Simmons claims emotional maiden British F4 win

  • TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons puts in a flawless performance from pole to win at Brands Hatch Indy.
  • Patrik Pasma claims maiden podium in only his second British F4 start.
  • Billy Monger completes podium and doubles up with Ford F4 Challenge Cup class wins.

2 APRIL, 2017 – Ayrton Simmons and TRS Arden claimed a flawless win from pole position in the second round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Brands Hatch. It was Simmons’ maiden victory in the series, having been vice-champion in the Rookie class last season.

A lightning start saw Simmons comfortably led into turn one and he never looked back. Calm and composed out front, the 15-year-old racer from Epping didn’t put a foot wrong all race.

Simmons, a product of the Young Racing Driver Academy managed his tyre wear expertly and it paid dividends, allowing him to gradually pull away from the chasing pack in the latter stages on his way to the chequered flag.

“To finally get this British F4 win is absolutely amazing,” said a jubilant Simmons. “It’s the greatest moment of my racing career so far. We worked so hard in my first season last year. We didn’t have the ideal start to the weekend, but we turned it around.

“All I had to do was pull a gap and stay in control of the race. I was quite surprised with how good my start was. It’s probably the best start I have ever made. Everything just fell into place.

“I did a lot of work with the team to perfect the start procedure. When I was out front I knew I had to drive consistently. I had to be controlled, but quick.

“I cannot thank the team enough. They’ve done a brilliant job.”

Added an emotional Steve Simmons, father of Ayrton: “It’s unbelievable. I’ve seen how much hard work he has put in over the years and all his training.

“I keep out the way really because he has so much self-motivation. TRS Arden gave him a perfect car today. I’m absolutely over the moon for Ayrton and incredibly proud.”

JHR Developments driver Billy Monger started alongside Simmons on the front row, but Carlin’s Patrik Pasma who lined up third made an excellent getaway to propel him up to second. He held off Monger for the duration, setting fastest lap in the process. Meanwhile team-mate Logan Sargeant joined the fight for the podium positions, ultimately bringing home his second fourth place finish of the weekend.

“It feels nice to get this podium,” said Pasma. “I would like to be one step higher, but that will come. I made a really good start to jump from third to second and attack the poleman.

“I want to say thanks to the team for helping me achieve this result and it was great to be the highest placed Carlin driver in this race. Now I’m going to be doing all I can to get the win.”

Despite being unable to find a way past Pasma, Monger was pleased to return to the podium and also recorded his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup class win of the weekend.

“I was starting on the outside of the track in P2 and Patrik was able to get a better start than me on the inside. I then decided to back Logan up a little bit to try to wear his tyres out.

“I didn’t quite have enough life in my tyres towards the end to attack for second place, but it’s great to get a podium for the team.”

“I’m happy with this result. Obviously I want to finish even higher, but it’s a long season and I’m pleased to bring home the points.”

Round winner one Jamie Caroline made a trademark excellent getaway, making his way past TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn and Oscar Piastri in the opening stages. However, much like race one he couldn’t escape the clutches of the TRS Arden pair, as well as Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York who provided plenty of entertainment in only his second British F4 start.

Having squeezed by Manuel Sulaiman, York proceeded to seize an opportunity when Quinn attempted to overtake Piastri through Paddock Hill Bend. Quinn couldn’t make the move stick, losing momentum into Druids and York tip-toed his way around the outside of Quinn to take seventh. However Quinn returned the favour several laps later, at the very same corner to retain the position.

“I’ve had to do quite a bit of overtaking this weekend,” commented York. Yesterday was my first British F4 race and it’s been going really well. I didn’t get a great start today, but I made up for it later the race.

“It was exciting to be battling with proven race winners like Alex Quinn and Jamie Caroline. The aim is to be up at the front, racing with them throughout the season.

“The move I pulled off on Alex will be one of many hopefully.”

JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman recorded another points scoring finish ahead of Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb who claimed his first top 10 result, as well as third in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup class. Webb turning the tables on Double R’s Karl Massaad and Daniel Cao who had finished in front of him in round one after a thrilling battle.

Elsewhere, the race saw two retirees in the form of Yves Baltas and Linus Lundqvist, with both aiming to finish the weekend on a high in the final race.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered finale to the weekend will be televised live on ITV4 at 1620. It will see championship leader Jamie Caroline start from pole as he bids to extend his early points lead.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 2 Brands Hatch Indy 2 April 2017
26 laps / 31.40 miles
1 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 20m 31.522s / 91.80mph
2 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +4.960s
3 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +6.022s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +7.857s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +12.169s
6 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +12.759s
7 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +12.921s
8 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +13.675s
9 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +13.971s
10 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +14.031s etc.

Fastest lap: Pasma 46.663s / 93.19mph

Challenge Cup: 1 Monger; 2 York; 3 Webb

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 35 points; 2 Simmons 31; 3 Pasma 28; =4 Quinn 24; =4 Sargeant 24; =6 Monger 23; =6 Piastri 23; =8 York 6, =8 Sulaiman 6; =10 Massaad 1, =10 Webb 1 etc.

Full times