Irish karting champion Lucca Allen first driver to join British F4’s Challenge Cup

8 FEBRUARY, 2017 – Irish karting champion Lucca Allen is the first driver to join the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. A new initiative for 2017, introduced by organisers of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, to enable drivers to compete for under £100,000.

Allen, son of celebrity chef Rachel Allen, will race for Falcon Motorsport and has already begun cooking up a storm in the fast lane having won the Motorsport Ireland Cadet Championship, the Irish Karting Club Championship and the Southern Irish Karting Championship.

Further accolades include representing Ireland in the 2015 Karting World Championships at Le Mans and winning the Irish race of champions trophy in 2016.

14-year-old Allen, who will have to wait for his 15th birthday on 29 June to be eligible to compete, is eager to race against some of the world’s fastest young single-seater talents and relishing the chance to fly the flag for Ireland.

“I’m going to be the first Irish driver to make the step up to British F4 so I hope to be able to set a high standard and be right up there,” said Allen.

“Coming from Cork and racing in British F4 which has manufacturer backing from Ford is very special, especially as Henry Ford’s father came from Cork. It was also home to the first Ford factory in Europe.

“It’s really exciting with the introduction of the Challenge Cup to see if we can compete with the bigger teams with the bigger budgets.

“Testing has gone really well. We’ve been improving every time we have gone out on track so I’m hopeful we can be on the pace soon and aiming for wins.”

Should Allen prove to be a front runner in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup there are an array of lucrative prizes up for grabs, including a £10,000 cash prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company, as well as £5,000 to be awarded to the first Challenge Cup driver to win a race overall, plus free scholarship entry to the overall championship in 2018 worth £15,000.

Added Allen: “We’re going to see how things go this year, but if they go well then I’ll be looking at fighting for the overall championship in 2018.

“It’s great that I will be racing on the TOCA package alongside the British Touring Car Championship. It means live television coverage so people will get to watch all my British F4 races.”

Allen is well placed to succeed in the Challenge Cup racing for Nick Streatfield’s Falcon Motorsport. Having run Mexican Alexandra Monhaupt for several British F4 rounds in 2016, the Oxfordshire team knows how to perform at the highest level; achieving second place in both the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain team cup and drivers’ championship with BRDC Rising Star Harrison Scott in 2014.

Explained team owner Streatfield: “Lucca contacted us in the middle of 2016 and the relationship has developed from there. He tested with us last year which went well, he’s done another test since then, as well as the first official pre-season test of 2017.

“He’s had very little time in the car and we are trying to get him up to speed as quickly as possible. We are going to do as many of the official tests that we can. He’ll be back out at Brands Hatch on 16 February.

“Hopefully he’ll be developing at the same rate as all the others. He won’t be racing until the second half of the season [from 29 July at Snetterton] once he has turned 15-years-old.”

Streatfield also praised organisers of the F4 British Championship for the introduction of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. “When the Challenge Cup was first announced it was something I welcomed. It’s an initiative that one would hope will increase grid numbers even higher than those we have previously seen.

“It will attract more drivers to the series, namely drivers who fall into two categories; drivers like Lucca who aren’t eligible to race until part-way through the season due to their age and drivers who don’t have the budget to do a full season.”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is still accepting registrations for the 2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup. For further information and enquiries please contact championship coordinator Eve Lake-Grange.

Sargeant leads the way in opening British F4 test

  • Dream debut for Logan Sargaent who tops times for reigning champions Carlin.
  • TRS Arden test several drivers who shone throughout, namely Australian karting ace Oscar Piastri.
  • Double R make promising start to 2017 with Lundqvist and Massaad on the pace.

3 FEBRUARY, 2017 – The 2017 season of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford burst into life with its first official pre-season test at Oulton Park. A host of newcomers were eager to lay down a marker for the year ahead and prove they have what it takes to claim the most prestigious prize in UK single-seater racing. Karting prodigy Logan Sargaent made the biggest statement topping both sessions for Carlin, but he was pushed hard by some of motor racing’s most exciting young prospects.

Sargeant impressed in the morning, frequently found towards the top of the times, but he left it late to record his best of the session. A lap of 1m 23.857s coming just before the chequered flag. It was a time that could only be beaten by Sargaent himself. The American raised the bar in the afternoon with a 1m 23.762s to see out the remainder of the test as fastest.

There were a host of contenders for top spot though, with Australian karting ace Oscar Piastri leading the charge for TRS Arden as one of three drivers testing with Garry Horner’s crack squad. It was a hugely encouraging showing from the 15-year-old who caught the eye of many up and down the paddock. His time of 1m 23.930s proving to be the second quickest of the day, just under two tenths shy of Sargeant.

Carlin’s Patrik Pasma wound up third fastest with a lap of 1m 24.004s. The Finn quietly went about his test programme and looked assured behind the wheel of his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer.

Ayrton Simmons pushed hard out on track and a little too far in the morning, resulting in a trip to the tyre barrier. TRS Arden pulled off the necessary repairs in rapid time to give the 15-year-old valuable dry weather running before rain started to fall halfway through the second session. Despite an eventful day, fourth fastest for British F4’s 2016 Rookie class vice-champion was a positive showing after a lengthy winter break.

Yves Baltas also impressed for TRS Arden; eighth fastest and a wealth of experience gained in tricky conditions around the 2.2-mile Cheshire circuit. The American improved throughout the day recording his best time in the afternoon.

