2019 F4 British Championship calendar announced

13 JUNE, 2018 – The provisional calendar for the 2019 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost has been announced. The UK’s leading junior single-seater series will once again visit the country’s finest race circuits. For the first time since its inception it will visit Thruxton, the UK’s fastest race circuit, on two occasions with Rockingham dropping off the roster.

The Indy circuit of Brands Hatch remains the curtain-raiser on 6/7 April, followed by Donington Park three weeks later. The first of the season’s meetings at Thruxton will take place on 18/19 May.

Oulton Park and Croft have swapped places in the schedule. The latter will provide the stage for motorsport’s future stars on 15/16 June, a fortnight prior to visiting Oulton Park.

The season recommences at Snetterton five weeks later at the beginning of August, before the field heads to Thruxton for the second time in 2019.

The F4 British Championship will then make its annual pilgrimage north of the border to Knockhill. Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, is the next on the cards, with the season finale set to take place at the GP configuration of Brands Hatch on 12/13 October.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost will be contested over 30 races in 2019 as the sole single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the live televised British Touring Car Championship.

It will see some of motorsport’s brightest young talents compete for the prestigious title of FIA British Formula 4 Champion and coveted Super Licence points to enable their progression up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

2019 Provisional Calendar

Rounds           Date                                          Circuit, County
1,2,3                Sat 6/Sun 7 April                         Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
4,5,6                Sat 27/Sun 28 April                      Donington Park, Leics
7,8,9                Sat 18/Sun 19 May                      Thruxton, Hampshire
10,11,12           Sat 15/Sun 16 June                     Croft, North Yorkshire
13,14,15           Sat 29/Sun 30 June                     Oulton Park, Cheshire
16,17,18           Sat 3/Sun 4 August                     Snetterton, Norfolk
19,20,21           Sat 17/Sun 18 August                  Thruxton, Hampshire
22,23,24           Sat 14/Sun 15 September             Knockhill, Fife
25,26,27           Sat 28/Sun 29 September             Silverstone, Northants
28,29,30           Sat 12/Sun 13 October                 Brands Hatch (Grand Prix), Kent

2018 British F4 season preview: Ford’s winning formula continues

5 APRIL, 2018 – The winning formula continues for the 2018 instalment of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with the season getting underway at Brands Hatch this weekend.

2017 saw a rich crop of talent provide an abundance of scintillating wheel-to-wheel action in what was Ford’s 50th consecutive year at the forefront of junior single-seaters. Records were broken, boundaries of performance pushed and the bar raised even higher in the only single-seater series in Britain open to 15-year-old drivers.

This year British F4 boasts another top-quality field. It is headed by a four-car entry from Arden which includes the Red Bull Junior Team duo of Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger. Doohan, son of five-time 500cc MotoGP world champion and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, is looking to add more silverware to the family trophy cabinet and Norwegian karting talent Hauger has been rapid in pre-season, topping two official tests.

Flying Finn and podium finisher Patrik Pasma is back for 2018; while the case of “like father, like son” goes even further at Arden as Sebastian Priaulx, son of triple World Touring Car Champion and Ford GT driver Andy Priaulx, embarks upon his maiden single-seater season. Priaulx’s record speaks for itself, having most recently been crowned Ginetta Junior vice-champion with 13 podiums, including seven victories.

Another who has a name synonymous with motor racing is that of Hampus Ericsson, younger brother of F1 driver Marcus. The Fortec Motorsports ace had a stellar rookie season which saw him win the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. Johnathan Hoggard contested a handful of meetings last year and has been flying throughout winter testing. Meanwhile Lucca Allen is no stranger to the series after taking 10 Challenge Cup podiums.

JHR Developments aren’t short of experience either with Manuel Sulaimán and Ayrton Simmons returning. The pair have starred on the podium and the latter tasted victory at Brands Hatch in 2017. They should be major players alongside European karting star Josh Skelton.

Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport also return. 2017 was a learning year, but that didn’t stop Sharp from showing flashes of brilliance on the way to many top-10 finishes.

Priaulx isn’t the only Ginetta Junior driver making the step up to British F4 this year. Rookie champion Kiern Jewiss is targeting the title with Double R Racing. If his pre-season testing performances are anything to go by, he’s sure to be in with a shout having topped the first official pre-season test and been on front-running pace ever since.

Paavo Tonteri and Sebastian Alvarez complete Double R’s line-up. Both are from the Infinity Sports Management stable which guided Max Fewtrell to the 2016 title and both have enviable international karting records.

