Ericsson clinches Ford F4 Challenge Cup title as Quinn signs off with win in season finale

  • Ericsson seals Ford F4 Challenge Cup with ninth win in Class and storming drive to take third place in the race.
  • Quinn finishes campaign on a high by taking his fourth victory of 2017.
  • Lundqvist stars on podium for 11th time this season.

1 OCTOBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn seized the opportunity from pole to wrap up the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost on a high at Brands Hatch with victory in the season finale. Fortec Motorsports and Hampus Ericsson had plenty to celebrate too, after an inspired drive from the Swede to clinch the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and with it free entry to the 2018 F4 British Championship (worth £15,000).

Quinn was made to work hard for victory by fellow front row starter Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist. The pair were side by side into turn one, with Quinn doing enough to boldly hold on to the lead.

Lundqvist appeared the faster of the two in the early stages, his tyres coming up to temperature quicker and the Swede put Quinn under considerable pressure.

Quinn weathered the storm, finding a rhythm as the race progressed, enabling him to pull out a gap to Lundqvist. A gap that would stand at 2.380s at the chequer and see Quinn overtake Lundvist for fourth in the standings by just half a point.

“Win number four the season feels so good,” said Quinn. “The second half of the race was really enjoyable when I was pulling away out front from Lundqvist.

“He was on tyres that were more used than mine and that meant he was able to get them up to temperature quicker than me, which made for a tricky opening few laps. Once my tyres were up to temperature I got into a good groove and was able to pull away.

“This was a really important race for me because I wanted to end the season on a high. After the disappointment of yesterday, other than qualifying on pole for this race, it’s great to bounce back like this.

“My time in British F4 has helped me improve as a driver massively and it’s been crucial in my career. I raced in British F3 last weekend and the step is huge.

“I would not recommend any driver go from karting to F3, but I would strongly recommend any young driver to make their first step into single-seaters with British F4. It prepares you perfectly for the categories further up the motorsport ladder.

“The F4 British Championship is an ideal way to transition into racing cars and a brilliant stepping stone for any aspiring professional racer.”

“I nearly got another win,” said Lundqvist. “Coming second today and winning a race yesterday makes for a pretty good weekend overall. Losing fourth place to Quinn in the standings by half a point is a bit frustrating though.

“With us starting alongside each other on the front row, the stage was set for a battle. We were side by side into turn one and it was a case of whoever came out in front would likely take the victory and fourth in the championship.

“I have no doubt that this year in British F4 has provided me with the perfect foundation to progress up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

“I’ve shown really strong pace all year. Although the standings might not show it due to the bad luck we’ve encountered, we have been one the front-runners in this championship.

“Five wins is still a great tally for the season. Nine fastest laps, more than any other driver, is also an achievement I’m very proud of.

“It’s great to see fellow Swede Hampus Ericsson get the Ford F4 Challenge Cup title. Many congratulations to him. Hopefully it will provide the springboard for him to fight for the British F4 title in 2018. I think both of us have represented Sweden well this year in the most competitive junior single-seater series.”

There was drama at the start with contact between Lucca Allen and Harry Webb ending the races of both drivers, as well as effectively ending Webb’s Ford F4 Challenge Cup bid.

It was a frustrating end to the campaign for the Richardson Racing driver who came into the final race of the season with every chance of taking the Ford F4 Challenge Cup title after building a nine point lead over Saturday’s two races.

Although the job may have been made much easier for Ericsson, the Swede was far from content with just carefully bringing his car home.

Determined to take the title in style he put on a supreme display of wheel-to-wheel driving with some excellent overtakes to equal his best result of the year; a third place finish having started seventh.

Ericsson was promoted to the podium spot in the latter stages following Logan Sargeant’s uncharacteristic error which sent the American out of the race and with it his chances of becoming vice champion.

Third place saw Ericsson beat Olli Caldwell to the top step of the rostrum and ensure his ninth Class win of the campaign; more than any other driver.

“It was a really good race and I’m so happy with my performance,” said an ecstatic Ericsson. “To secure the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with a win in the Class is special.

“I didn’t know Webb had retired. I just focused on doing my own race and working my way up the order to get on the podium.

“My brother Marcus phoned me from Malaysia before the Grand Prix. He said to just focus on my race and not worry about anything else or overthink things. That’s exactly what I did and now I’m standing here as Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion!

“My first race of the season at Donington Park in April was the hardest one and since then I have just got better and better. To end the season with a third place overall is fantastic too.

“Now I can say I won the Challenge Cup in British F4 in my rookie season and that’s something I’m so proud of. I can build on this success to reach greater heights in my career. I want to come back next year and fight for the British F4 title.”

