Hoggard sets sights on top step with F4 British Championship return

21 FEBRUARY, 2018 – Talented 17-year-old Johnathan Hoggard from Spalding, UK has re-joined forces with Fortec Motorsports for the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, after showing great potential over four meetings in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series last season.

Despite his young age, Hoggard’s motor racing career already boasts numerous achievements. A rapid rise through the karting ranks saw him win the prestigious Official MSA Junior Karting Championship, claim third in the Super 1 National Rotax Max Junior series and represent Great Britain in the Rotax Grand Final in Sarno, Italy.

Like so many of the world’s top karters, the step up to the F4 British Championship beckoned and he joined the Ford EcoBoost-powered field half-way through the 2017 campaign.

Hoggard wasted no time showcasing his talent behind the wheel of a single-seater, recording the fastest time in testing at both Snetterton and Silverstone. The latter became the scene of his maiden podium, as he stood alongside eventual champion Jamie Caroline and vice-champion Oscar Piastri.

“I’m delighted that everything has finally been agreed, allowing me to compete in the F4 British Championship with Fortec Motorsports this year,” said Hoggard.

“Last year my priority was to focus on my education and GCSE examinations. This meant I was only able to compete in four meetings at the end of the season.

“To get that first podium finish at Silverstone so early on in my single-seater career was the standout moment from a restricted rookie campaign.

“Winter testing has gone exceptionally well. Fortec have given me fantastic support and guidance to ensure I am fully prepared for this season.

“We have a great spirit within the team, with superb people and the winning mentality which is needed to challenge for the championship.

“I’m incredibly excited to see what we can achieve during the course of 2018.”

Having proved to be more than a match for the class of 2017, Hoggard has got his sights set firmly on the top step this year. It is an ambition shared by Fortec Motorsports British F4 team manager Oliver Dutton.

“We are delighted that Johnathan is remaining part of the Fortec family this year,” he said.

“Johnathan is a product of the Fortec Driver Development Programme and we have watched him mature during a very successful winter testing programme. He has impressed us with his excellent pace and consistency throughout.

“I am confident he will develop into a race winner, and with hard work and determination a strong championship contender.”

Images by Oliver Dutton and Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion Hampus Ericsson returns to British F4

16 FEBRUARY, 2018 – 15-year-old Hampus Ericsson from Kumla, Sweden will contest the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with Fortec Motorsports in 2018, after winning the Ford F4 Challenge Cup in the final race of the 2017 season.

Ericsson returns to the UK’s leading junior single-seater series after an impressive rookie year in which he secured a record nine Challenge Cup class wins, whilst also stepping onto the main podium at Knockhill and Brands Hatch. This year the young Team BAUHAUS backed driver returns with his eyes firmly on the main prize. 

“I am thrilled to be returning to the F4 British Championship after winning the Challenge Cup last season and can’t wait for the first round at Brands Hatch,” said Ericsson.

“I am excited to be back with Fortec after a successful 2017 season. Last year was a big learning curve for me. It was my first time in a single-seater and I had to become familiar with all the British tracks.

“I feel very comfortable with the team and after some great finishes last year I’m confident we can work together to achieve a top result. I am doing everything within my power to prepare myself both physically and mentally for a competitive 2018 season.

“A massive thank you to my sponsor Team BAUHAUS for making this possible, and everyone who has invested in myself and my career so far.”

Ericsson, the youngest member of Svensk Bilsport – Sweden’s national team for drivers – turned heads in the final round of the 2017 F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch. The Swede made a bold move around the outside of vice-champion Oscar Piastri at Druids and swiftly overtook newly-crowned champion Jamie Caroline at the following corner, as he fought through the field from from ninth on the grid to seize the final spot on the podium.

Ericsson’s pedigree and talent are unquestionable as he looks to prove himself on the main stage and race at the front of a highly competitive field, featuring a host of gifted youngsters.   

Ericsson’s older brother, Marcus, was no stranger to success with the Fortec Motorsports team. He won the Formula BMW UK Championship in his rookie year and went on to score a number of podiums with the team in Formula 3 before climbing his way up to Formula 1.