Return of the Rookie
This year sees the return of the Rookie Cup in place of the Challenge Cup. Drivers who have no previous car racing experience – Alvarez, Doohan, Hauger, Skelton and Tonteri – will have even more to fight for in 2018 as they will be eligible for the Rookie Cup, along with the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

As was the case in 2015 and 2016 when Enaam Ahmed and Alex Quinn took the respective Rookie titles, entry to the Rookie Cup does not bring with it any limits on testing mileage for drivers and the winner will receive free entry to the 2019 F4 British Championship.

The Ford Super Rookie Award is also up for grabs – the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race overall will take home £5,000. Meanwhile the Ford Triple Crown Award is open to all drivers competing in the F4 British Championship and will see the first driver to win all three races in a meeting awarded £10,000.

Experience the thrill of driving in British F4
The British F4 Virtual Reality Experience went down a storm in 2017. The great news is that it’s back for 2018, giving fans the chance to experience what it’s like to be a British F4 driver and immerse themselves in the world of motor racing like never before. The British F4 Virtual Reality Experience Zone will be located at the Ford Race Centre in the support paddock throughout the season.

Never miss the action
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford EcoBoost will again comprise 30 races across 10 events at the UK’s premier race circuits as the sole single-seater support series for the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship. British F4 will play a starring role in front of hundreds of thousands of trackside spectators and millions more watching live and free-to-air on ITV4, ITV Hub and online at itv.com alongside extensive highlights programmes.

Eyes on the prize ahead of 2018 British F4 season

  • Plenty of valuable prizes up for grabs once again, including fully funded FIA Formula 3 European Championship test.
  • Rookie Cup returns in place of Challenge Cup.
  • Free entry to 2019 F4 British Championship for Rookie Cup winner.

22 JANUARY, 2018 – With the 2018 season fast approaching, changes in the prize structure for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost have been confirmed for the upcoming campaign. This year will see the return of the Rookie Cup in place of the Challenge Cup, as well as the usual plethora of valuable prizes available to entrants.

In 2018 the Ford EcoBoost-powered series will once again boast an incredibly desirable array of awards. All of which are fitting for a series which has become renowned for being one of the hardest FIA Formula 4 championships to win.

The prizes reflect Ford’s continued commitment to support young drivers; enabling the next generation of racers to advance to the highest echelons of motorsport. A commitment which has been further underlined by the championship continuing to keep entry and registration fees fixed since its inception in 2015.

Drivers who have no previous car racing experience will have even more to fight for in 2018 as they will be eligible for the Rookie Cup, along with the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

As was the case in 2015 and 2016 when Enaam Ahmed and Alex Quinn took the respective Rookie titles, entry to the Rookie Cup will not bring with it any limits on testing mileage for drivers and the winner will receive free entry to the 2019 F4 British Championship.

F4 British Championship prizes for 2018 include:

  • £10,000 for the first driver to win all three races in a meeting.
  • £5,000 for the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race overall.
  • Most Improved Driver – One set of new Hankook tyres for testing, awarded to the driver with the highest combined improvement from starting grid position in races one and three at each meeting.
  • FIA Formula 3 European Championship Test – A fully funded test for the 2018 FIA British Formula 4 Champion with a leading FIA F3 European team courtesy of series partner and tyre supplier Hankook.
  • FIA Super Licence Points – Awarded to the top seven drivers to enable their progression up the motorsport ladder; helping them fulfil their ambitions of acquiring a Super Licence to compete in Formula 1. 12 points will be awarded to the FIA British Formula 4 Champion; two more than any national Formula 3 Championship.
  • Free Entry to 2019 F4 British Championship – Awarded to the 2018 Rookie Champion.
  • Henry Ford Trophy – Those who compete in the F4 British Championship can use the series as a perfect platform from which to demonstrate extraordinary human endeavour in the field of motorsport and therefore put themselves in contention for the Henry Ford Trophy.
  • Joe Tandy Memorial Award – Awarded to the driver deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season.
  • €1,000 Pole Position Prize – Awarded by Mygale to the team which runs the car that qualifies on pole at each round of the championship. The team will receive a €1,000 credit to be used for the acquisition of parts.
  • Snap-on Business Solutions Prizes – A £300 Snap-on Tools voucher will be given to the championship’s top technician at each round of the series. In addition, the top technician of the year will receive a uniquely customised Snap-on Business Solutions toolbox and tools, worth in excess of £5,000.

Arden come charging out the blocks with Red Bull Juniors Doohan and Hauger confirmed for 2018 British F4 campaign

18 OCTOBER, 2017 – Arden has announced two of its drivers for next year’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with Red Bull Junior Team members Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger to race with the squad.