The accolade of vice champion went to fifth-place finisher Oscar Piastri following a superb season which saw him take to the podium 15 times, including six victories. The TRS Arden Aussie has thrilled fans in 2017, marrying speed with consistency, and firmly signalled to the single-seater fraternity that he is a star of the future.

Piastri found himself sandwiched on the final race classification between the Carlin duo of Patrik Pasma and 2017 FIA British Formula 4 Champion Jamie Caroline. The former making up four places during proceedings, meanwhile Caroline slowed dramatically as he crossed the finish line costing him a fourth place finish.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 30 Brands Hatch GP 1 October 2017
13 laps / 31.63 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 50.157s / 91.09mph
2 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +2.380s
3 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +10.764s
4 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +20.208s
5 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +20.612s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +20.944s
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +21.455s
8 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +21.864s
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +24.665s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +24.891s etc.

Fastest lap: Linus Lundqvist 1m 27.534s / 100.07mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; Caldwell

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 442 points; 2 Piastri 376.5; 3 Sargeant 356; 4 Quinn 307; 5 Lundqvist 306.5; 6 York 274.5; 7 Simmons 257.5; 8 Pasma 167.5; 9 Massaad 83; 10 Ericsson 69 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Ericsson 367.5 points; 2 Webb 351.5; 3 York 304.5; 4 Caldwell 302; 5 Allen 201; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Caroline and Piastri go head-to-head for British F4 title

28 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Winningest driver, highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories, and first person to win all three races in one meeting in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Jamie Caroline has made a habit of breaking records in 2017. Yet for all he has achieved, one accolade eludes him. The title.

Nevertheless, he arrives at Brands Hatch this weekend with one hand firmly on the crown. A 67.5 point lead with a maximum of 75 available means Oscar Piastri must finish first or second to take the fight on to the penultimate race, and even then a sixth or 10th place respectively for Caroline would be enough to see the Carlin ace crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

Count Piastri out at your peril though. A remarkable run of 21 consecutive point scoring finishes, as well as three double pole positions and six victories (second only to Caroline’s 10) underlining the Aussie’s exceptional speed and consistency.

Time and time again the TRS Arden driver has done exactly what he has needed to do; performing under pressure, just as he did when winning last time out from Caroline to force a showdown this weekend.

Brands Hatch has been a happy hunting ground for Caroline; the scene of his breakthrough first win in the series on Finals Day last season. Fast forward six months to April at the Indy circuit, and Caroline and Piastri set the tone for their seasons. Caroline qualified on pole and raced to victory in the first and third races of the weekend. Piastri qualified alongside him on the front row and brought home a brace of podiums.

The fight to claim the inaugural Ford F4 Challenge Cup looks set to go down to the wire. Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb arrive tied on 315.5 points, with Ericsson ahead by virtue of his eight Class wins to Webb’s four.

Ericsson’s Silverstone weekend was crucial. Two further Challenge Cup wins to make him winningest driver in the Class, coupled with a dogged effort to bring his wounded car home in the final race, has seen him claw his way to the top.

With not enough races remaining for Webb to equal Ericsson’s win tally, Webb must outscore Ericsson over the course of this weekend to take the title. Fail to do so and the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, as well as the lucrative prize of free entry to next year’s championship (worth £15,000), is Ericsson’s. Webb arguably faces the tougher task of the two, having last competed at Knockhill, while Ericsson arrives with the wind firmly in his sails.

The battle for the Teams’ Cup is finely poised too with heavyweights Carlin and TRS Arden in contention. Between them in 2017, the two squads have won 22 of the 27 races contested prior to this weekend.

Carlin are in pole position to take the title for the third year in a row with a 103 point lead. It means that if TRS Arden fail to reduce the gap to Carlin by at least 17 points in the opener, the boys and girls in blue will be celebrating a historic hat-trick.

Logan Sargeant has played a pivotal role in Carlin’s title tilt. The American’s season finally hitting the kind of heights many predicted after the summer break. He followed up his maiden victory at Rockingham with another win just a fortnight ago, after pulling off one of the overtakes of the season when he ran around the outside of Caroline to snatch the lead. Although Sargeant is out of contention for the drivers’ title he could still be a key player, doing his team-mate a favour by taking points away from Piastri.

TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn was the other victor at Silverstone. The 16-year-old followed up his 2016 British F4 Rookie title triumph at the home of British Motor Racing with another masterful performance. TRS Arden will want more of the same from their Cornish ace to take the fight to Carlin.

