TEAM NEWS: Triple top ten for Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb as British F4 season hits half-way

Supplied by team’s PR. 

14 JUNE, 2017 – Harry Webb secured another three top ten finishes as the F4 British Championship Certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost reached the half way stage at Croft.

The Richardson Racing driver made the long trip to North Yorkshire from his Norfolk home eager to build on a solid weekend at Oulton Park, where he secured a brace of victories in the series’ new Ford F4 Challenge Cup.

Qualifying in wet conditions saw Webb secure ninth on the grid, with an impressive opening lap seeing him vault up to fifth when the first race kicked off.

Having climbed into the top four after an early Safety Car period, Harry looked well placed to push towards the podium positions before a small, uncharacteristic mistake meant he lost places on the grass on lap seven. Despite that, he was able to maintain his position as best of the Challenge Cup drivers en-route to seventh place.

A solid eighth place finish then followed in the second race of the weekend, which took place in dry conditions on Sunday, despite the fact that Webb was hit in the rear by one of his on-track rivals.

A tenth place finish in race three then ensured Webb heads into the summer break having moved up to ninth in the championship standings.

Three more Challenge Cup podiums – making it 14 from 14 races – means Webb maintains second place amongst the Challenge Cup racers at the half-way point of the season.

“It’s been a bit of a mixed weekend, but we’ve been able to stay in touch in the Challenge Cup standings and have also moved up a position in the overall championship,” he said. “When it was wet on Saturday, we were really strong and I think that was reflected in the performance in race one.

“I got a really good start to make up places and it’s unfortunate that I made a small mistake that saw me slip back as we were on for a really good result.

“In the dry conditions on Sunday, we didn’t quite have the same pace in the car so I just tried to make sure that I stayed out of trouble and picked up more points for the championship to maintain my position.”

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline retains half time lead despite tough F4 outing at Croft

Supplied by driver’s PR.

13 JUNE, 2017 – Jamie Caroline retained his healthy lead in the F4 British Championship Certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost despite a challenging weekend on track at Croft.

Pirtek Racing’s rising star went into the fifth meeting of the season on the back foot as a result of a ten place grid penalty handed out for an incident at Oulton Park in round four, which meant he started the opening race of the weekend from twelfth on the grid.

As has become the norm, Caroline rapidly made up places when the race got underway to sit sixth after lap one, and he would continue to race his way forwards to finish just off the podium in fourth.

Another solid start in race two saw Caroline move up to second place but after an early Safety Car period, he saw himself shuffled back to sixth.

Undeterred, Caroline worked his way back to fourth spot but a clash with Ayrton Simmons at Tower three laps from the end saw him slip back to seventh by the finish.

A technical problem in race three prevented Caroline from pushing for what would have been a record-breaking ninth win of the season although more solid points for fifth place means he retains a 67.5 point lead in the standings going into the summer break.

“The penalty going into the weekend was always going to make it more difficult, but things just didn’t go our way,” he said. “The team did a fantastic job to prepare the car for the weekend after the incident at Oulton Park and I was hoping to bring home some strong results for them.

“Fourth wasn’t a bad result in race one from where we started but I was frustrated that things just went against us. Race three was tough because there was a technical problem that meant we didn’t have the pace in the car, but we’ve scored in all three races and maintained the points lead.

“The aim now is to consolidate that lead when we get to Snetterton after the summer break.”

TEAM NEWS: Faultless performance from Lundqvist in wet and dry secures memorable double win for Double R at Croft

Supplied by team’s PR. 

•    British F4 racer Linus Lundqvist takes two supreme victories.
•    Double R driver rapid in both wet and dry conditions at Croft.
•    Karl Massaad close to podium return in last race of F4 weekend.

12 JUNE, 2017 – Rapid F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost driver Linus Lundqvist delivered a series of star performances at Croft in North Yorkshire over the weekend, 10th/11th June, securing two magnificent victories for Double R Racing in rounds 13 and 15.

At a track where the Woking team has always had an excellent set-up in any formula, Lundqvist backed up his timesheet-topping efforts in testing with pole position for the first and third races and he converted both into superb wins – moving the Swede into third in the championship.

Lebanese team-mate Karl Massaad only just missed out on a podium return in the final encounter of the weekend, taking a best finish of fourth place, while Chinese racer Daniel Cao took his only finish in race three after two unfortunate retirements in the opening two contests.

“It’s fantastic for Linus to take two wins”, said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt. “Our set-up for Croft has always been good, we always have a great car there, so we take great delight in doing so well this weekend – Linus was the pace-setter throughout and did an outstanding job.

