Simmons edges out Doohan on day one of Croft test

  • Little to separate pacesetters on day one of Croft test, as championship leader Ayrton Simmons gets the better of Jack Doohan by a mere 0.006s.

4 JUNE, 2018 – Ayrton Simmons and JHR Developments edged out Jack Doohan and Arden on day one of a two day test at Croft for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

The pair were consistently quick throughout the day’s running, Simmons once again showcasing the front-running pace which sees him currently leading the championship.

Meanwhile, Red Bull Junior Team driver Doohan picked up where he left off just over two weeks ago when he claimed his maiden single-seater win at Thruxton.

Doohan got the better of Simmons in the morning session, beating him to the top of the times by just 0.013s. He looked set to finish the afternoon quickest too, only for Simmons to pump in a 1m 20.727s lap with little more than five minutes on the clock to go 0.006s clear of the Aussie.

Johnathan Hoggard wasn’t far behind, finding plenty of pace in the afternoon to lap just a tenth adrift and become one of only three drivers to break the 1m 21s barrier.

The Fortec Motorsports driver ended up ahead of Thruxton double race winner Kiern Jewiss (Double R Racing), with Dennis Hauger just 0.009s shy of Jewiss.

Hauger’s team-mate Patrik Pasma wound up seventh, while Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) split the Arden duo.

Behind Pasma on the timesheet could be found fellow flying Finn Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing), with Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) completing the top 10.

Of note was the official testing debut of Christian Lester and Rosso Verde Racing, as part of an acclimatisation process with a view to entering the F4 British Championship in future.

Testing at Croft resumes tomorrow, before the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads to Oulton Park for the upcoming rounds of the season on 9/10 June.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Testing times Croft, 4 June, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:20.955 / 1:20.727
2 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:20.942 / 1:20.733
3 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:22.163 / 1:20.831
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:21.421 / 1:21.001
5 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:21.049 / 1:21.010
6 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:21.627 / 1:21.114
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:21.356 / 1:21.157
8 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:21.550 / 1:21.222
9 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:22.255 / 1:21.274
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:21.588 / 1:21.280 etc.

Full times

Super rookie Jack Doohan scores maiden British F4 win

  • Doohan and Arden bounce back from race two heartbreak to win in style.
  • Victory sees Doohan win £5,000 Ford Super Rookie Award.
  • Simmons finishes second to regain championship lead.

20 MAY, 2018 – Jack Doohan and Arden bounced back brilliantly to win round nine of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton. It was a masterful performance just hours after victory in round eight slipped through Doohan’s fingers on the final lap.

Starting second on the grid, Doohan – son of five-time 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan – got the better of poleman Dennis Hauger on the exit of Club chicane at the end of lap five. Once out in front the Red Bull Junior Team driver pulled away with aplomb, looking absolutely flawless out front on the way to the chequered flag.

Doohan had even more reason to celebrate thanks to winning the Ford Super Rookie Award which sees him leave Thruxton with £5,000 in prize money as the first Rookie class driver to win a race overall this season.

“Race two was so disappointing for us,” said Doohan. “We should have won that race too, but we bounced back, did a similar job to race two and got away from the pack.

“I tried to do the best I could every lap. Just pushing to the maximum, going as fast as possible to escape down the road.

“I knew I had the pace, so I was calm about making my move for the lead and pulled it off at the right time.

“I’m really happy with this result. To have my team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger on the podium with me means it’s a great end to the weekend for us.

“This win is just the start. Anything is possible. We’ve got to keep pushing so we can try to win the title.

“It’s really special to win the Ford Super Rookie Award as well. I’m delighted to come away with such a lucrative prize which I can put towards my racing.”

Behind Doohan it was far from calm on track as a host of drivers jostled for second place. Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) came out on top in an epic battle with Arden’s Hauger and Patrik Pasma, as well as Double R Racing’s Kiern Jewiss. The quartet swapped positions on countless occasions and thrilled the bumper trackside crowd.

