Simmons strikes again with Ford EcoBoost-powered win at Brands Hatch

  • Simmons makes it two wins from three in final race of weekend.
  • Jewiss stars on the podium once again.
  • Tonteri claims maiden podium and Rookie class win.

8 APRIL, 2018 – Ayrton Simmons and JHR Developments made it two wins from three at Brands Hatch in the opening weekend of the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

Having already bagged a win and a second place finish, Simmons was out to convert pole into victory in the ITV4 live-televised race. The Epping racer duly delivered, but victory looked far from certain in the opening exchanges.

Wheelspin on a damp track at the start for Simmons left him under attack from Dennis Hauger (Arden) and Kiern Jewiss (Double R Racing). There was nothing to separate them through turn one and into Druids, but it was Jewiss who got the best exit on the run down to Graham Hill Bend to take the lead.

It was short-lived however. Jewiss got out of shape at McLaren on lap two, promoting Simmons back into the lead and Hauger up to second.

Back in the lead Simmons once again proved impassable out front, just as he had done in race one.

An attack from Hauger into Paddock Hill Bend came after a Safety Car restart, but it was Hauger who came off worse. The Norwegian locked a wheel and ran through the gravel, resulting in him plummeting down the order.

“It was tricky out there,” said Simmons. “There were plenty of damp patches out on track.

“I got on the wet kerb on the exit of turn two and that lit the rear tyres up which gave the guys behind the opportunity to attempt to pass.

“I said yesterday was the best day I had ever had in motorsport and now I would have to say it’s been the best weekend.

“This is a great springboard for the rest of the season. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going.”

Added a jubilant JHR Developments team principal Steven Hunter: “It’s been an exceptional start to the season for the team.

“Ayrton performed faultlessly and he’s certainly showing he’s got the potential to be a future champion.

“Ayrton has been in a very positive frame of mind throughout the weekend and decisions made by the engineering staff have been spot on. They’ve done a fabulous job with the car.

“We also showed our strength with Josh Skelton who was one of the quickest drivers out on track despite the fact he has very little experience.

“This is the only championship we haven’t won on the TOCA package so hopefully it will go our way this year!”

Commented runner-up Jewiss: “Unfortunately a little mistake cost me today, but you live and learn. It’s only my first weekend in British F4 and it’s certainly not been a bad one!

“Two second places and a fourth place means a great haul of championship points, with a long way to go this season.

“Ayrton probably had the legs on everyone this weekend. I gave it my all, but I didn’t have enough life left in the tyres today.

“Overall it’s been a brilliant weekend. I’ve really enjoyed my single-seater debut so huge thanks to the F4 British Championship organisers and to Ford. I cannot wait for the next race!”

Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing) capitalised on rookie rival Dennis Hauger’s misfortune to take the final podium spot, as well as his first Rookie class win of the season in only his third single-seater race.

“I’m really happy to be on the podium today and I’m looking forward to scoring plenty more points in the next rounds,” said Tonteri.

“It’s been a long winter and we’ve done some really good testing, getting me up to speed. I feel really good in the car and ready to do well.

“Getting the tyres up to temperature as quickly as possible and finding the limit without going over the limit was key today.

“I’m really proud to fly the flag for Finland, especially in front of the huge crowds that come to watch the British F4 races.”

Race two winner Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) came home fourth to add another valuable points haul to his tally to retain second position in the standings.

Behind Priaulx, Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) achieved the best result of his fledgling car racing career in fifth. The 17-year-old showcased excellent pace and also took to the podium courtesy of second in the Rookie class.

It was a welcome return to the top-10 for 2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion Hampus Ericsson. The Fortec Motorsports driver scored just a single point yesterday; sixth place acting as some consolation following a difficult weekend.

His team-mate Lucca Allen looked set for a point score too, but a coming together with Double R Racing’s Sebastian Alvarez midway through proceedings saw the race come to a halt for both drivers and the Safety Car deployed.

Jewiss wasn’t the only driver to get caught out by the tricky conditions due to rain failing ahead of the race. The opening lap saw Patrik Pasma, Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) and Jack Doohan make off-track excursions.

Doohan and Pasma did well to battle back into points paying positions, finishing seventh and eighth respectively ahead of Arden team-mate Hauger, as well as Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Johnathan Hoogard (Fortec Motorsports).

Sharp and Hoggard had been involved in an entertaining battle in the latter stages of the race, the pair running as high as seventh and eighth. However, both went off the track and re-joined in quick succession at Clearways, ultimately costing them several places.

Simmons leaves Brands Hatch with a 19 point lead in the standings over race two winner Priaulx, with Jewiss just one point further back in third. The Ford EcoBoost-powered field is now set to battle it out on track at Donington Park on 28/29 April.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 3 Brands Hatch Indy, 8 April, 2018
23 laps / 27.78 miles
1 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 20m 45.329s / 80.31 mph
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +0.922s
3 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R +1.454s
4 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +2.163s
5 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR +5.329s
6 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +7.323s
7 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden +8.482s
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +9.122s
9 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +9.371s
10 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +14.955s etc.

Fastest lap: Simmons 46.872s / 92.77 mph

Rookie class: 1 Tonteri, 2 Skelton, 3 Doohan, 4 Hauger

Provisional championship standings
1 Simmons 68 points; 2 Priaulx 49; 3 Jewiss 48; 4 Tonteri 25; =5 Hauger 23; =5 Doohan 23; =7 Hoggard 18; =7 Pasma 18; 9 Skelton 10; 10 Ericsson 9 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
=1 Hauger 55 points; =1 Doohan 55; =3 Tonteri 43; =3 Skelton 43; 5 Alvarez 12

Full results