“Karl had a terrific recovery in the third race after an unfortunate collision in the second one, he raced very strongly and to be in the fight with the podium contenders was fantastic and where we know he can be on a regular basis. It wasn’t the strongest weekend of the season for Daniel but, overall, we’re delighted with the team performance.”

Lundqvist certainly started the Croft weekend as he intended to go on, lapping fastest in pre-event testing and then going on to set the quickest and second quickest laps in a highly competitive, rain-hit qualifying session on Saturday to secure pole position for the first and third races of the event.

Continuing drizzle into the afternoon meant Round 13, would also take place on a wet track and Lundqvist made an outstanding start. Storming into a lead of two seconds on lap one alone, racing then fell under Safety Car conditions due to an unfortunate incident for team-mate Massaad who was pitched into a spin at Tower Bend, having started sixth. He retired with damage soon after.

At the resumption on lap five Lundqvist made a textbook re-start and went on to control the race from the front, reeling off a series of fastest laps – a best of 1m 30.761s – before taking the flag on lap 12 an incredible 6.7 seconds clear. Team-mate Cao, meanwhile, experienced misfortune like Massaad after an excursion when the Safety Car was on track, while running in the top 10.

Starting the dry 14th round on Sunday from sixth on the partially reversed grid, Lundqvist got away from the line cleanly and managed to climb into fifth on the opening tour. Massaad and Cao started the contest from 13th and 15th respectively but the latter’s race came to an early conclusion in the gravel at the first corner – triggering the deployment of the Safety Car.

Racing resumed on lap four and Lundqvist quickly moved up into the top four before challenging for the podium. After running wide at Tower on lap six, he was edged back to sixth and then seventh soon after but battled back into fourth before the race was red flagged on lap 12 when Massaad was involved in a tangle at Tower while battling inside the top 10.

Normal service was resumed for Lundqvist in round 15 as he again dominated, opening up a one second lead from pole position at the start and going on to take the chequered flag on lap 15 almost six seconds clear with a phenomenal drive. He also posted the fastest lap by some margin, a time of 1m 21.444s (93.93mph).

Massaad made amends for his earlier disappointment with a great drive to fourth, his second best result of the season. Starting fifth on the grid after a strong run in qualifying, he moved into fourth on lap five and was just 1.4 seconds shy of the podium at the chequered flag – he also set the third fastest race lap. Cao, meanwhile, started 11th on the grid and went on to finish in 15th position.

British F4 now enters a summer break with the next rounds at Snetterton on 29th/30th July.

F4 British Championship standings 
3rd Linus Lundqvist, 152.5pts; 10th Karl Massaad, 46pts; 14th Daniel Cao, 7pts

DRIVER NEWS: Linus Lundqvist doubles up with commanding Croft victories

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

12 JUNE, 2017 – Linus Lundqvist mastered changeable conditions on his way to an important set of victories in the fifth meeting of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign, leaping to third in the overall standings going into the summer break.

Lundqvist produced a dominant showing throughout three days of mixed weather at Croft Circuit, winning two out of the weekend’s three races; one in rain, one in the dry. To underline his pace, the 18-year-old Double R Racing rookie also set the fastest lap of both races by a considerable margin.

“What a fantastic weekend,” said an elated Lundqvist. “I had a feeling we would be strong here, but this was more than we could have expected. I’ve really enjoyed driving the car all weekend and have been able to push it right from the beginning, regardless of the weather. This means a lot to myself and to everyone at Double R Racing. I’m so happy for the guys!”

Lundqvist was on top form from the start of running on Friday, leading the way in both free practice sessions. The Swede then carried the momentum into Saturday’s important qualifying showdown, bagging both pole positions on offer for races one and three.

The reigning Formula STCC Nordic champion went on to control proceedings in the opening race of the weekend, sprinting off to a 6.6-second wet-weather win, and repeated his lights-to-flag performance in Sunday’s concluding Race 3 on a dry track.

Lundqvist’s advantage over the rest of the field was significant at times over the weekend, leaving him a hefty six tenths clear on the fastest lap charts on both of his winning drives.

In Race two, meanwhile – which features a partially reversed grid – Lundqvist leapt from sixth to fourth to add further valuable points to his intensifying championship charge.

The outcome of this weekend now sees Lundqvist slot into third in the overall standings, just 18 points shy of second-placed Australian Oscar Piastri going into the seven-week summer break. The gap to leader Jamie Caroline has been reduced to 85.5 points with 16 races and 400 points still to dispute over the second half of the campaign.