Simmons’ second place means he has regained the lead in the standings from the weekend’s double winner Jewiss. The pair separated by just five points heading into the Oulton Park meeting in three weeks.

“I’m happy with this result and to leave here still leading the championship,” said Simmons. “I think Jack deserved the win after what happened to him in the previous race.

“I had to settle for second because he was miles ahead. It was such an intense race and I’m exhausted.

“I feel like I deserve a holiday after that race. It was a lot of fun out there though. Every time we come here it’s always about battling everywhere, every lap. It’s so exciting.

“I thought I got to the front of the pack too early, but I didn’t want to give up the position and had a really intense 10 minutes of defensive driving.”

Added third place man Hauger: “We should have had a win in race one. We deserved it. Then in the second race this weekend the pace wasn’t quite there because we were on the back foot as a result of repairing the car from the off in race one.

“I cannot be disappointed with the final race though. It was such a huge fight to get on the podium. It was really close racing up against drivers with a lot more experience than me at a track where it’s really tough.

“I come away from here having learnt so much and I need to now take what I have learnt this weekend to Oulton Park.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky so far this season. We should have had at least two wins already, but hopefully the luck will change for us and results will start to go our away because we’ve certainly got the pace.”

Sebastian Priaulx put in an excellent recovery drive to salvage more points from what has been a frustrating weekend for the Arden driver. Having started the race 11th, he made another excellent getaway and climbed up to sixth place and ahead of Josh Skelton.

JHR Developments driver Skelton was another who caught the eye on track, making plenty of progress from 12th on the grid to finish seventh ahead of Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) and Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing).

Despite finishing fifth on the road Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) was relegated to 11th as a result of a 10-second penalty for an out of position start, which meant he just missed out on the final points paying position which went to Fortec Motorsports’ Lucca Allen.

Team-mate Johnathan Hoggard’s race was ruined as a result of damage from contact. It forced him to take to the pits and finish in 13th behind Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and ahead of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing).

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 9 Thruxton, 20 May, 2018
16 laps / 37.69 miles
1 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 20m 06.458s / 112.48 mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +6.733s
3 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +7.696s
4 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +7.854s
5 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +8.232s
6 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +9.768s
7 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR +10.112s
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +11.738s
9 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R +13.791s
10 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +15.633s etc.

Fastest lap: Skelton 1m 12.055s / 117.71 mph

Rookie class: 1 Doohan, 2 Hauger, 3 Skelton, 4 Tonteri, 5 Alvarez

Provisional championship standings
1 Simmons 153 points; 2 Jewiss 148; 3 Doohan 101; 4 Priaulx 100; 5 Hoggard 86; 6 Hauger 74; 7 Tonteri 68; 8 Pasma 62; 9 Skelton 37; 10 Ericsson 24 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 176 points; 2 Hauger 143; 3 Tonteri 135; 4 Skelton 131; 5 Alvarez 61

Full results

Front row lock-out for Arden and Red Bull Junior Team as Dennis Hauger smashes qualifying record

19 MAY, 2018 – Arden’s Dennis Hauger has taken his maiden pole in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton and has done so in spectacular fashion.

The Red Bull Junior driver smashed the British F4 qualifying lap record at the Hampshire circuit with a lap of 1m 13.183s. The record had previously been held by Sandy Mitchell who took pole in 2015 for Arden with a lap of 1m 13.264s.

“It was a great session,” said poleman Hauger. “I wasn’t really sure which lap was my quickest because I couldn’t see it on the timer on my dash.

“The car was working really well. I managed to pump in quite a few good laps and took advantage of a tow when it mattered.

“It’s really warm so the tyres are working incredibly hard here and that means managing the grip levels throughout the race will be key to converting my first pole into a maiden victory.”

Championship leader Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) was once again in the thick of the battle for pole and was on provisional pole for much of the session thanks to a lap of 1m 13.424s.

However, Simmons will miss out on a front row start and instead line up 12th as a result of a 10-place grid penalty for contact at the Donington Park meeting three weeks ago.