“Hampus has showed great natural talent over the past year and we have kept this momentum over winter testing,” said Fortec Motorsports team manager Oliver Dutton.

“There’s no doubting that Hampus has raw speed and talent. He has been very competitive throughout his karting career and set the lap record at the World Junior Karting Finals in Bahrain.

“Hampus is maturing into a confident racing driver. He knows what it takes to be successful and is very passionate about the sport. I am excited to see what Hampus can deliver this year.”

Images by Oliver Dutton and Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Jewiss and Double R set the pace in opening test

  • Jewiss records quickest time of first pre-season test.
  • Hauger and Arden top afternoon session.

13 FEBRUARY, 2018 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost took to the track for the first time in 2018, with official pre-season testing kicking off at Brands Hatch. During a day plagued by inclement weather which meant the entire field conducted all its running on Hankook wet tyres, it was Kiern Jewiss and Double R Racing who set the pace.

A time of 52.976s from Jewiss put him 1.871s clear of Arden’s Sebastian Priaulx in the morning and would not be beaten. The two Ginetta Junior graduates showcased plenty of pace and made use of their experience, having run alongside British F4 on the support package for the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship.

Priaulx could be consistently found at the sharp end of the times along with Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard. The latter recording more laps than any other driver and lapping quicker than Priaulx by just 0.016s in the afternoon.

Next on the combined timesheets were the familiar faces of Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports). Both drivers competed in the Ford EcoBoost-powered series last season, with Ericsson’s previous visit to Brands Hatch holding plenty of fond memories as he clinched the Ford F4 Challenge Cup in the final race of 2017.

Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger (Arden) wound up sixth overall, courtesy of his performance following the lunch break. The 14-year-old Norwegian was the only driver to break the 56-second barrier with a time of 55.868s to top the afternoon session.

Paavo Tonteri proved to be Double R’s second-fastest runner, finishing seventh on the combined timesheet and bouncing back from a trip to the barriers in the morning.

Hauger was one of only three drivers to improve upon their morning’s best effort, with fellow Arden runners Patrik Pasma and Jack Doohan finishing fourth and fifth quickest respectively in the afternoon. They ended the day inside the top 10 and sandwiched Double R’s Sebastian Alvarez, with Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports) in 11th.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Testing times Brands Hatch Indy, 13 February, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 52.976 / 57.669
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 54.847 / 56.124
3 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 55.234 / 56.108
4 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp Motorsport 55.294 / 58.085
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 55.417 / 59.133
6 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 56.654 / 55.868
7 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 55.902 / 1:01.201
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 58.228 / 56.557
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R 56.976 / 57.977
10 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 59.464 / 57.096 etc.

Full times

Fortec Motorsports sign Lucca Allen for 2018 F4 British Championship

1 FEBRUARY, 2018 – Irish racing prodigy Lucca Allen has joined Fortec Motorsports to compete in the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

Having contested the second half of the 2017 British F4 season following his fifteenth birthday, Allen returns to the UK’s leading junior single-seater series this year as he continues to work his way up the FIA single-seater pyramid to Formula 1.

Allen is one of Ireland’s leading contenders to become a future Formula 1 star and follows in the footsteps of many of the sport’s most notable champions by choosing to compete in Britain, the home of Formula 1.

Furthermore, striking a deal to race with front-running squad Fortec Motorsports serves as a signal of intent from Allen. Drivers who have enjoyed success with the British team include Juan Pablo Montoya, Marcus Ericsson, Stoffel Vandoorne and Charles Leclerc, to name but a few.

Allen’s rise up through the regional and national karting ranks saw him win the Irish race of champions’ trophy in 2015 and the National Irish Championship in 2014. His strong karting record has provided him with an ideal foundation from which to make the step up to racing cars in the F4 British Championship, where he became the first Irish racer to compete in the series and recorded 10 Ford F4 Challenge Cup podiums.

