- Third win of campaign for front row starter Alex Quinn.
- York and Piastri complete podium.
- Caroline’s championship lead reduced by just three points to 71.5.
- Ericsson takes the Ford F4 Challenge Cup spoils for seventh time this season.
16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn shone at Silverstone to take victory in Round 25 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, ahead of Oliver York and Oscar Piastri after a dramatic finish hit by torrential rain.
Silverstone has proved a happy hunting ground for Quinn. It was the scene of his British F4 Rookie title triumph in 2016, which he capped off with a fantastic win at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Starting on the front row the Cornish racer was determined to add another victory to his name at the home of British Motor Racing and he duly delivered. A lightning start saw him get the jump on team-mate and poleman Oscar Piastri.
Piastri made life difficult for Quinn in the opening stages, refusing to let him escape while bringing Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Jamie Caroline (Carlin) with him. Caroline having already made up two places on the first lap.
As the race progressed Quinn eventually managed to break free of Piastri’s clutches. The heavens opened with just two laps remaining, but Quinn remained unfazed out front. The 16-year-old danced his way around the 1.64 mile circuit on slick tyres in the pouring rain to take his third win of the campaign.
“I got Oscar off the line which is what I was aiming to do because to go head to head in the race would have been more tricky considering the way things are in the championship battle. We have to keep maximising the points.
“I knew the start was my best and safest opportunity to get the job done so I’m really happy to have pulled it off.
“It wasn’t easy after the start though because Oscar was very quick at the beginning, but I eventually managed to pull out a bit of a gap.
“Then I saw a massive black cloud overhead and knew the rain was coming. I stayed calm, didn’t push too hard and it paid off.
“I was trying to pay attention to how much rain was on my visor and how much water there was on the track. The last lap was like driving into the unknown, but I’ve always liked these conditions throughout my career.”
Behind Quinn the situation was far less straightforward. After Caroline got the better of York with a bold move to take third just before the rain began to fall, the championship leader moved to double his fun as he attempted to pass and pull away from chief title rival Piastri on the final lap.
It resulted in a spin for Caroline, forcing Piastri to take evasive action. The Aussie took a wide line and hit the brakes. York promptly capitalised to take second, diving up the inside of both drivers.
“Overall it was a good race for us,” commented York. “We had the pace throughout. Even when the rain came down we were something like a second quicker than anyone else on the last lap when we took second place.
“Jamie went for a late move and I had to back out really otherwise it could have ended very differently. Then it started to rain and he was sideways through Brooklands after a half spin. It forced Oscar out wide and it gave me the opportunity to scythe up the inside the pair of them.
“I think I was a little held back by Oscar which meant I couldn’t attack Quinn for the win. I’m still happy to get second which means plenty more points in the championship so we can continue to target a top five finish in the championship at the end of the season.
“This is my third podium in four races so it’s great to have this kind of consistency and is a sign of our strength.”
“The start was not good at all,” said Piastri. “I didn’t have enough heat in the tyres which meant I couldn’t get the traction I wanted off the line.
“I felt I was faster than Alex in the opening laps, but as the race progressed I didn’t have the life in the tyres that he did which meant I couldn’t quite keep up with him.
“The heavens opened on the final two laps and I was probably a bit too cautious. On the last lap Jamie went for a bold move and spun in front of me. I had nowhere to go other than slam on the brakes and that let York through.
“I’m not happy with the result, but it could have been a lot worse. We finished on the podium and in front of Jamie so that’s still positive.”
A below-par qualifying for Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons meant the stage was set for them to come storming through the field from 15th and 11th respectively. Both took no prisoners as they flew up the order, each making up four places on just the opening lap. The duo put on a display of overtaking that was a feast for the eyes, with Simmons finishing fifth and Lundqvist sixth. Simmons recording fastest lap of the race in the process.
Behind them finished Carlin’s Logan Sargeant, while eighth place for Hoggard earnt the Fortec Motorsports racer points and pole position for tomorrow’s partially reversed grid race.
Team-mate Hampus Ericsson had to settle for ninth despite a spell in sixth, but with Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen and TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell in 14th and 17th respectively, Ericsson secured his seventh Ford F4 Challenge Cup win. It leaves him tied with Oliver York for most wins in the Class this season.
“The Challenge Cup is the main thing to win and that’s what I have got my sights set on,” explained Ericsson. “To get another win in the Class again today was so important.
“At one point in the race I was sixth, but I went off the track and had to settle for ninth.
“I don’t like the rain much, but I enjoyed it on the slicks. It was a lot of fun!
“The overtake I made on Sargeant into Brooklands was so cool. I got in the slipstream and went around the outside of him. It was a really special move that I’m very proud of.
“Whenever I’m battling with the title contenders like that it’s really exciting and proves that I’m able to fight at the front.”
Carlin’s Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 ahead of Double R’s Karl Massaad. Meanwhile JHR Developments driver Harry Dyson put on a fine display on his competitive single-seater debut, picking his way expertly through the field from last on the grid to finish 12th.
The Ford EcoBoost action continues tomorrow with Round 26 at 1115 when Hoggard will be gunning for his maiden win in the series from pole. The final race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ITV4 and is scheduled for 1630. Piastri will be the poleman once again, with the aim of converting it into his sixth win of the season in a bid to take the title battle to the final meeting of the season.
However, Jamie Caroline will have other ideas and can take the title tomorrow if he has increased his championship lead from 71.5 to at least 75 points once the chequered flag falls on the final race.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 25 Silverstone, 16 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 29.835s / 100.84mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.122s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +1.748s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.164s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.912s
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +9.027s
7 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +10.021s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +10.880s
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +12.001s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.135s etc.
Fastest lap: Ayrton Simmons 57.165s / 103.30mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen; 3 Caldwell
Grid for Round 26: Hoggard – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Simmons – Caroline – Piastri – York – Quinn – Ericsson – Pasma etc.
Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 376 points; 2 Piastri 304.5; 3 Sargeant 289; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 247.5; 6 York 233.5; 7 Simmons 216.5; 8 Pasma 143.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.
Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 275.5; 4 Caldwell 194; 5 Allen 138; 6 Monger 100