“The weekend I have had is something any driver would call ideal; when the car is just perfect and you can extract so much pace from it,” concluded Lundqvist. “It’s the perfect way to go into the summer break, and I obviously want to carry this momentum into the second half of the season. I’ll be pushing one hundred percent in every session so we can take the fight to the others – it’s all to play for.”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost will resume on 29-30 July at Snetterton.

Caroline the man to beat as British F4 heads to Croft

8 JUNE, 2017 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads to Croft and it’s the familiar face of Jamie Caroline at the top of the standings. The Carlin ace recorded win number eight of the season three weeks ago, equalling 2015 Champion Lando Norris’ record in the FIA certified series. Caroline will aim to go at least one better in North Yorkshire. However, he faces an even sterner test this weekend; carrying a ten-place grid penalty into race one following an on-track incident at Oulton Park.

Caroline’s winning run was halted by TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri. The Aussie is Caroline’s closest challenger in the championship and will seek to make up more ground before the summer break. Piastri’s win came after a thrilling duel with Carlin’s Logan Sargeant whose campaign is now gathering momentum and producing the kind of performances that his pace in pre-season promised.

In a two-day test at Croft just over a fortnight ago Sargeant posted the fastest time. Meanwhile team-mate Patrik Pasma was consistently in the top three on day two and looks a real podium threat. Double R were the stars of day one. Karl Massaad topped the morning session and Linus Lundqvist set the pace in the afternoon. Unsurprising, given that the team have been quick all season and it was at this very track where their fortunes turned in 2016, setting qualifying and lap records on the way to victory.

Hampus Ericsson returns with Fortec Motorsports having made his debut two months ago, pulling off excellent overtakes which belied his relative lack of experience. The Ford F4 Challenge Cup entrant will be joined by Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb who doubled up with class victories at Oulton Park, having been pushed hard by class leader Oliver York (Fortec).

A new addition to the field and the Challenge Cup is TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell who will become the youngest driver to race in British F4, celebrating his 15th birthday on Sunday. Completing the Banbury outfit’s quartet are Alex Quinn and Ayrton Simmons. The latter is one of only four race winners this season, while the former is on the hunt for his first of 2017.

Daniel Cao (Double R) scored a precious point having been involved in a frenetic battle last time out which included Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Jacky Liu (GW Motorsport). Another point scorer was Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin). Expect plenty of fireworks from these drivers as they bid to finish in the top ten.

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing chase strong showing at Croft

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

7 JUNE, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline will look to maintain the strong form that has made him the man to beat in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost when the series heads to Croft this weekend for the fifth meeting of the season.

Caroline has enjoyed a stellar 2017 campaign so far at the wheel of his Carlin-run car, taking eight wins in eleven starts to establish a lead of 90.5 points in the race for the title.

In fact, such has been Jamie’s dominance of the series this season, he has already surpassed his points total from last year – a feat he achieved prior to the last meeting at Oulton Park – whilst his win tally to date has matched the series record achieved by Lando Norris back in 2015.

Caroline has enjoyed success at Croft in the past, with a double victory two years ago playing a key role in him securing the Ginetta Junior Championship crown.

The talented teenager will hope to display front-running pace again this time around, although he will carry a ten-place grid penalty into the opening race of the weekend as a result of the incident at Oulton Park that resulted in his only DNF of the year to date.

“Although Oulton Park didn’t end the way I wanted it to, I’m ready and raring to go this weekend at Croft and can’t wait to get back behind the wheel,” he said. “The boys at Carlin have worked hard to get the Pirtek Racing car back to its best, and the aim now is to reward them with some strong results on track.

“Because I’m carrying the grid penalty into the weekend, the opening race will be tough but I’m someone who likes a challenge! We’ve done a lot of the hard work already this season to build the advantage we have in the points, but I can’t afford to be complacent as the final race at Oulton Park showed how quickly things can change.

“With that in mind, my aim this weekend is to stay out of trouble, bring home three good finishes and consolidate my lead going into the summer break.”

After qualifying on Saturday 10 June at 10.50, the first of three F4 British Championship races will be at 14.45 later that day, with race two at 13.22 and race three at 16.34 on Sunday.

Sunday’s races will feature in ITV4’s extensive BTCC coverage, with live timing and results from the weekend being available at www.tsl-timing.com.

DRIVER NEWS: Linus Lundqvist targets return to winning ways at Croft

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

7 JUNE, 2017 – With summer taking a warm and welcome grip on Europe, the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is approaching half time. The fifth round out of ten takes place this weekend at Croft Circuit not far from Newcastle, and Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist arrives in high spirits as he bids for his second win of the season.