“It’s a great honour to drive for one of the top teams in British F4,” said Allen. “My tests with Fortec last year went really well. I am very grateful to them for taking me on and giving me the opportunity to fight for the title. I cannot wait for the season to start!”

“We are very excited to have Lucca join the Fortec family and to see him race in our iconic red, white and black livery during the 2018 F4 British Championship,” added Fortec Motorpsorts team manager Oliver Dutton.

“Lucca impressed during winter testing, showing us he had the pace and determination to fight at the front of the pack.

“Lucca has a fantastic ability to capture, process and retain information and then translate it onto the track. I am confident that he will continue to improve and develop this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Images by Oliver Dutton and Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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

York takes second Ford EcoBoost-powered win of career

  • Fast-starting York scores win number two of campaign.
  • Caroline follows up Championship win with brilliant second place.
  • Manuel Sulaiman claims maiden British F4 podium.

30 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York seized the initiative in a dramatic race at Brands Hatch to take his second win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

Having made an excellent getaway which almost saw him take second place in the opening exchanges from front row starter Patrik Pasma; York pulled off more start line heroics after the race was restarted following a red flag on lap two after a collision involving Harry Dyson, Jamie Sharp and Lucas Alecco Roy.

The Fortec Motorsports racer shot off the line and squeezed through a gap not much wider than a British F4 car between Manuel Sulaiman and Pasma to take the lead. The latter taking to pit lane for a nosecone change. Fastest lap of the race acting as some consolation.

In second place Manuel Sulaiman was soon under pressure from Jamie Caroline who, having been crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion in the preceding race, was determined to celebrate in the best way possible by pushing to the absolute limit.

The Warlingham racer pulled off some audacious overtakes to make quick progress up the order from eighth. A particular highlight was his pass on race one winner Linus Lundqvist into Paddock Hill Bend on lap two; Caroline leaving it late to dive down Lundqvist’s inside, locking his front right tyre and just holding on to make the corner without running off the track.

Starting sixth at the restart provided Caroline with the opportunity to entertain with another trademark storming start, overtaking several cars around the outside of turn one and he ultimately dispatched Sulaiman with a precision move through Clearways.

It left York having to fend off the advancing Caroline for the lead and he did so brilliantly to cross the finish line just 0.330s ahead of Caroline.

Said York: “My first start was really good, but the second start was even better. The initial launch was spot on and it helped propel me into the lead before the first corner.

“I thought we were going to crash because the gap was incredibly tight as Manuel and Patrik began to close it down, but thankfully I came out unscathed!

“I had the advantage over Caroline through turns three and four. It’s quite hard to overtake here and getting the initial gap was a big help in keeping him at bay.

“It’s a great result for the team to get this win at the end of the season and we bounced back brilliantly from the disappointment of qualifying when we couldn’t show our true pace after a trip into the wall.”

Added Caroline: “I was so close to hitting Linus when I made that move. He didn’t give me much room, but I thought I would send it up the inside with a bold attack.

“Second place is a great result from eighth on the grid. York had newer tyres than me in that race and that was the difference in the end.

“Tomorrow we’ll aim to end the campaign in style. It would be fantastic to make it 11 wins for the season. I’ve got to make my records harder for future drivers in this championship to beat!”

Behind the leading pair, JHR Developments driver Sulaiman was putting on an exemplary display of defensive driving as Logan Sargeant, Oscar Piastri and Ayrton Simmons hunted him down for the final podium spot. Sulaiman was resolute however and refused to crack under the pressure, positioning his car perfectly to bring home his maiden British F4 podium.

Said an ecstatic Sulaiman: “My first start was really good. It was fantastic to be out front for the first couple of laps, leading the race.

“Although we couldn’t quite get the win, I’m so happy to get my first podium in the series. It’s a brilliant result for the team and I. We’ve been working so hard for this.

“To finish the year on a high like this is special. We have been fast in all conditions this weekend so it’s great to turn that pace into a strong result. I think we really showed that pace too in the battle with Sargeant. To keep him behind shows how far we have come in such a short space of time.”

TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell put in one of his best performances of the season to finish seventh after holding off the experienced pairing of Linus Lundqvist and Alex Quinn.

Caldwell’s strong points finish was made even sweeter as he secured his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of the day with fellow Challenge Cup runners Harry Webb, Lucca Allen and Hampus Ericsson finishing 11th, 12th and 13th respectively.

Richardson Racing’s Webb will be happiest of the trio, extending his Challenge Cup lead by six more points to give him a nine point advantage over Ericsson heading into the final race of the season. Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Allen battled brilliantly to keep Ericsson behind him and take the final podium spot in the Class.

“Hampus had a good qualifying which put him ahead of us in race one, but then he had an off in the first race and we’ve just capitalised from there,” said Caldwell.

“Being able to hold Lundqvist back, a driver who has fought at the front all year is a great result for me. It felt like we were slightly quicker too so that makes me really happy.

“My restart after the red flag was really good and I got Karl Massaad off the line which is important because it put another driver between myself and the rest of the Challenge Cup runners.

“I would love to make it a hat-trick of Challenge Cup wins this weekend. We’ve done it twice today so hopefully it can be third time lucky tomorrow.”

The season finale is set for 1502 on Sunday and will be televised live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 29 Brands Hatch GP 30 September 2017
8 laps / 19.46 miles
1 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 11m 49.209s / 98.81mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +0.330s
3 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +4.949s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +5.241s
5 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +5.465s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +5.714s
7 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +10.907s
8 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +11.084s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +11.250s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +14.340s etc.

Fastest lap: Patrik Pasma 1m 27.351s / 100.28mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Webb; 3 Allen; Ericsson

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 434 points; 2 Piastri 366.5; 3 Sargeant 356; 4 Lundqvist 288.5; 5 Quinn 282; 6 York 268.5; 7 Simmons 257.5; 8 Pasma 155.5; 9 Massaad 82; 10 Webb 68 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 351.5 points; 2 Ericsson 342.5; 3 York 304.5; 4 Caldwell 284; 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.

Piastri keeps title race alive with sublime sixth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of season

  • Poleman Piastri wins at Silverstone.
  • Championship rival Caroline follows him home in second.
  • Hoggard takes hard-fought maiden podium.
  • Caldwell secures Ford F4 Challenge Cup win, as Ericsson moves to top of Class standings.

17 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri scored his sixth win of the campaign, ahead of rival Jamie Caroline at Silverstone to take the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title fight to the season finale at Brands Hatch in a fortnight.

From pole position Piastri was a man on a mission, determined to score maximum points and finish ahead of Caroline to keep his championship bid alive.

A flawless getaway saw him unchallenged into turn one, while Caroline ran around the outside of Alex Quinn and Hampus Ericsson in a similar fashion to his exquisite first corner heroics in the day’s earlier race.

It left the top two in the championship to battle it out at the front, but Piastri had the edge. He built and managed a gap back to Caroline to secure a comfortable victory, setting fastest lap on the way to the chequered flag.

“It’s special to win at Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing and the Grand Prix,” said Piastri. “It’s a home race for the team with TRS Arden based about half an hour down the road in Banbury, so it’s great to get a win and two podiums this weekend.

“I did everything I could this weekend. It’s a shame Jamie finished right behind me in second which limited the amount of points I took out of his championship lead, but I’ve managed to take the title fight to the final meeting at Brands Hatch and anything can happen there.

“I saw Jamie got into second straight away and he’s always quick in the opening laps, but once I saw I was pulling away I was able to find a rhythm and it was quite easy out front.

“I then just concentrated on driving a clean and smooth race, avoiding any potential penalties for track limits.

“We saved our best tyres for this race with two new tyres available to us and we made a change to the car which definitely helped us. The car was great and that shows with our pace and recording the fastest lap.

“It’s going to be tough to get the drivers’ title, but I will give it my all. The same goes for the Teams’ Cup too. This win keeps us in contention and if I can get some more wins at Brands Hatch we might be able to steal it at the end.”