Ayrton Simmons and Olli Caldwell will also need to deliver for the Banbury outfit. Brands Hatch has happy memories for Simmons. The scene of his maiden victory in the series at the beginning of the year. While Caldwell arrives on a high having returned to the top step of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup podium at Silverstone.

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen made it a hat-trick of second place finishes in the Class two weeks ago. The best weekend of his fledgling single-seater career also saw him come tantalisingly close to his first top 10 finish.

Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport have consistently had the pace to fight for top 10 finishes and that’s what they did once again at Silverstone. Expect more of the same from them, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), Patrik Pasma (Carlin), Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin), as well as the JHR duo of Manuel Sulaiman and Harry Dyson looking to get in on the top 10 party. The latter acquitted himself well on his Ford EcoBoost debut a fortnight ago. A 12th place finish after a battling drive up through the order, a particular highlight.

Linus Lundqvist will want to banish memories of a disastrous opening weekend at Brands Hatch, plagued by technical difficulties which saw him fail to score a single point. The super Swede has been one of the stars of the season and arrives with one goal: to add to his tally of race wins. His Double R Racing team-mate Karl Massaad will have wins on his mind too, having already starred on the podium in 2017.

In addition to battling for Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours with Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports will be want to bring home even more silverware with Oliver York and Johnathan Hoggard. York has become a regular podium fixture since his maiden win at Knockhill, while Hoggard finally made it onto the rostrum last time out after an inspired drive.

York targets top three in F4 British Championship

  • York switches from Ford F4 Challenge Cup to contest remainder of British F4 season.
  • Intensive training programme with APSM and iZone during summer break sees talented teenager brimming with confidence.

25 JULY, 2017 – Oliver York has been a standout performer in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with seven wins and seven second place finishes in class, and this season’s leading rookie has big ambitions as he embarks upon the second half of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign. The Fortec Motorsports racer will switch from the Challenge Cup and focus his efforts on the overall championship in a bid to climb up the table from seventh and consistently fight at the front for race wins.

Although his Challenge Cup success has put him at the top of the class standings by a margin of 40 points, York’s motivation for turning his attention solely to the overall championship is clear: “Top three in the championship is my aim,” said York. “That’s what I’m working towards in the second half of the season.

“I believe I can achieve that and that’s why I have chosen to switch from the Challenge Cup to compete in all the remaining races this season. At the beginning of the year everyone aims to be in the top three and at the front. If you can take the title it’s a bonus.”

Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) and iZone Driver Performance have been honing York’s skills behind the wheel during the summer break in an effort to help him fulfil his ambitions and prepare for a frenetic two months which will see the 16-year-old contest 16 races.

“The team at APSM and iZone have been working with me so I can hit the ground running. Both in terms of fitness and track knowledge. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator and focused on learning the remaining circuits on the calendar.

“APSM and iZone believe in me. We all want to get that first British F4 win under our belts. We’ve already achieved a lot, including podiums and a pole position, but my first race win is the next big target. It’s the only thing that’s missing.”

Further support has come from his those around him in the Fortec Motorsports team. Namely guidance from his engineer Dan Mitchell, team owner Richard Dutton and team manager Ollie Dutton who have created an environment in which York believes both he and his team-mates can excel.

“At Fortec we always want to achieve top results, but the team also tries to create an enjoyable atmosphere to help take the pressure off,” said York. “There are other things beyond just the racing. They understand that and create a relaxed environment for drivers which really helps while everyone works towards the same goal. We want to win, but we want to have fun while doing it.

“Oulton Park didn’t go to plan because we didn’t do any testing beforehand and I missed half of the first practice session because of a school exam,” explained York, reflecting on the ups and downs in his maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered season. “At Croft we were really fast in the dry, but then it rained in qualifying which threw us a bit.

“My pole position at Thruxton is my biggest achievement so far. The second place at Donington Park was also pretty special. I could have perhaps won that race. Jamie Caroline and I were trading fastest lap times. We ended up being about 15 seconds ahead of everyone else. We were so fast.”

York also has plenty of admiration for the F4 British Championship which is enabling him to build an excellent platform from which to progress up the FIA single-seater pyramid: “The racing in British F4 is one of the best things about the series. It’s so close. Everyone is out there for one thing and one thing only. To win. It’s what makes it so exciting and so special. You feel like you really have to earn your success.

“The championship is run incredibly well. We get a lot of track time and three 20 minute races every weekend on the TOCA package as the sole single-seater support series to the British Touring Car Championship. It means we get so much exposure with lots of fans and television coverage.”