It means that third fastest driver and Friday pacesetter Jack Doohan is promoted to second on the grid and in doing so secures an Arden and Red Bull Junior Team front row lock-out.

Paavo Tonteri maintained his form from Friday free practice. Once again proving to be the fifth fastest man out on track. His Double R Racing team-mate Kiern Jewiss just getting the better of him by a margin of 0.045s.

“The track is really hot which means you don’t get much time with the tyres performing at their best,” explained Jewiss. “This track is hard on tyres too.

“I’m pleased with the result and happy to be on the second row. There’s plenty of opportunities to get a tow and fight your way up to the front on the field. We just need to make sure we can look after the tyres so we can be strong throughout the race.

“As a driver you push as hard as you can in qualifying, but you have to remember that it’s an entire weekend of running so looking after the tyres is really important.”

Donington Park race winner Johnathan Hoggard continued to lead the Fortec Motorsports charge by recording the sixth fastest time, with team-mates Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen seventh and 13th fastest respectively.

Meanwhile, Patrik Pasma (Arden) just dipped under the 1m 14s mark with a 1m 13.972s to record a time good enough for eighth, which becomes a 13th place grid slot courtesy of a five-place grid penalty handed to him for unsafe manoeuvres at the previous Donington Park meeting.

The top 10 fastest drivers were completed by the Mexican duo of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments).

Round seven of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost follows at 1610.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional qualifying times Thruxton, 19 May, 2018
1 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:13.183
2 Ayrton SIMMONS* / GBR / JHR 1:13.424
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:13.458
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:13.588
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:13.633
6 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:13.704
7 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:13.929
8 Patrik PASMA** / FIN / Arden 1:13.972
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double 1:14.030
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:14.123 etc.
*10-place grid penalty
**5-place grid penalty

Round 9 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Hauger – Doohan – Tonteri – Jewiss – Hoggard – Simmons – Ericsson – Pasma – Alvarez – Sulaiman etc.

Full times

Doohan and Arden top the times at Thruxton in British F4 free practice

  • Doohan and Arden quickest at Thruxton by almost half a second.
  • All three Double R drivers finish the session in the top five, with Jewiss quickest and proving Doohan’s closest challenger.

18 MAY, 2018 – Jack Doohan and Arden were quickest in free practice at Thruxton for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Doohan rose to the top of the times with two thirds of the session left on the clock, and would stay there until the chequer.

The Aussie remained one step ahead of the field. Although the times set by his rivals tumbled, so did his. The Red Bull Junior driver consistently improved and wrapped up the session in style with a final flourish. A lap of 1m 13.175s with five minutes remaining saw him go 0.420s faster than his closest challenger Kiern Jewiss, as well as 0.089s quicker than the qualifying lap record set by Sandy Mitchell and Arden in 2015.

“This has been a really good start to the weekend for us,” said Doohan. “It’s only practice of course, but I feel like I’m driving well.

“I didn’t really know where I was on the timesheet. I was just focusing on getting the best out of myself and going as fast as possible.

“There’s definitely more in the tank, because my quickest lap wasn’t perfect. I got a tow behind Priaulx after recording a really strong time in the first sector and just pieced the lap together, using the tyre in the right way.

“We kept on getting better and better out on track. We set our best time on older tyres so there should be more to come on new tyres if we can hook the lap up.

“I know there’s more to come from me too. This is only my third race weekend in British F4 and it’s my first season racing cars. I’m confident I will only get stronger as the year goes on.”

It was another strong start to the weekend for Double R Racing’s Jewiss, who looks increasingly accustomed to occupying the top spots on the timesheets and showcasing front-running pace.

“It was a good session for us,” commented Jewiss. “That was a really quick lap from Doohan. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a time similar to that here. I feel that if they’ve gone for a very stiff setup to get that time, it’s going not going to work around here in the races because it’s going to work the tyres too hard.