“We almost took the title this weekend, but couldn’t quite pull it off,” said Caroline. “We’re on the verge of getting it wrapped up now, but I’m taking nothing for granted. I’ve won all three races in one weekend this season and there is no reason why Oscar cannot do the same.

“Every time I have been to Brands Hatch for the final meeting of the season I have qualified on the front row and won races so we’ll see if we can do that again in two weeks.

“Overall this weekend could have gone a lot better, but it could have also gone a lot worse. We’ve got our eyes firmly on the prize.”

There was no shortage of drama at the start. Alex Quinn got the jump on front row starter Hampus Ericsson, but the Swede made contact with the rear of Quinn’s car, spectacularly propelling the front of Ericsson’s racer up the air. Ericsson clattered the tarmac with a thud, but remarkably was able to continue.

Despite finishing last and four laps down the Fortec Motorsports racer took third in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. It crucially puts him to the top of the Class standings, tied with Harry Webb on 315.5 points, but ahead courtesy of his eight Class victories.

Quinn eventually succumbed to damage half way through proceedings, but not before dicing with team-mate Ayrton Simmons which provided Patrik Pasma with the chance to bravely run around the outside of the pair of them.

After the opening exchanges Logan Sargeant found himself in third, but under pressure from Johnathan Hoggard, the duo battling wheel-to-wheel, lap after lap. Their squabble allowed Pasma and Oliver York to make it a four-way scrap for the final podium spot.

With Hoggard seeing Pasma and York advancing in his mirrors, the rookie made a brilliant move on Sargeant. Team-mate York followed suit, getting the run on Pasma and hanging around the outside of Sargeant to take fourth.

York then set about passing Hoggard in a captivating intra-team battle. The former eventually overcoming Hoggard’s resolute defence on lap 18 by running around the outside of him into Brooklands to earn himself the inside line for Luffield.

Losing momentum, Hoggard found himself under attack from Pasma. Contact resulted, but Hoggard was able to keep going and York was forced into the pits with a technical gremlin, promoting his team-mate back up to third.

“I wanted to put on a good show for everyone watching at home, live on television, and I think I did that,” said a beaming Hoggard.

“It was a tricky race in so many respects, but I still managed to get third. I got past Logan after quite a struggle and then I saw Oliver getting closer and closer in my mirrors.

“Then he eventually got past me. There was a bit of an incident with Pasma, but with how the penalties worked out things finally went my way.

“This is a result I can build on and gives me a lot of confidence. It’s a weight off my shoulders to get this first podium. I’ve had some bad results when I could have been right up there, but it’s come good today.”

Double R Raicng’s Linus Lundqvist put on a thrilling performance for the millions of viewers watching on television with ITV4’s live camera fitted to his car. The super Swede came from the back of the grid to finish an incredible fifth, passing team-mate Karl Massaad in the process. The latter ending up seventh behind Simmons.

Olli Caldwell broke Ericsson’s run of five consecutive Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins by finishing eighth overall after climbing several places. It was a welcome return to the top step for the TRS Arden driver, having last tasted victory at Snetterton in July.

“It’s really nice to be back on the top step of the podium, especially after the way the other two races went this weekend, as well as the weekend at Rockingham,” said Caldwell.

“We were running as high as fifth at one point and although I lost some places towards the end I still think this a really good result after such an eventful weekend.

“Staying mentally strong when things aren’t going your way is helped by having a great team around you and that’s what I’ve got at TRS Arden.

“I’ll have the advantage over my rivals in the Challenge Cup in two weeks because I don’t think any of them have raced around the Brands Hatch GP track and I have thanks to my experience in Ginettas last year.”

Sam Smelt delivered on his Friday practice promise by finishing in the top 10 for GW Motorsport, scoring points after a brilliant drive up the order from 16th.

Meanwhile Manuel Sulaiman doubled his tally for the weekend with another point score for JHR Developments. He denied Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen his first point in British F4 by 0.053s on a weekend where the Irish rookie has shown a significant step forward in terms of pace.