York returns to action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend (28-30 July) at Snetterton. Many will be keen to see if his hard work over the summer has paid off as he bids to finally stand on the top step of the podium in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series.

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.”

2017 British F4 season takes shape as details of Challenge Cup & provisional testing dates confirmed

  • £1,000 available at every meeting to Challenge Cup entrants, as well as one-off £5,000 prize up for grabs during season.
  • Challenge Cup drivers eligible to score championship points and take advantage of lower registration fee.
  • Sponsorship Acquisition Training from leading sports marketing exponent Brian Sims available to first 15 drivers who register for championship.
  • Championship brochure and 2017 British F4 registration form now available.

7 DECEMBER, 2016 – With the dust settling on a thrilling season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, details of the new for 2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup, as well as provisional championship testing dates have been confirmed.

Following what will be remembered as one of the most competitive British F4 seasons in history, the 2017 campaign looks set to be another fiercely contested affair with the introduction of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup giving talented youngsters the chance to prove they have got what it takes in the UK’s leading single-seater series for less than £100,000.

Challenge Cup drivers will compete in seven of the 10 championship meetings, with both the Knockhill meeting and the season finale at Brands Hatch being mandatory. Drivers will then be able to nominate the other five meetings they wish to take part in.

There will be no restriction on which teams can enter, but all teams will be required to adhere to the F4 British Championship’s four car limit.

All technical regulations for Friday official test days and race weekends are identical for both the Championship and Challenge Cup classes – including tyre limits – so as to ensure a level playing field.

A lucrative array of prizes are on offer to Challenge Cup entrants thanks to a £10,000 prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company. At each meeting £250 will be awarded to the driver who gains the most places in race one from their grid position; a further £250 will be awarded to the Challenge Cup winner in race two and £500 will be available to the Challenge Cup winner in the final race of the weekend.

As well as a dedicated Challenge Cup podium for each round, there will also be a prize of £5,000 available to the first Challenge Cup driver who wins a race overall.

Championship organisers have left the door open to Challenge Cup drivers turning their efforts to an assault on the overall championship, as they will be eligible to score championship points throughout the season.

To enhance affordability, the registration fees for Challenge Cup drivers will be reduced to £2,000 (ex. VAT). £500 less than the Championship class.

Early registration to either the Championship or Challenge Cup class brings with it the added benefit of Sponsorship Acquisition Training which is available on a first come, first served basis to drivers.

Ford has secured 15 places on this prestigious course developed by one of international sport’s most experienced and successful sports marketing exponents Brian Sims in association with Autosport. This is a unique online training course designed to take F4 British Championship drivers through the entire process of sponsorship acquisition; helping increase their chances of securing meaningful sponsorship.

With final details of the Challenge Cup confirmed; the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford provisional testing schedule has also been announced.

A testing ban will commence from 21 December 2016 until 31 January 2017. From 1 February until the season opener at Brands Hatch (Indy), both Championship class and Challenge Cup drivers will be permitted to undertake open, unregulated testing with no limits on mileage or location.

Following the first race weekend, Challenge Cup drivers will only be permitted to test on the official test days associated with their chosen seven meetings. In addition to this, drivers will be able to choose a further seven days of testing from the championship’s ‘official organised’ test days during the season.

These additional days of testing will be made available to Challenge Cup entrants on a pro-rata basis, so if a driver were to only compete at five meetings, they would only be allowed to take part in the five associated official tests and five ‘official organised’ test days.

2017 Provisional Testing Dates

Date                                                                 Circuit, County
Fri 3 February                                                 Oulton Park, Cheshire
Thu 16 February                                             Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
Mon 6 March (MEDIA DAY)                            Donington Park, Leics
Wed 8 March     `                                           Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
Wed 15 March                                                Snetterton, Norfolk
Tue 21 March                                                 Rockingham, Northants
Tue 23/Wed 24 May                                        Croft, North Yorkshire
Tue 30/Wed 31 May                                        Snetterton, Norfolk
Wed 9 August                                                 Knockhill, Fife
Fri 18 August                                                  Rockingham, Northants
Wed 6 September                                            Silverstone, Northants
Wed 20 September                                          Brand Hatch (Indy), Kent

Drivers and teams looking to compete in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford or acquire further details about the 2017 testing schedule should contact championship coordinator Eve Lake-Grange via email.

Prospective entrants for both the Championship and Challenge Cup classes are encouraged to download the F4 British Championship brochure for further information, as well as the 2017 registration form below.

BRITISH F4 2017 BROCHURE DOWNLOAD

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DRIVER REGISTRATION FORM DOWNLOAD

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