Super eight for Caroline at Oulton Park

  • Flawless lights-to-flag victory for championship leader Caroline.
  • Quinn and Lundqvist complete podium.
  • Maiden Ford F4 Challenge Cup win for Harry Webb and Richardson Racing.

20 MAY, 2017 – Jamie Caroline rocketed off the line from pole position and never looked back at a drying Oulton Park circuit in round 10 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. In doing so the Carlin ace increased his victory tally to eight for the campaign, equalling the record for number of wins in a season which belonged to 2015 champion Lando Norris who also set the benchmark with Trevor Carlin’s outfit.

TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn was in hot pursuit of Caroline throughout the race having got the better of Carlin’s Logan Sargeant at the start along with Linus Lundqvist (Double R Racing) and Patrik Pasma (Carlin).

Caroline wasted no time in the opening laps, building up a gap of several seconds and despite Quinn’s strong pace he managed to maintain the advantage on the way to the chequered flag.

“I know Alex is good in the wet so I tried to build a gap, but he picked the pace up as the race progressed,” said Caroline. “I saw the gap coming down a little bit at one point so I pushed again to get the gap back up, controlling the race. When you can do that you know you’re pretty much home and dry.

“It’s great to go level with Lando for number of wins in a season. Hopefully we can go one better than him in the next race and there is plenty more opportunity for more wins later this season.

“It’s important to take things one race at a time though. Anything can happen. That’s especially the case in the reverse grid race when I want to keep my nose clean. Hopefully I can get a good start in the next race and stay out of trouble to pick up some good points for the title bid.

“It’s all going to plan so far and I’ve got Billy [Monger] cheering me on so I want to do it for him.”

Added Quinn: “It’s nice to be on the podium. Jamie and I were very similar in terms of pace. We were quick in different parts of the track though. I was quick in the technical parts of the track, but not quite as quick in the faster parts.

“The race was challenging with wet and dry conditions. It was a fun race to drive and I’m happy with the podium.

“I was trying to cool the tyres down at the end, looking for the damp patches on the circuit. I saw Linus was catching me. He was very quick towards the end whereas we were very quick at the beginning.”

In addition to Sargeant, Lundqvist leapt past Piastri at the start to earn himself third and was rapid in the closing stages rattling off consecutive fastest laps to close in on Quinn.

“The Double R Racing guys did a brilliant job getting the car setup exactly how I wanted it for the wet conditions,” said Lundqvist.

“At the beginning I was very careful, just trying to get a feel for things because the last time we drove around here in the wet was in February.

“The tyres came to me towards the end. I managed the tyres really well. I thought second place might be on, but it was just a little too far away this time.”

While another podium finish eluded Pasma he did brilliantly to withstand pressure from team-mate Sargeant to come out on top in the intra-team battle for fourth.

Arguably the most thrilling battle was the duel between Piastri and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb. The latter opportunistically made up two places on the opening lap and hustled Piastri for a large part of the race, jinking from left to right trying to force the Aussie to make a mistake. Piastri was resolute in his defence however and did well to keep Webb at bay; putting daylight between them in the closing laps.

Seventh place for Webb ensured his 10th consecutive points score of the season and his first Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of the campaign, allowing him to close down the gap to Oliver York in the class standings.

Commented Webb: “It’s great to get this win in the class. It was a fun race and I’m really enjoying racing in British F4. We didn’t quite have the pace at the end to get past Piastri, but at the start we did well especially considering I’ve not had any experience in the car around Oulton Park prior to this weekend.

“In the wet the car felt really good. I just didn’t quite have the same confidence in the car as the track dried, but that will come as I get more experience.”

Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) was another fast starter, making up a couple of places, but contact early on with Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) meant both drivers were left with an uphill battle.

A nosecone change for Simmons put him completely out of contention, meanwhile York did well to fight his way back into the points before the chequer. A move around the outside of Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), who had been running as high as ninth, on the way into Hislops the highlight.

Ninth place went the way of Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) behind Karl Massaad (Double R Racing), having been embroiled in an entertaining duel with Sharp in the first half of the race, while Daniel Cao (Double R Racing) just missed out on a point in 11th.

Jacky Liu made a storming start for GW Motorsport. He broke into the points on the opening lap, having climbed five places. However, his charge came to an abrupt end after going straight on at Lodge Corner and into the gravel trap.

Delays to the schedule at Oulton Park meant that round 11 of the F4 British Championship was postponed. The race will start at 1405 tomorrow and be broadcast live on ITV4 with Oscar Piastri starting from the reverse grid pole. The date and time at which round 12 will take place will be confirmed in due course.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 10 Oulton Park 20 May 2017
13 laps / 28.93 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 41.984s / 83.87mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +3.833s
3 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +5.200s
4 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +10.041s
5 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +10.672s
6 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +14.011s
7 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +18.011s.
8 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +34.981
9 Lucas Alecco ROY / GER / Carlin +36.005s
10 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +39.885s etc.

Fastest lap: Lundqvist 1m 33.561s / 85.65mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Webb; 2 York

Grid for round 11: Piastri – Sargeant – Pasma – Lundqvist – Quinn – Caroline – Webb – Massaad – Roy – York etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 210 points; 2 Piastri 107; =3 Pasma 87; =3 Sargeant 87; 5 Lundqvist 85.5; 6 Quinn 84; 7 York 79.5; 8 Simmons 63.5; 9 Monger 44; 10 Webb 35 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 York 202.5 points; 2 Webb 166; 3 Monger 100; 4 Ericsson 34.5

Full times