“We’ll see what we can do tonight. The car felt pretty good on track so let’s see what happens. I think the pace is there and the team is working really well.

“At Donington Park we were able to attack really well and I think we are definitely capable of doing the same here.

“At Thruxton it’s possible to get a really good tow which means that you can come up through the order and perhaps being on pole isn’t the biggest advantage because you risk being under more pressure from drivers behind in the slipstream.

“Nevertheless, the goal is always to be quickest and to secure pole in qualifying. We’ll certainly give our all tomorrow to achieve that.”

Jewiss’ team-mate Sebastian Alvarez and Arden driver Dennis Hauger recorded identical times in third and fourth, while Paavo Tonteri ensured all three Double R-prepared cars finished the session in the top five.

Next on the timesheet could be found the JHR Developments pair of Ayrton Simmons and Manuel Sulaiman. The duo left it until later in the session to show more of their hand and look very likely to be in the fight for honours this weekend. Meanwhile, team-mate Josh Skelton wound up eighth, sandwiched between Arden’s Patrik Pasma and Sebastian Priaulx.

Hampus Ericsson was best of the Fortec Motorsports trio in 11th, ahead of Donington Park race winner Johnathan Hoggard and Lucca Allen, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) in 14th.

Qualifying gets underway at 1125 tomorrow with the first race of the weekend taking place at 1610. Two more races follow on Sunday at 1250 and 1625, with both being broadcast live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Free practice times Thruxton, 18 May, 2018
1 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:13.175
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:13.595
3 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R 1:13.674
4 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:13.674
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:13.721
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:13.762
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:13.848
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:14.033
9 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR 1:14.043
10 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:14.219 etc.

Full times

Hoggard flying high following maiden British F4 win at Donington Park

  • Lights-to-flag win for Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard.
  • Sebastian Priaulx makes superb start to secure second.
  • Jack Doohan comes out on top in thrilling battle with Arden team-mate Dennis Hauger for final podium spot and Rookie class win.

28 APRIL, 2018 – Johnathan Hoggard was flawless from start to finish to convert pole into a maiden victory in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Donington Park.

Having taken his first pole position in the series just hours earlier, Hoggard followed up with a sublime lights-to-flag win around the wet Leicestershire circuit.

A clean getaway saw him escape the clutches of the chasing pack into turn one and he quickly set about building a margin over second place man Sebastian Priaulx (Arden). The latter making an excellent move at the first corner to swoop past team-mates Patrik Pasma and Dennis Hauger.

A Safety Car to enable the recovery of Kiern Jewiss’ stricken racer following contact further down the field on lap seven saw Hoggard’s two second lead wiped out. However, he continued to not put a foot wrong, mastering the restart to put daylight between himself and Priaulx and take the chequered flag several laps later.

“It feels great to get pole and the win in the same day,” said Hoggard. “I’m over the moon with the result.

“Brands Hatch was a bit of a heartbreak really, finishing first on the road, but losing out on the win due to a time penalty for a false start.

“It was tricky out there today. I had to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, but push at the same time to try to build a gap.

“The Safety Car restart made things harder, bringing everyone closer to me, but I managed to pull a little bit of a gap again and hold it.

“Getting this first win is definitely a weight off my shoulders and hopefully there will be a lot more wins to come.”

Added Fortec Motorsports team owner Richard Dutton: “Brands Hatch was disappointing because Johnathan went off the track in qualifying which meant he was down the order and on the back foot; even though he won a race on the road, but lost out due to a penalty.

“It was very frustrating so it’s nice that Johnathan has been able to win the first race this weekend and I’m sure there will be many more.

“He has progressed a lot over the winter. He has come on leaps and bounds and he has been quick everywhere he’s been.

“As long as he can qualify like he did this morning, then the race weekends should be a lot easier for him.”

“I had a good start,” commented Priaulx. “I went around the outside and I wanted to try to keep the others tight on the inside. I stuck to the outside, had grip and just powered around them to take P2.