Attention now turns to the season finale at Brands Hatch GP in a fortnight (30 September/1 October). Caroline will arrive with a 67.5 point lead in the standings and will only need a sixth place finish in Round 28 to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion. Meanwhile his Carlin squad can take the Teams’ Cup in the same race if TRS Arden fail to reduce their 103 point lead in the standings by 17 points.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 27 Silverstone, 17 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 20m 10.018s / 102.49mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.751s
3 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +16.453s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +19.879s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +20.016s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +20.665s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +21.393s
8 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +21.584s
9 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW +22.193s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +26.745s etc.

Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 57.163s / 103.31mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Allen; 3 Ericsson

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 412 points; 2 Piastri 344.5; 3 Sargeant 326; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 259.5; 6 Simmons 234.5; 7 Oliver York 233.5; 8 Pasma 147.5; 9 Massaad 80; 10 Webb 68 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
=1 Ericsson 315.5 points; =1 Webb 315.5; 3 York 298.5; 4 Caldwell 234; 5 Allen 174; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Super Sargeant leads Ford EcoBoost-powered Carlin one-two at Silverstone

  • Sargeant wins after daring, race-winning overtake to snatch lead from Caroline.
  • Ericsson doubles up with Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins.

17 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Just three weeks after his maiden victory in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, Logan Sargeant was at it again. The American led a Carlin one-two finish, with Jamie Caroline in second at Silverstone to put Carlin within touching distance of the Teams’ Cup.

Sargeant had to work hard for his victory. Starting on the inside of the track, the Carlin racer was presented with a track still damp from rain early in the morning, while drivers on the outside benefitted from starting on the dry racing line.

Caroline profited most, spectacularly running around the outside of four cars through turn one to take the lead while Sargeant had to contend with trying to hold on to second as poleman Johnathan Hoggard dropped back to fourth.

Oscar Piastri started on the damp side of the track too and like Sargeant battled brilliantly in the opening stages to prevent himself from falling back through the order. Contact between Lundqvist and Hoggard soon promoted the Aussie to third and in the hunt for the win behind Sargeant and Caroline.

Just under half way through the race Caroline struggled for pace. Sargeant wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation with a sublime late braking move around the outside of his team-mate at Brooklands.

Caroline refused to give up and chased Sargeant for the duration with Piastri looming behind the Carlin pair. The trio were locked in a stalemate in the final laps, none of them able to make a pass and separated by just over a second as they crossed the finish line.

“It was so close out there,” said Sargeant. “I’m really proud of the move I made for the lead. That’s my best overtake of the season.

“It was tough on the inside of the grid at the start on the damp track. It seemed like the drivers on the outside were able to just drive past us.

“I was still able to get back up to second by the third corner which was good and then set about chasing Jamie down. He made a mistake and I capitalised upon it.

“I was pushing as hard as I could out there. I was struggling with the tyres towards the end and I think that was due to pushing perhaps a little too hard when trying to build a gap back to Jamie.

“Carlin have once again put together a great car and I’m so pleased to deliver them this win and the one-two with Jamie.”

“In terms of the championship this second place puts my lead back up to where it was coming into this weekend which is positive, but it could have been more with the win,” added Caroline.

“I benefitted from being on the dry side of the track at the start and that’s what enabled me to run around the outside of everyone to take the lead. It was just a shame I couldn’t bring the win home, but I’m pleased to get this one-two for Carlin with Logan getting the win.”

“The start was pretty difficult as the inside of the track was wet,” explained Piastri. “That made things quite tricky. I pulled off a few moves to get into fifth. Lundqvist and Hoggard came together and that promoted me up to third.

“I caught up with the two at the front, but just didn’t have the life in my tyres to really attack them. We’ve saved our best tyres for this afternoon’s race when I will start from pole so we always knew this race was going to be a bit challenging.

“Nevertheless, to get a podium is a really good outcome. It was shame Jamie finished in front of me, but we’re still in contention for the title.”

Hampus Ericsson continued his fine Silverstone weekend with another Ford F4 Challenge Cup win and just missed out on the overall podium in fourth after climbing up the order from ninth.