Recently announced Double R recruit Linus Lundqvist had an excellent test, shining in the first session and went into the lunch break with the third fastest time. The 17-year-old shaved a few hundredths off his best time in the afternoon to round off a promising day for the Woking outfit.

The positivity in the Double R camp was enhanced further by Karl Massaad. The karting champion from Lebanon completed 99 laps, more than any other driver, on his way to eighth fastest. Both he and Lundqvist keeping their cars out of the barriers for the duration. No mean feat in tricky conditions and when still learning about the Ford EcoBoost-powered machines at their disposal.

Ahead of Massaad on the time sheets could be found the familiar name of Jamie Caroline. One of British F4’s many star drivers during 2016; the race winner got a taste of what it’s like to run with the reigning champion team, putting in a solid morning’s work for Carlin.

Rookie Lucas Roy, who had signed with Carlin one day prior to the test, set about getting to grips with the 160 horsepower beneath him, as opposed to just the one which he has been used to in the sport of dressage.

Elsewhere, Lucca Allen was another improver as the day progressed for Falcon Motorsport. The Irish youngster looked increasingly comfortable behind the wheel. It was a welcome sight to see Nick Streatfield’s Falcon Motorsport team back on the track in British F4 doing what they do best; nurturing young talent.

Jamie Sharp’s off at the very beginning of the test brought a premature end to his running in the first session, but new team Sharp Motorsport worked their magic to get him back out in the afternoon. Rain meant leaving Oulton Park wondering what kind of time Sharp could have set in the dry, but a consistent long run in wet conditions suggests the 15-year-old has all the ingredients to succeed in 2017.

Attention now turns to Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit on Thursday 16 February, 2017. With the field already looking very evenly matched and numerous drivers yet to be announced by the F4 British Championship’s array top motor racing teams, there will be no shortage of intrigue to see who will set the pace in the second test of 2017.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Testing times Oulton Park 4 February 2017 (Session 1 / Session 2)
1 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:23.857 / 1:23.762
2 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:23.930 / 1:24.116
3 Partik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:24.004 / 1:24.690
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:24.564 / 1:24.205
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:24.398 / 1:24.354
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:24.617 / No time set
7 Karl MASSAAD / LBN / Double R 1:24.751 / 1:24.919
8 Yves BALTAS / USA / Arden 1:25.217 / 1:24.928
9 Lucas ROY / GER / Carlin 1:27.341 / 1:26.989
10 Lucca ALLEN / IRL / Falcon 1:27.950 / 1:27.868
11 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp No time set / 1:39.536

Full times

Falcon Motorsport to fly once again in F4 British Championship with Mohnhaupt

  • 16-year-old Alexandra Mohnhaupt to be first Mexican driver in British F4.
  • Hugely successful Falcon Motorsport team return to the grid.

22 JULY, 2016 – Falcon Motorsport are to join the fray at the Snetterton (30/31 July) and Knockhill (13/14 August) rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford with Alexandra Mohnhaupt.

It’s a welcome return to the Ford EcoBoost-powered series for Falcon Motorsport who contested last season. Furthermore, in 2014 the Oxfordshire team achieved second place in both the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain team cup and drivers’ championship with BRDC Rising Star Harrison Scott.

Mohnhaupt arrives having already competed in the Mexican F4 series where she currently lies second in the rookie standings.

The 16-year-old from Puebla, Mexico has no shortage of karting success to her name having been crowned National Rotax Junior Max Champion and Junior Max Champion in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Said Mohnhaupt: “It’s a great feeling to be the first Mexican driver in the F4 British Championship. I know I can do a good job and get some strong results for Mexico.

“I want to learn a lot. I want to learn from the other drivers and from the team so I can go back to Mexico stronger. I can learn a lot because British F4 uses the same car as in Mexico [with the 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine and Mygale chassis].

“The tracks will be the biggest thing to get used to, as well as the tyres, but I think I can handle them.

“I want to finish as high up the order as possible, but it’s all about learning more about the car.

“I’m already really enjoying working with Falcon Motorsport. I am confident we will be able to make good progress together.

Added Falcon Motorsport team principle Nick Streatfield: “To be able to get out on track with Alexandra is good. We’ve been working on it for a while.

“For her it’s all part of the learning curve; coming over to the UK to gain experience of a different championship. We are obviously very happy to take on that role and give her a different perspective to see how she measures against the regulars of the F4 British Championship.

“We’re keeping our expectations in check. We are going up against drivers who have been driving all year in this championship and have tested at most of the circuits. Alexandra is going to have to go straight into Snetterton and Knockhill, running at circuits she has never been to.

“It will be tough, but we know that and she knows that. That doesn’t mean to say we’re not aiming for the front, but it is more about Alexandra getting experience at the moment.”

Streatfield went on to say that two days of testing with Mohnhaupt were to take place yesterday and today at Donington and Brands Hatch: “The two days are going to be about getting her up to speed and working with her to try to hit the ground running.”

Streatfield couldn’t hide is excitement about Falcon Motorsport’s return to the UK’s leading junior single-seater series: “It’s fantastic to be back. It’s been painful to be away. We tried and worked really hard over the winter to secure a few things and it just didn’t work out.

“We have been an important part of the series in the past. We know a lot of the people at Ford and we are keen to be part of the family again.”

Streatfield also cast an eye on the future: “We’re concentrating on these upcoming rounds and building up a good relationship with Alexandra. Then we can start talking about what the possibilities for the future are.

“As a team we have every intention of being on the grid in 2017 with three cars. We want to be back out in force.”