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.”

Young stars get to grips with Ford-powered MSA Formula racers

  • Ginetta Junior frontrunner Jamie Caroline and Henry Surtees Challenge prizewinner Piers Prior test at Rockingham with leading MSA Formula teams

18 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Young chargers Piers Prior (pictured) and Jamie Caroline are the latest young British drivers to get a taste of the Ford EcoBoost-powered FIA Formula 4 cars which provide the spectacular track entertainment that is the MSA Formula Championship.

The teenagers both tackled the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire, venue for the most recent MSA Formula rounds, with 17-year-old karting star Prior in action today with Falcon Motorsport and Caroline, 16, trying out with MBM Motorsport a few days ago.

Prior’s test was a prize drive won at last October’s Henry Surtees Challenge karting event at Buckmore Park, Kent, in which Piers finished fourth overall. Falcon Motorsport boss Nick Streatfield was impressed by his debutant driver: “Piers went very well, and listened to everything he was told… In all he had five sessions, each of around 15 laps, and he was learning and improving all the time. We were very pleased to able to award the test session at the Henry Surtees Challenge, and indeed we will be doing the same again at the 2015 event to be held next month.”

Piers began karting aged nine and was three times the Buckmore Park junior champion before going on to a third-place finish in the Senior Sodi World Series last year.

Ginetta Junior Championship leader Jamie Caroline impressed the MBM Motorsport team when he sampled one of the squad’s chassis at Rockingham. The 16-year-old, who had never before driven any track car other than a Ginetta sports racer, completed more than 100 laps.

“His management team, Edge Sporting Management, wanted to see how well Jamie would go in a single-seater,” said MBM boss James Mundy. “Given that it was his first time in a single-seater and his first time on slick tyres, Jamie was brilliant, really impressive.

“Jamie covered more than 100 laps, quite a few on old tyres to get a feel for the car and then three runs on new tyres, during which he set some very good times. We made some set-up changes for the end-of-day run and he responded well to them: his best time was in the 1m 18s, which would have put him in the top 10 in qualifying for the Rockingham championship event the previous weekend.”

Jamie was enthusiastic about his experience: “I loved driving the car – it was mega. It was my first time in anything other than a Ginetta Junior, and it was a big step up but I really enjoyed it. I’d never been out on slicks before in a car, either, so the hardest thing was getting used to maximising the grip of the tyres. The straightline speed was a bit scary at first, all a bit of a shock, but I really enjoyed it.”

Caroline says he has no firm plans for 2016 yet: “I’ve just tested a G55 Ginetta as well, and as ever it will be down to budgets and finance. Single-seaters is definitely an option though.”

Hawkins to make her MSA Formula debut with Ford EcoBoost power

Jessica Hawkins
  • 20-year-old former kart star Jess joins Falcon Motorsport for Oulton Park races
  • Hawkins seeking budget to complete the season

22 May, 2015 – Twenty-year-old Jess Hawkins is set to step up to the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship next month. She will join the Falcon Motorsport team for the Oulton Park rounds of the UK’s leading talent-training single-seater series and has started a crowd-funding campaign to help her raise a budget to see out the season.

“VCM Motorsport has been working on my behalf and has helped me to get the funding in place for me for Oulton Park, which is fantastic,” said Hampshire-based Jess. “Now I am aiming to raise the finance for the rest of the season.” Hawkins has started a Twitter campaign – #imbackingjess – with the campaign message “Driven by Jess, powered by Ford, funded by you!” and has set up a fund-raising page on gofundme.com

The successful former karter and British Women Racing Drivers Club Gold Star award finalist made her single-seater debut in an EcoBoost-powered Formula Ford at Silverstone last September, claiming a brace of top-10 finishes. “I have not raced anything since then and I’m keen to get out there again and show what I can do,” added Jess. “I have never driven at Oulton so it will be a big ask – new car, new track – and I will be taking things as they come, hopefully making steady improvements during the weekend and if I could make the top 10 that would be fantastic. I am looking at this season as testing and preparation for a full campaign in 2016.”

Nick Streatfield, Falcon Motorsport team principal, said: “We are delighted to have Jess on board for Oulton Park, and hopefully beyond. It will be tough for her to learn a new car and a new track, but we look forward to working with her to help her get to grips with it all, as we have with her team-mate Darius Karbaley, who has come on in leaps and bounds since the start of the season.”

Hawkins will be the third female driver to sample MSA Formula this season, and will join Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson on the grid at Oulton. Romanian teen Alexandra Marinescu is expected to return to the series later in the season.

The Oulton Park rounds of MSA Formula – races 10, 11 and 12 of the championship – are scheduled for the first weekend of June, the 6th/7th, with extensive coverage of Sunday’s track action on ITV4.

Falcon to field MSA Formula cars for Alexandra Marinescu and Darius Karbaley

31 March, 2015 – Falcon Motorsport has today confirmed that Alexandra Marinescu and Darius Karbaley will represent the team at Brands Hatch this weekend for the opening rounds of the exciting new Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Challenge championship.

Fifteen-year-old Marinescu became the first Romanian female single-seater driver when she took part in the 2014 Skip Barber Summer Series in the USA. Said Alexandra: “We chose MSA Formula as it is a new competition, which is supported by the FIA, and supports pilots who are just 15 years old. For me the first year in this season will be a learning year. I will try to build up my speed in every session and I’m pretty sure that I will find a good rhythm. Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of time for testing, so for the first race I will be acclimatising, but I’m confident that the team will support me.”

Karbaley is a 17-year-old British karting star from Manchester. In 2012 he finished fifth in the British national KF3 championship and 18th in Europe, before coming fourth in the Rotax Max Kartmasters Grand Prix in 2013. “I am delighted to join Falcon Motorsport for what looks to be an exciting season,” said Darius. “I feel that this is the right series to make the transition from karting to car racing. Even though I have had little experience in the car I am confident that I will be competitive as the season progresses.”

Nick Streatfield, Falcon team owner, added, “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to secure both Alexandra and Darius to race with Falcon Motorsport. Of course the deals have come together very late, but both drivers have huge potential and we relish the prospect of developing their talents. Brands Hatch will be a challenge against drivers who have been testing regularly, but I’m confident they will learn quickly and surprise many.”

Falcon Motorsport was established in 1989, initially under the banner of Streatfield Motorsport, changing its name to Falcon in 1994. The team has competed in a number of championships including British Formula 3, UK Formula Renault, BARC Formula Renault, Formula Ford, Formula Ford 2000 and Formula BMW. In 2014 the Oxfordshire team achieved second place in the both the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain team cup and drivers’ championship with BRDC Rising Star Harrison Scott.