Karl Massaad broke into the points and finished eighth, having started outside the top 10. The Lebanese ace was the highest placed Double R runner after Linus Lundqvist endured an eventful race which saw contact with Pasma as he tried to battle back up the order following the coming together with Hoggard.

Pasma did well to remain in contention and hold on to eighth, ahead of Lundqvist and behind Oliver York.

JHR Developments driver Manuel Sulaiman put in an inspired performance and was the race’s biggest improver. Picking his way through the field from 18th on the grid to 10th to take a hard earned and well deserved point.

The Mexican finished ahead of Alex Quinn who recovered well after going off track due to a battle with Oliver York, for which the latter was awarded a five place grid penalty for Round 27.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered Silverstone finale gets underway at 1630 and will be broadcast live on ITV4. Jamie Caroline has the chance to take the title in front millions if he finishes no lower than 10th, ahead of Piastri, and as long as Sargeant does not outscore him by more than five points. Carlin could have even more reason to party if they can extend their advantage in the Teams’ Cup by 31 more points over TRS Arden to be crowned Champions for three years running.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 26 Silverstone, 17 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 20m 34.971s / 100.42mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +0.836s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +1.396s
4 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +5.272s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.848s
6 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +10.624s
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +10.975s
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +12.502s
9 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +13.641s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +22.173s etc.

Fastest lap: Ayrton Simmons 57.853s / 102.08mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen; 3 Caldwell

Round 27 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Piastri – Ericsson – Quinn – Caroline – Sargeant – Hoggard – Simmons – Pasma – Massaad – Caldwell etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 394 points; 2 Piastri 319.5; 3 Sargeant 314; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 249.5; 6 York 239.5; 7 Simmons 226.5; 8 Pasma 147.5; 9 Massaad 74; 10 Webb 68 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 300.5; 4 Caldwell 209; 5 Allen 156; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Quinn reigns supreme at Silverstone

  • Third win of campaign for front row starter Alex Quinn.
  • York and Piastri complete podium.
  • Caroline’s championship lead reduced by just three points to 71.5.
  • Ericsson takes the Ford F4 Challenge Cup spoils for seventh time this season.

16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn shone at Silverstone to take victory in Round 25 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, ahead of Oliver York and Oscar Piastri after a dramatic finish hit by torrential rain.

Silverstone has proved a happy hunting ground for Quinn. It was the scene of his British F4 Rookie title triumph in 2016, which he capped off with a fantastic win at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Starting on the front row the Cornish racer was determined to add another victory to his name at the home of British Motor Racing and he duly delivered. A lightning start saw him get the jump on team-mate and poleman Oscar Piastri.

Piastri made life difficult for Quinn in the opening stages, refusing to let him escape while bringing Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Jamie Caroline (Carlin) with him. Caroline having already made up two places on the first lap.

As the race progressed Quinn eventually managed to break free of Piastri’s clutches. The heavens opened with just two laps remaining, but Quinn remained unfazed out front. The 16-year-old danced his way around the 1.64 mile circuit on slick tyres in the pouring rain to take his third win of the campaign.

“I got Oscar off the line which is what I was aiming to do because to go head to head in the race would have been more tricky considering the way things are in the championship battle. We have to keep maximising the points.

“I knew the start was my best and safest opportunity to get the job done so I’m really happy to have pulled it off.

“It wasn’t easy after the start though because Oscar was very quick at the beginning, but I eventually managed to pull out a bit of a gap.

“Then I saw a massive black cloud overhead and knew the rain was coming. I stayed calm, didn’t push too hard and it paid off.

“I was trying to pay attention to how much rain was on my visor and how much water there was on the track. The last lap was like driving into the unknown, but I’ve always liked these conditions throughout my career.”

Behind Quinn the situation was far less straightforward. After Caroline got the better of York with a bold move to take third just before the rain began to fall, the championship leader moved to double his fun as he attempted to pass and pull away from chief title rival Piastri on the final lap.

It resulted in a spin for Caroline, forcing Piastri to take evasive action. The Aussie took a wide line and hit the brakes. York promptly capitalised to take second, diving up the inside of both drivers.