Having come close to taking the FIA British Formula 4 crown for three consecutive years, Arden has already begun to lay the foundations for its 2018 title bid.

Doohan and Hauger, two of the Red Bull Junior Team’s newest recruits, will make the step up from karting and begin their single-seater careers in the F4 British Championship. A series in which Garry Horner’s team have an enviable record of success.

Most recently, the Banbury outfit took Oscar Piastri to within touching distance of the crown in the 2017 season finale; on the back of a campaign which saw it record eight pole positions and 30 podiums – more than any other team. The team achieved 11 race wins, as well as a dominant 1-2-3 finish at Knockhill. A feat achieved by no other squad in 2017.

Doohan, son of five-time 500cc world champion and motorcycle legend Mick Doohan, has excelled on four wheels in his rise up the karting ranks.

The 14-year-old recently finished third in the CIK-FIA European Championship after becoming the first Australian in a quarter of a century to win a round in series; taking OK Junior class victory in the final round of the season.

More silverware was added to the Doohan family trophy cabinet in 2015 and 2016, when Jack won the Australian Kart Championship in the KA Junior and KA2 classes respectively.

Said Doohan: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Arden team as a Red Bull Junior Driver in the 2018 F4 British Championship. To drive for a team as well-respected and successful as Arden in 2018 is something I could have only dreamt of at the start of 2017 when I arrived in Europe to compete in karts. My experience gained in karts from the age of eight has provided me with a solid foundation, but it’s now time to take my motorsport career to the next level.”

Hauger is bidding to climb up the FIA single-seater pyramid to become Formula 1’s first Norwegian driver. He wasted no time making his mark in the world of karting, which began with his first win aged just eight-years-old.

The talented teenager became the youngest driver to compete in the CIK-FIA European Championship’s Senior OK category in 2017; following a record-breaking 2016 campaign in which he was crowned the youngest ever DKM OKJ German Champion and finished second in the WSK Super Masters.

Commented Hauger: “I really appreciate the opportunity that I have been given with Red Bull and Arden. This is the perfect combination that will give me the best setting to learn and grow as a driver, and to hopefully win races in my first season in single-seaters.

“I have followed Arden in British F4 and they are a very professional and strong team. I also had the pleasure of visiting the team to do some simulator driving. I was made to feel very welcome and they took excellent care of me in a very professional manner during those days. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and opportunity that is coming up.”

Said Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “It’s great to be part of the Red Bull Junior programme again, but also a privilege to be fielding two of the brightest and best from European Karting. Both Hauger and Doohan have been impressive in the CIK-FIA European Championship and CIK-FIA European Junior Championship respectively so they will push each other hard next year.”

Neil Brown Engineering appointed engine support provider for F4 British Championship from 2018

17 OCTOBER, 2017 – Neil Brown Engineering has been appointed engine support provider for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost from 2018 onwards. By securing the services of one of the world’s pre-eminent engine builders, the F4 British Championship has taken another step to maintain its standing as the UK’s leading junior single-seater series.

Neil Brown Engineering will be responsible for the balancing of Ford EcoBoost British F4 engines and provide track support at all races and organised tests. Teams will also benefit from a support network away from the track to enable continual progression and development.

The appointment comes on the back of extensive consultation with F4 British Championship teams; all squads having been actively involved at every stage of the selection process.

Said Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager of Ford Performance Europe: “The F4 British Championship has an exceptional pedigree in technical excellence. It boasts a number of the world’s highest calibre, single-seater teams.

“As part of Ford’s commitment to maintain British F4 as the benchmark FIA Formula 4 series, it is paramount that we continue to provide optimal engine performance and reliability. By having Neil Brown Engineering as engine support provider, the F4 British Championship is well placed to do this in 2018 and beyond.

“This exciting development for the series is the fruition of a close working relationship between Ford and teams in a collaborative process. Neil Brown Engineering’s exceptional capabilities, knowledge and expertise, combined with its proven track record of success made it an outstanding choice for teams.”

Since it was founded in 1973, Neil Brown Engineering has established itself as a renowned engine supplier at the forefront of motor racing in a wide range of categories.

It won its first championships with Ford, when building Capri 3.0 litre Group 1 engines to win three British and European Group 1 titles from 1979. Ford-powered single-seater success followed in Formula Ford 2000 with numerous victories and five championships between 1983 and 1988.

The engine builder secured 10 consecutive British Formula 3 titles from 1996 to 2005, and in 2013 developed a 2.0 litre direct injection engine for the FIA Formula 3 European Championship; the next step on the FIA single-seater pyramid from British F4.

