures win number 10 of campaign.
  • Logan Sargeant’s second place secures one-two finish for Carlin.
  • Double R’s Karl Massaad on the podium for the first time since May.
  • Oliver York takes Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours.

12 AUGUST, 2017 – Jamie Caroline extended his advantage at the top of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings by winning the rescheduled Round 12 race from Oulton Park at Knockhill. He was followed home by team-mate Logan Sargeant who ensured Carlin recorded their second one-two finish of the campaign.

A lightning getaway from pole saw the Pirtek Racing-backed rising star unchallenged into turn one and proceed to execute a textbook race on the way to his 10th Ford EcoBoost-powered victory of 2017.

With clear air in front of him the 18-year-old unleashed his prodigious pace around the 1.27-mile Fife track, extending his margin over the field at a formidable rate. Not even a Safety Car period for the stricken car of team-mate Patrick Pasma, which wiped out Caroline’s 9.3 second lead on lap 11, could spoil the championship leader’s party.

He mastered the restart and had enough in hand to keep Sargeant at bay, recording the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap.

“We were 9.3 seconds clear before the Safety Car,” said Caroline. “It’s a shame it came out in a way because if it hadn’t it would have made the win even easier. I wanted to get to the 10 second mark to tie in with my 10th victory this season.

“It’s great to get this win though and to get fastest lap too. I got another lightning start. I do a lot of work on reactions in my warm-up and I think that helps a lot.

“I wasn’t too worried when the field closed up because of the Safety Car. I knew I was quicker and consistent so I was confident I could comfortably bring the win home.”

From third on the grid Sargeant put second place man Oscar Piastri under immense pressure from the outset, pulling off an intelligent move on the way to the chicane several laps into the race.

Not for the first time this season the F4 UAE graduates provided a thrilling squabble, although Piastri dropped down the order on lap eight due to a technical gremlin.

“I got off the line well and then I was fighting with Piastri for the first couple of laps,” explained Sargeant. “I managed to get around him and then I tried to chase down Jamie, but he had already built a big gap while we were fighting.

“The Safety Car offered me a bit of hope for the win. I got a good restart, but Jamie was just a little bit quicker. He’s my team-mate so I’ll take a look at the data tonight and see what he’s doing to help me go quicker tomorrow.

“I got up the inside of Piastri heading towards the chicane and that basically put him in a positon where he had to back off because we weren’t going to both make the corner. It was a smart move from me and important for Carlin as it secured us a one-two finish.”

Piastri’s problems promoted Double R Racing’s Karl Massaad to the podium, who had already profited from his team-mate Linus Lundqvist’s demise earlier in the race.

It was the first time Massaad had been on the podium since the Thruxton meeting in May. The Lebanese karting champion kept his cool in tricky conditions to return to the rostrum.

“I’m really happy to be back on the podium,” commented Massaad. “Snetterton wasn’t a great weekend for me so it’s nice to bounce back with a podium place.

“To be honest this weekend wasn’t looking too good, especially after qualifying when I pushed a little too hard and went off.

“I stayed calm out there and tried not to do any mistakes while others did around me. That’s how I made my way up the order, but importantly I had the pace to stay third.

“To be on the podium is fantastic, but I want to be on the top step and I’m working so hard to achieve that.”

As was the case in the earlier race Lundqvist was aggressive from the start and soon found himself tucked up underneath the rear wing of Quinn. He jinked from left to right repeatedly to try to force the Cornish ace into a mistake, but couldn’t find a way through.

Lundqvist wouldn’t relent however, and pulled off a sublime move around the outside of Quinn at Taylor’s Hairpin. However, his race came undone when going off track at turn one after running side by side with Piastri.

The Swede regrouped and embarked on a comeback through the field, but was later forced to retire due to overheating as a result of the off track excursion. Quinn didn’t fare much better, forced to retire on lap five due to a mechanical problem.

Just missing out on a podium spot was Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York who had a storming race to make his way up the order from 10th on the grid. It also saw him take his eighth and final win in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup.

The talented teenager was allowed to fight for Class honours courtesy of this being the Round 12 race which should have taken place earlier in the year at Oulton Park when York was eligible to compete in the Class. The win means he was able to extend his advantage at the top of the standings by seven points.

Harry Webb looked a contender for fourth and the Challenge Cup win only for front wing damage to hinder his prospects. The Richardson Racing driver defended valiantly in the closing stages despite the damage and still salvaged a seventh place finish; behind Ayrton Simmons in fifth who made up several places from eighth on the grid and Piastri in sixth.

Jacky Liu rounded off a landmark day for GW Motorsport. Just hours after the team’s first top 10 finish, Liu followed it up with an eighth place finish to score his first points of the campaign.

Said an ecstatic GW Motorsport team boss Gary Ward: “I’m really happy with both our drivers today. Both of them qualified well. Sam coming into the team has made Jacky up his game and they are working so well together.

“To get two top 10 finishes today and these points means a lot and is so deserved following all the hard work.

Jamie Sharp was back in the points for Sharp Motorsport and despite venturing off track Lucas Alecco Roy doggedly persevered to bring home 10th and take the final point for Carlin.

Round 20 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is scheduled for 1015 tomorrow, with Round 21 set to start at 1540 and to be televised live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 12 Oulton Park 12 August 2017
* Race run at Knockhill
22 laps / 27.87 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 38.924s / 80.99mph
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +1.893s
3 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +6.458s
4 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +7.266s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.132s
6 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +12.921s
7 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +17.725s
8 Jacky LIU / CHN / GW +18.244s
9 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +18.733s
10 Lucas Alecco ROY / GER / Carlin +1 lap etc.

Fastest lap: Jamie Caroline 49.905s / 91.39mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 York; 2 Webb

Round 20 grid order Ericsson – York – Sargeant – Quinn – Simmons – Caroline – Piastri – Lundqvist – Caldwell – Smelt etc.

Round 21 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Piastri – Quinn – Caroline – Simmons – Sargeant – Hoggard – Pasma – Lundqvist – York – Caldwell etc.

Full results