“Overall it was a good race for us,” commented York. “We had the pace throughout. Even when the rain came down we were something like a second quicker than anyone else on the last lap when we took second place.

“Jamie went for a late move and I had to back out really otherwise it could have ended very differently. Then it started to rain and he was sideways through Brooklands after a half spin. It forced Oscar out wide and it gave me the opportunity to scythe up the inside the pair of them.

“I think I was a little held back by Oscar which meant I couldn’t attack Quinn for the win. I’m still happy to get second which means plenty more points in the championship so we can continue to target a top five finish in the championship at the end of the season.

“This is my third podium in four races so it’s great to have this kind of consistency and is a sign of our strength.”

“The start was not good at all,” said Piastri. “I didn’t have enough heat in the tyres which meant I couldn’t get the traction I wanted off the line.

“I felt I was faster than Alex in the opening laps, but as the race progressed I didn’t have the life in the tyres that he did which meant I couldn’t quite keep up with him.

“The heavens opened on the final two laps and I was probably a bit too cautious. On the last lap Jamie went for a bold move and spun in front of me. I had nowhere to go other than slam on the brakes and that let York through.

“I’m not happy with the result, but it could have been a lot worse. We finished on the podium and in front of Jamie so that’s still positive.”

A below-par qualifying for Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons meant the stage was set for them to come storming through the field from 15th and 11th respectively. Both took no prisoners as they flew up the order, each making up four places on just the opening lap. The duo put on a display of overtaking that was a feast for the eyes, with Simmons finishing fifth and Lundqvist sixth. Simmons recording fastest lap of the race in the process.

Behind them finished Carlin’s Logan Sargeant, while eighth place for Hoggard earnt the Fortec Motorsports racer points and pole position for tomorrow’s partially reversed grid race.

Team-mate Hampus Ericsson had to settle for ninth despite a spell in sixth, but with Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen and TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell in 14th and 17th respectively, Ericsson secured his seventh Ford F4 Challenge Cup win. It leaves him tied with Oliver York for most wins in the Class this season.

“The Challenge Cup is the main thing to win and that’s what I have got my sights set on,” explained Ericsson. “To get another win in the Class again today was so important.

“At one point in the race I was sixth, but I went off the track and had to settle for ninth.

“I don’t like the rain much, but I enjoyed it on the slicks. It was a lot of fun!

“The overtake I made on Sargeant into Brooklands was so cool. I got in the slipstream and went around the outside of him. It was a really special move that I’m very proud of.

“Whenever I’m battling with the title contenders like that it’s really exciting and proves that I’m able to fight at the front.”

Carlin’s Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 ahead of Double R’s Karl Massaad. Meanwhile JHR Developments driver Harry Dyson put on a fine display on his competitive single-seater debut, picking his way expertly through the field from last on the grid to finish 12th.

The Ford EcoBoost action continues tomorrow with Round 26 at 1115 when Hoggard will be gunning for his maiden win in the series from pole. The final race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ITV4 and is scheduled for 1630. Piastri will be the poleman once again, with the aim of converting it into his sixth win of the season in a bid to take the title battle to the final meeting of the season.

However, Jamie Caroline will have other ideas and can take the title tomorrow if he has increased his championship lead from 71.5 to at least 75 points once the chequered flag falls on the final race.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 25 Silverstone, 16 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 29.835s / 100.84mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.122s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +1.748s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.164s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.912s
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +9.027s
7 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +10.021s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +10.880s
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +12.001s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.135s etc.

Fastest lap: Ayrton Simmons 57.165s / 103.30mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen; 3 Caldwell

Grid for Round 26: Hoggard – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Simmons – Caroline – Piastri – York – Quinn – Ericsson – Pasma etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 376 points; 2 Piastri 304.5; 3 Sargeant 289; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 247.5; 6 York 233.5; 7 Simmons 216.5; 8 Pasma 143.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 275.5; 4 Caldwell 194; 5 Allen 138; 6 Monger 100

Full results