“It all comes down to feeling in situations like that. I didn’t want to run anybody onto the grass and I was fair with the room I gave. I’m really happy with the move and my race.

“Hoggard and I were pretty close in terms of pace so it was hard to pass and I didn’t want to risk making a move that would take us both out.

“It’s all about finishing and scoring strong points. It’s not always about winning every race. To win the championship you need to be consistent and constantly up there. The wins will come.”

It was an unfortunate end for Jewiss (Double R Racing) who had lit up the timing screens throughout in his efforts to climb up the order from ninth, having dropped a couple of places from seventh on the grid. The MB Partners-backed rising star recording the fastest lap of the race, a 1m 20.988s, on lap six.

Front row starter Patrik Pasma had been running in third for much of the race, but lost out in the skirmish that ensued after the Safety Car restart. The Finn was forced to retire, cruelly taking away his chance of what would have been a hard-earned podium.

It left Arden’s Red Bull Junior Team duo of Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger to battle it out for the final podium spot and the Rookie class win. The pair swarming all over each other and swapping positions repeatedly in the closing stages. Doohan ultimately got the better of Hauger on the penultimate lap and fended him off to take the spoils.

“At the start of the race I had to contend with Ericsson who was defending really well and made it hard to get past,” explained Doohan.

“After I got past him and the Safety Car came out I knew it was my time to shine and that I had to take advantage of it.

“I got a run around the outside of Hauger into turn four at the restart and got pretty close to Pasma in turn eight, but he ended up pushing the entry a bit and dropping a wheel on the dirt which gave me the upper hand.

“Then I had Hauger coming back alongside me down the main straight so it was really close and we battled it out until the end which was exciting.

“It was a really good battle with lots of fair racing and it feels great to get another podium.”

Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) scored his best result of the season so far with fifth at the circuit at which he made his car racing debut a year ago, and in doing so achieved pole position for the partially reversed grid race on Sunday.

Championship leader Ayrton Simmons was able to bring his JHR Developments-prepared racer home in sixth to score valuable points in his quest for the title, recovering well from 10th on the grid.

As had been the case at Brands Hatch, Jamie Sharp had it all to do after a difficult qualifying. The Sharp Motorsport racer once again rose to the challenge. He picked his way through the order to take seventh despite starting from the back of the grid and going off the track at the first corner with Josh Skelton. Meanwhile Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing) was a first lap casualty after being forced to take to the gravel at McLeans.

Lucca Allen ensured all Fortec Motorsports runners achieved top 10 finishes by crossing the line in eighth, while the sole remaining Double R Racing driver Sebastian Alvarez finished ninth ahead of the JHR Developments pair of Manuel Sulaiman and Josh Skelton.

Round five of the season gets underway at 0925 tomorrow. At 1520 the lights will go out for round six which will be shown live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 4 Donington Park, 28 April, 2018
12 laps / 23.74 miles
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 17m 12.680s / 82.65 mph
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +1.215s
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden +7.061s
4 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +7.331s
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +9.965s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +10.216s
7 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +10.595s
8 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +11.830s
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +12.128s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +12.442s etc.

Fastest lap: Jewiss 1m 20.988s / 87.97 mph

Rookie class: 1 Doohan, 2 Hauger, 3 Alvarez, 4 Skelton

Grid for Round 5: Ericsson – Hauger – Doohan – Priaulx – Hoggard – Simmons – Sharp – Allen – Alvarez – Sulaiman etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Simmons 76 points; 2 Priaulx 67; 3 Jewiss 48; 4 Hoggard 43; 5 Doohan 38; 6 Hauger 35; 7 Tonteri 25; 8 Ericsson 19; 9 Pasma 18; 10 Skelton 10 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 80; 2 Hauger 73; 3 Skelton 55; 4 Tonteri 43; 5 Alvarez 27

Full results

Arden’s Sebastian Priaulx powers to maiden British F4 win

  • Priaulx takes maiden single-seater win in only his second British F4 race.
  • Simmons takes second place to remain at top of standings.
  • Doohan completes podium and scores first Rookie class win of campaign.
  • Front-runners Hoggard and Pasma miss out on top spots due to time penalties.