Neil Brown Engineering is no stranger to success in the British Touring Car Championship which stars on the TOCA package alongside British F4, building engines for Team Dynamics and West Surrey Racing. It has helped the outfits win eight drivers’ championships between them, meanwhile achieving more saloon car success in DTM with Audi Motorsport which has yielded seven drivers’ and six constructors’ titles.

“We’re really proud to be the engine support provider for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost,“ said Neil Brown Engineering sales and workshop manager Wayne Mathurin. “It puts us back into the single-seater limelight.

“The series is going from strength to strength thanks to the Ford EcoBoost technology and quality of the wheel-to-wheel racing it produces. As the first step on the FIA single-seater pyramid, the F4 British Championship is a highly prestigious series which has seen an exceptional calibre of drivers come through it and this will only continue in the future.

“We will build strong relationships with the teams, demonstrating the high quality work we’re capable of. We’ve appointed a specific, dedicated project leader to the development of this programme and we will personally visit every team in the coming weeks to begin that crucial relationship building process.

“The teams are going to benefit from a level of customer service which is second to none. The passion to provide an excellent service and to win exists in every member of staff at Neil Brown Engineering.

“Whilst we know that this a single-make championship and therefore all cars are the same, that doesn’t mean to say we stop pushing the parameters. We constantly strive for improvement and performance gains.”

Sodemo Moteur will continue as the homologation partner for all current 1.6 litre turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engines, which are used as the motive power for FIA Formula 4 series around the world.

Ford EcoBoost-powered racers head to Rockingham, but can they catch Caroline?

24 AUGUST, 2017 – Just nine races remain to decide the outcome of this year’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, and who will race away with the title of FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

The first three of those nine outings come this weekend at Rockingham Motor Speedway, where season-long championship leader Jamie Caroline will be battling to defend his 45.5 point lead from his chief rival, Oscar Piastri.

TRS Arden are flying high. They followed up their most successful meeting at Snetterton with a double front row lock out at Knockhill. Piastri took two wins and led home team-mates Alex Quinn and Ayrton Simmons to record a historic 1-2-3.

Caroline put on a fine display of damage limitation a fortnight ago. He returned from Scotland with his championship lead reduced by just one point, helped by taking his 10th win of the campaign.

The 18-year-old will be buoyed further by being granted BRDC Rising Star status earlier this week. Open by invitation only to drivers aged 24 and under seeking to make a career in motorsport, Caroline joins an illustrious club which has seen highly successful graduates, including triple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Carlin team-mate Logan Sargeant is marrying speed with consistency, racking up podium finishes in a similar fashion to a fellow Infinity Sports Management-backed star. A certain 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion, Max Fewtrell.

Linus Lundqvist had a disastrous time in Scotland, taking just 12 points from a possible 100. The Double R ace now has very little to lose and plenty to gain, while Karl Massaad returned to the podium for the first time since May.

Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York scored a breakthrough maiden win, having already starred on numerous occasions this year, and team-mate Hampus Ericsson took two Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins and his first overall podium in Scotland.

GW Motorsport had a breakthrough of their own north of the border. Sam Smelt took his and the team’s first top 10 finish in only his third single-seater race.

Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) made a welcome return to the points, while Lucas Alecco Roy joined his Carlin team-mate Patrik Pasma in the top 10 during the Knockhill weekend.

Elsewhere, Manuel Sulaimán and JHR Developments cruelly saw a hard-earned points score slip through their fingers in the closing stages last time out.

TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell will look to maintain his record of always finishing on the Challenge Cup podium, while Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will want to return to the rostrum after missing out at the last meeting.

British F4 heads north of the border as Ford EcoBoost-powered title race hots up

10 AUGUST, 2017 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads north of the border this weekend (12/13 August) to provide plenty of single-seater thrills at Knockhill. Championship leader Jamie Caroline arrives having made yet more history a fortnight ago by winning a record nine British F4 races in one season.

The title chase is well and truly on however. TRS Arden had their best weekend in the series last time out, with Oscar Piastri adding two victories to his name to reduce the points gap to Carlin’s Caroline.

Double R’s Linus Lundqvist also reduced his deficit to Caroline, starring on the podium twice. He’s brimming with confidence as he takes to a track which his team have traditionally been very strong at.

Team-mate Karl Massaad will view this weekend as a chance to kick-start the second half of his campaign after a luckless return from the summer break.

Carlin’s Logan Sargeant was locked in a race-long duel with Piastri for the win at Snetterton. The American has been knocking on the door of his maiden victory for some time now and is one to watch as he gives his all to finally stand on the top step.