Since romping to victory at Donington Park back in mid-April, 18-year-old Lundqvist has remained a regular frontrunner over the subsequent events, gracing the podium at both Thruxton and Oulton Park.

As the field sets up camp at Croft, however, the Double R Racing rookie is eager to raise the bar further still. A successful day of official testing at Snetterton last week saw Lundqvist top the times by nearly half a second, indicating continued strong form – and now, in the final round before a seven-week summer break, it’s time to reap the rewards of that promise.

“I think that we can, and should, be aiming for victory this weekend,” said Lundqvist. “I know very well just how competitive this championship is and I have the utmost respect for all of my rivals, but I’ve felt for quite a while that we haven’t maximised our full potential. That’s been partly circumstantial, partly down to pure bad luck, and partly down to me. Whatever happens this weekend, I want to know that I did the best job possible and squeezed everything out of whatever performance we have.”

The British F4 field heads to Croft with fresh knowledge of the track, having tested at the venue a couple of weeks ago. Lundqvist, on that occasion, was second quickest.

“Croft is a technical track with a wide variety of corners,” concluded Lundqvist. “It’s got a little bit of everything. You have some really fast turns at the back, a relatively long straight, and a very slow complex towards the end of the lap. It’s actually one of the most enjoyable circuits I’ve driven at. It’s quite narrow and overtaking might prove a bit difficult, but I think we’ll be in for some really good racing this weekend!”

Lundqvist – the reigning Formula STCC Nordic champion – currently holds fifth in the F4 British Championship standings, a mere 5.5 points adrift of third-placed Logan Sargeant (USA) in a close scrap over championship positions.

Caldwell ready to become youngest driver to race in British F4

6 JUNE, 2017 – As far as birthday presents go, competing in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series is probably one of the best. It’s exactly what’s in store for TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell along with cakes and balloons. He celebrates his 15th birthday on Sunday 11 June and therefore becomes eligible to race in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Croft Circuit. In doing so he will make history by becoming the youngest driver to compete in British F4.

Following an international karting career, which brought great success both in the UK and Europe, Caldwell competed in the second half of the Ginetta Junior Championship last year. While waiting patiently on the sidelines so far this season, Caldwell has been hard at work preparing for the challenge of racing against some of motorsport’s most talented junior drivers.

“I’ve been training hard physically, getting ready for my first race,” said Caldwell. “I’m part of the Young Racing Driver Academy and I’ve been working really well with them. I’ve also got a personal trainer who does three sessions with me every week.

“I attended some of the British F4 meetings earlier in the season to develop my understanding and to ensure I know what to expect. I feel prepared for what lies ahead.

“With my birthday on Sunday I’ll miss qualifying and race one on Saturday so I know I’m going start at the back of the grid which takes the pressure off a bit, but I’ll be able to test on Friday which is good.

“So many of the British F4 races this season have been action-packed and it has just made me even more eager to race. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.

“I chose to race in British F4 as opposed to any of the other F4 championships simply because it’s the best. It’s incredibly competitive and it brings the best out of drivers.”

Caldwell’s desire and determination to get behind the wheel has been clear for all to see, including TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “Olli has been desperate to get in the car. He’s seen all his team-mates racing on track and it’s been really hard to keep him away. He’s always in the workshop and his father is always phoning us up to check on progress. Olli is so excited. He’s keen and he’s ready.

“We’ve been doing a lot of simulator work with him as part of his preparation so he can hit the ground running. He certainly knows how to race. We saw that when he raced in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

“He’s been working with Arden and the YRDA for a long time. We helped him throughout karting and he’s gone from strength to strength. He’s a fast learner.”

Caldwell’s rate of progression in the Ford EcoBoost-powered racer has been impressive. Despite having less seat time than many of his rivals, the youngster from Stockbridge, Hampshire was frequently found in the top 10 on the timesheets during the recent official organised test days at Croft and Snetterton.

Caldwell is entered into the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. It sees drivers contest a maximum of seven meetings for a share of a £10,000 prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company and free entry to the overall championship in 2018 worth £15,000.

“Olli’s arrival is certainly going to make the Ford F4 Challenge Cup even more interesting,” said Bloomfield. “It’s going to be tough to win it because he can only contest six meetings due to the timing of his birthday. It means he’s already lost one seventh of his point scoring opportunities in comparison to his rivals, but I’m hopeful he can still come out on top.

“Although experience isn’t necessarily on his side, coming into the championship at pretty much the halfway point, we’re going to give him every chance to be successful. We’ve got a strong team, a good car and a lot of talented people around him.”

