- Hauger and Hoggard share testing spoils.
- Ginetta Junior graduates Jewiss and Priaulx continue to impress.
14 MARCH, 2018 – Dennis Hauger set the quickest time in yesterday’s official pre-season test for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
14-year-old Hauger completed a superb testing performance around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire circuit for Arden, climbing to the top of the times with a 1m 18.547s lap with less than an hour of the test remaining.
It put the Red Bull Junior Team driver 0.044s clear of morning pacesetter Johnathan Hoggard, who pumped in a time of 1m 18.591s just before the lunch break.
“Today has been a really good,” said Hauger. “I really enjoy driving around this circuit and I’m looking forward to coming back here to race in August.
“To set the fastest lap was fantastic, especially now there is not long until the first race. We only have one more test before the start of the season so it’s great to see that the pace is there.
“We have worked very hard to find a setup that enables us to produce consistently quick lap times, while looking after the tyres. I think we have found it and that’s going to prove so important for the races.
“This is only my first year racing in cars so to have test days like today when there are a mix of track conditions really helps with the learning process. The track started off quite wet and then dried out. That gives you the chance to improve your understanding of how the car behaves in different conditions.”
Said morning pacesetter Hoggard: “It’s been a really positive test for us with P1 in the morning and top three in afternoon.
“Compared to last year I’ve had a lot more time to prepare and really focus on what I’m doing. Everything feels more natural. There is still room for improvement, but I’ve come a long way since last season and I’m feeling much stronger.
“There’s some more work we need to do back at base and on the simulator to be completely ready, but we’ll get there in time for the start of the season.
“The winter break was a great opportunity to recharge the batteries, but it’s brilliant to be back behind the wheel on days like today to showcase the excellent pace we have.”
It was another impressive showing from Kiern Jewiss who arrived having set the pace in the first official pre-season test at Brands Hatch last month. The Double R driver finished second quickest in both the morning and afternoon sessions. His best lap of 1m 18.758s came in the afternoon and was just over two tenths shy of Hauger.
Behind Jewiss on the timesheet could be found fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) who completed the leading quartet of drivers capable of breaking the 1m 19s barrier.
2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion Hampus Ericsson looked assured out on track, completing a comprehensive programme for Fortec Motorsports and improved upon his morning’s best time by over half a second in the afternoon.
The experienced Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) came to the fore when conditions were at their most difficult during the initial morning’s running. It saw the field having to contend with a very damp circuit and called for the use of Hankook’s wet tyres. A solid day’s work followed for the British F4 race winner on the way to sixth in the combined classification.
Patrik Pasma and Jack Doohan ensured that all four Arden-prepared cars were inside the top 10. The latter completing a mammoth 133 laps – more than any other driver.
The Double R duo of Paavo Tonteri and Sebastian Alvarez sandwiched 10th place man Lucca Allen on the combined classification. Allen finding plenty of room for improvement between the two sessions, much like team-mate Ericsson.
Manuel Sulaiman and Jamie Sharp completed less laps than they would have liked. Their running was limited due to an off and a technical gremlin respectively, while Sulaiman’s JHR Developments team-mate Josh Skelton wound up 14th.
Ford’s young stars are back in action in just seven days, with the next official pre-season test taking place at Snetterton on Wednesday 21 March. All roads then lead to the season opener at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April.
Testing times Rockingham, 13 March, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:18.976 / 1:18.547
2 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:18.591 / 1:18.776
3 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:18.862 / 1:18.758
4 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:19.063 / 1:18.953
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:19.694 / 1:19.089
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:19.217 / 1:19.098
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:19.337 / 1:19.239
8 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:19.267 / 1:19.269
9 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:19.330 / 1:19.310
10 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec 1:20.137 / 1:19.383 etc.