TRS Arden’s superb Snetterton weekend saw Ayrton Simmons ensure a one-two finish, and Alex Quinn feature on the podium. Meanwhile Olli Caldwell took two Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins. Quinn knows what it takes to win at Knockhill, having done so last season in Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery.

Caldwell was prevented from a hat-trick of Challenge Cup wins by Fortec’s Hampus Ericsson who made use of new tyres and an attacking mindset to snatch class victory.

The battle for Challenge Cup honours is made even more intriguing as Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb returns. A driver with three class wins and 11 podiums.

Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will want to maintain his record of never having finished off the Challenge Cup rostrum.

Jacky Liu returns from single-seater commitments in China. He’s joined at GW Motorsport by Sam Smelt who came tantalisingly close to scoring points on his debut.

Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport had a torrid time in Norfolk. They will be hoping to have left their misfortune behind as they make the journey north from Rochdale.

Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard salvaged a point score on an otherwise frustrating debut, while team-mate Oliver York equalled his best result with a second place finish.

Patrik Pasma didn’t gel with the longest circuit on the calendar. Carlin’s flying Finn will hope for a more successful time in Fife. Team-mate Lucas Alecco Roy will want to follow-up one of his best performances – climbing six places to break into the top 10.

Although Manuel Sulaiman couldn’t convert his first British F4 pole position, he brought home valuable points for JHR and will want more of the same.

Fans are in for a treat this weekend with four races being staged at Knockhill, due to Round 12 of the season not taking place at Oulton Park earlier in the year because of delays in the schedule. With the grid for this race determined by the second fastest times from qualifying at Oulton Park, we go into the weekend with the mouth-watering prospect of championship frontrunners Caroline and Piastri starting from pole and second respectively.

The bumper weekend kicks off with three test sessions tomorrow, followed by qualifying on Saturday at 1130. Race one gets underway at 1430, with lights out for race two (Round 12) at 1710. The single-seater action continues on Sunday with two further races at 1015 and 1540, the latter screened live on ITV4. There’s even more excitement in store for fans with a driver autograph session at 1330 and the British F4 VR Experience in the Ford Race Centre in the support paddock.

Race two (Round 12) grid order – based on second-fastest times from qualifying at Oulton Park 20 May, 2017
Caroline – Piastri – Sargeant – Quinn – Lundqvist – Massaad – Pasma – Simmons – Webb – York – Sharp – Roy – Liu

Ford’s young stars all set for Snett

27 JULY, 2017 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost roars back into life this weekend at Snetterton following the summer break and it’s Carlin’s Jamie Caroline who heads the field. It comes on the back of a stellar first half of the campaign which saw him achieve a record-equalling eight wins in one season.

His margin over the chasing pack is 67.5 points with regular podium fixture Oscar Piastri in second. The TRS Arden racer is hunting Caroline down, with Double R’s Linus Lundqvist in hot pursuit having gone into the summer break on a spectacular high with two emphatic wins at Croft. His team had further reason to celebrate before the holiday, with team-mate Karl Massaad recording a strong fourth place finish.

Alex Quinn also stood on the top step at the last meeting. His first win for Garry Horner’s TRS Arden outfit adding to the three Ford EcoBoost-powered victories he claimed during his successful rookie season in 2016.

Within touching distance of Quinn in the standings are Carlin’s Logan Sargeant and Patrik Pasma. Both have podiums to their name and one senses it’s just a matter of time before they claim maiden victories. Meanwhile team-mate Lucas Alecco Roy will look to join them on the rostrum.

TRS Arden’s quartet is completed by race winner Ayrton Simmons and Olli Caldwell who became the youngest F4 driver in history at Croft, as well as point scorer. Caldwell has been busy during the summer, racking up mileage in the sister Italian and German F4 series and collecting a handful of rookie class podiums along the way.

Oliver York arrives as leading rookie, as well as Ford F4 Challenge Cup driver. However, the Fortec Motorsports charge has set his sights firmly on the overall championship for the remainder of 2017.

Fortec has a full complement of drivers at Snetterton with exciting Swedish youngster Hampus Ericsson, British karting ace Johnathan Hoggard and Mexican starlet Alexandra Mohnhaupt taking to the grid. The latter has already had a taste of British F4 action having contested the Snetterton and Knockhill rounds last season.

Hoggard is one of three drivers making their competitive single-seater debut this weekend, along with GW Motorsport’s Sam Smelt who has caught the eye in testing and Falcon Motorsport’s talented Irish teenager Lucca Allen.

JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaimán returns for the first time since April after a spell competing in Mexican F4. During his time away Jamie Sharp has edged ahead of him in the standings by 11.5 points following some excellent performances for Sharp Motorsport.

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.

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.”