When asked about his ambitions for this season Caldwell is focused on two things, the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and his family who have been with him every step of the way.

“Everyone in my family is really excited about my debut,” he said. “They’ve supported me throughout my career, all the way through karting. In many ways this is more than just my journey. It’s a family journey which makes it even more special. I want to make them proud.

“I hope we can take the fight to the other drivers in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. Oliver York currently tops the standings and he’s been driving so well. It will be tough, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

DRIVER NEWS: Challenging weekend for Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing

Supplied by driver’s PR

22 JUNE, 2016 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline endured a challenging weekend as the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford reached the half way stage at Croft, with his undoubted speed not reflected in the end results.

The fifth meeting of the year marked the start of Jamie’s relationship with the Fortec Motorsport team, with the 17-year-old having made the move to the multiple single-seater champions ahead of the weekend.

Qualifying around the high-speed North Yorkshire circuit saw Jamie post the 13th quickest time, but a customary storming start in the opening race of the weekend saw him rocket up the order to seventh before the end of the first lap.

Jamie would hold the place through to the closing laps when a Safety Car period bunched up the field, and then on the final lap, he battled hard to make up two places and cross the line in fifth.

That result put Jamie on pole position for race two but he lost out on the lead to rival Devlin DeFrancesco on the run to turn one to slip down to second place. Eager to reclaim the position, Jamie saw the opportunity to make a move for the lead later in the lap, but having gone down the inside at Sunny, the teenager was left with nowhere to go when DeFrancesco suddenly moved over with the resultant contact putting him out of the race on the spot.

From 14th on the grid for race three, Jamie was once again a man on a mission on the opening lap as he rocketed up the order to sixth place, and then moved ahead of Sennan Fielding to take fifth on lap two.

Jamie would then follow team-mate Alex Quinn all the way to the flag to secure a second top six finish of the weekend only to be handed a 10.5 second penalty post-race for cutting over the first chicane on lap one – demoting him back to eighth spot.

While Jamie ends the weekend having slipped a place to ninth in the standings, he has still closed the gap on the top seven in the standings heading into the summer break, with racing now resuming at Snetterton at the end of July.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t push for the podium positions on my debut with Fortec as that was the aim, but I was on the back foot after a difficult qualifying session,” he said. “I recovered well from that to score some good points in race one and I think we definitely had a car that was good enough to win in race two.

“Sadly, when I made the move to retake the lead, the guy ahead decided he was going to turn in and there was nowhere for me to go when I was already alongside him and committed to the move. It’s frustrating as that could have been the win I’ve been chasing.

“The car was better in race three than the end result shows because of the penalty but, even though I’d hoped for more this weekend, our performance and pace in the races shows that we can challenge at the front in the second half of the year.”

DRIVER NEWS: James Pull picks up more points in F4 British Championship title race

Supplied by driver’s PR

21 JUNE, 2016 – James Pull picked up more precious points at Croft to stay in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford title hunt. The 16-year-old raced brilliantly to remain third in the overall standings.

After turning on the pace during testing once again, he staged impressive comebacks to finish fifth, sixth and eighth on a track notoriously difficult to overtake on.

And the ADD Motorsports-supported racer was delighted to have done more than enough to keep him in the battle for the title at the half-way stage of the Championship.

He said: “I’m third at the half way stage and right in the mix for the title.

“We know the pace is there and my decisions and driving have been really good.

“I was hit by another driver in the first race and the car was badly damaged, but I never come in if I can still get the car around the track as anything can happen.  In this instance, I got the car back from 15th to eighth so I’m happy to pick up the points for that.

“I was also happy with my race in the wet. It was very difficult to see anything starting from 11th but I managed my way through the spray up to 6th for a good end to the weekend.”

James took to Croft quickly, finishing with the third fastest lap overall in testing.

But the English driver, born in Singapore, now living in Herts, had an issue in qualifying that saw him finishing in ninth and 11th.

Race one got off to the worst possible start after the teen was hit by another driver at the last corner of lap one, leaving him back in 15th.

However, he fought back brilliantly, expertly overtaking two drivers on the final lap to finish in eighth.

He started in eighth on the reverse grid of race two, again showing some clever overtaking moves to gain three positions and finish fifth by the end.

But it was in the wet of the third race that James put on his best performance.

Starting in 11th, he managed to make up five places through the race to finish in sixth.

It leaves James in third in the standings and just 11 points off second, with a six-week break to the next race – enabling him to finish his exams and recharge his batteries.

He added: “I’m driving well, but know I could still do better.

“We have six weeks off now giving us a chance to work on things and hopefully I’ll come back even stronger.”