- Simmons closes gap to Jewiss with fourth win of the year
- Priaulx and Pasma round out podium places
- Wet conditions lead to dramatic second race
26 August 2018 – Ayrton Simmons closed the gap to points leader Kiern Jewiss with victory in the second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Knockhill.
With rain having arrived overnight, challenging conditions greeted the drivers when the race kicked off with Simmons (JHR Developments) able to lead from start-to-finish to wrap up a fourth victory of the campaign having started on pole.
It was a win that allowed Simmons to claw back some ground in the points standings after Jewiss had to settle for a second fourth place finish of the weekend.
“I’m really pleased,” Simmons said. “We weren’t that quick in the wet on Friday so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the team gave me the best car I’ve ever had in the wet and that made life easy for me.
“I had the advantage of the best visibility but it was tricky at times to lead the way as you never know where the grip will be but it was okay once I got into a rhythm. It’s good points in the championship with Kiern having opened up a bit of a gap, and we’ll give it our best to try and outscore him again in race three.”
Simmons was able to retain his place at the head of the field when the lights went out at the start before the safety car was deployed when Josh Skelton (JHR) slid off into the gravel and got beached at Clarks on lap two.
The same lap would also see race one winner Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec) forced out when he lost the rear of his car under braking into the hairpin and slid into Dennis Hauger’s Arden-run machine. It left Hoggard with damaged suspension and meant Hauger had to return to the pits to have a new nose fitted to his car.
Before the race was able to resume, Paavo Tonteri (Double R) was added to the list of retirements when his car ground to a halt on track, with the action finally getting back underway with just under ten minutes of racing left to run.
Simmons made the ideal restart to get the jump on the chasing pack with Seb Priaulx (Arden) attempting to give chase behind, with the fight for third between Jewiss (Double R) and Patrik Pasma (Arden) grabbing the attention of fans watching trackside.
That gave Priaulx some breathing space as he wrapped up second place despite struggling with visibility throughout the race.
“Second is good but I’m a bit disappointed at the same time that we couldn’t challenge for the win,” he said. “I had an issue with my visor steaming up and couldn’t see properly which was unfortunate. Credit to Ayrton though, he drove well.”
The battle for third would ultimately be decided when Jewiss ran slightly wide at Clarks, giving Pasma a run up the inside on the way into the hairpin as the Finn took third spot.
Jack Doohan (Arden) attempted to follow him through but slight contact with Jewiss as he turned into the corner would tip the Australian into a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field.
Whilst Pasma secured the final place on the podium, Jewiss repeated his race one result with fourth despite the best efforts of a recovering Hauger in the closing laps.
The Norwegian driver would close right up to the points leader but then clipped the kerb and lost momentum at the chicane on the final lap, which gave Jewiss some breathing space through the final corner. Fifth for Hauger still allowed him to take rookie honours.
“It’s not what we wanted as we were quick in the wet and wanted to fight for a podium but it isn’t too bad considering I had to pit for a new wing,” he said. “I had to battle my way through the pack and I hope we can have a more straightforward race three.”
Manuel Sulaiman (JHR) took sixth spot after fighting his way ahead of Sebastian Alvarez at the hairpin in the closing laps, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) taking eighth having lost ground when he ran wide through the gravel at the chicane whilst fighting in the pack. Doohan completed the nine finishers following his spin.
Race three gets underway live on ITV4 at 1620.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 23, 26 August, 2018
1 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 20m 32.093s / 66.63mph
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +5.126s
3 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +7.097s
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +10.416s
5 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +10.895s
6 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +16.351s
7 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +20.828s
8 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +22.874s
9 Jack DOOHAN / AUD / Arden +27.565s
Simmons 56.288s / 81.03mph
1 Hauger 2 Alvarez 3 Doohan
Round 24 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Hoggard – Pasma – Doohan – Jewiss – Priaulx – Hauger – Simmons – Tonteri – Sulaiman – Skelton etc
Provisional championship standings
1 Jewiss 343 points; 2 Simmons 307; 3 Hauger 271; 4 Doohan 251; 5 Pasma 221; 6 Priaulx 214; 7 Tonteri 213; 8 Hoggard 198; 9 Skelton 77; 10 Sulaiman 68 etc.
Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 407 points; 2 Hauger 406; 3 Tonteri 354; 4 Skelton 290; 5 Alvarez 227