7 APRIL, 2018 – Arden’s Sebastian Priaulx took victory in the second race of the 2018 F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch and followed in the footsteps of Ford GT driver and father Andy Priaulx by winning with Ford EcoBoost power.

Although Priaulx finished third on track, he was promoted to first due to 10 second time penalties for front-row starters Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec Motorsports) and Patrik Pasma (Arden) for false starts. Nevertheless, Priaulx put in a flawless drive on the way to his maiden single-seater win in only his second British F4 race.

Having finished less than a second behind race one winner Ayrton Simmons just hours earlier, it was Priaulx’s chance to turn the tables. The 1st CENTRAL Insurance backed rising star seized the opportunity as he kept a hard-charging Simmons at bay. The JHR Developments ace having wasted no time in making his way up the order from seventh on the grid. The pick of his moves a daring lunge down the inside of Tonteri on lap two.

“I didn’t even realise I was leading the race,” said Priaulx. “I kept thinking I was in P3 so it was a big surprise to find out I had actually won the race when I came into parc ferme. I’m pretty shocked and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

“I feel like I’m bedding in nicely with the car and the team. It feels great to get this first win in British F4. It’s a really hard championship to win in so I’m over the moon.

“It’s so cool wearing a Ford Performance race suit with the blue Ford oval on it. It’s just like my Dad wears for the GT team and it’s such a good feeling to have won with a Ford EcoBoost engine like he has done in the FIA World Endurance Championship.”

Commented early championship leader Simmons: “It’s been one of the best days I’ve had in motorsport. To achieve a double pole, a race win and a second place at the very beginning of the season is fantastic.

“I knew the guys ahead of me on the grid would be running new tyres to try to capitalise on their starting position and that it would take a little longer for them to get their tyres up to optimum temperature so I really pushed to make up places in the opening laps.

“I’m also surprised and pleased with the fact that our pace was similar to everyone else in the closing stages despite our tyres being older.

“I’ve experience a lot of ups and downs over the last couple of years, but it feels like everything is finally coming together now and that’s incredibly exciting for the year ahead.”

Arden’s Jack Doohan claimed a hard-fought podium, pulling off some superb overtakes and getting the better of Kiern Jewiss and team-mate Dennis Hauger in one fell-swoop with a perfectly-judged move around the outside of them at Druids on lap 12.

“We’ve got off to a really good start today. To be honest I thought the podium would have been more likely in race one when I started seventh as opposed to race two when I started ninth, but it was a good race.

“I thought they had made a mistake when I pulled up in parc ferme and they told me I finished third. I thought I was fifth!

“After the experience of race one, I felt more confident with having other cars around me. I had a much better understanding of how much space to give going into this race and that meant I could really push.

“I overtook Jewiss and Hauger in the same move around the outside. I saw them battling in front of me and felt Jewiss had more pace so I thought if I could get past both of them quickly it would mean I could try to break away while they fought each other.”

It was a case of what might have been for front-row starters Hoggard and Pasma. Despite finishing first and second on the track, as well as their front-running pace, they had to settle for fifth and sixth respectively. Their task of pulling away from the chasing pack made only harder due to a Safety Car on lap five to recover Sebastian Alvarez’s (Double R Racing) stricken car on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend.

Hoggard got the better of polesitter Pasma off the line and along with his 10 points for fifth ended the race with fastest lap as added consolation.

The time penalties for Hoggard and Pasma saw Jewiss and Hauger split on the final classification, the former finishing fourth and the latter seventh.

Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports) was back in the points following his maiden point score in race one and was locked in an entertaining midfield scrap with Tonteri. Tonteri struck in the closing stages, passing Allen as they crossed the start/finish line and into Paddock Hill Bend, only for the Finn to come unstuck minutes later in the gravel at Druids.

Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) was another on course for a points haul, but for a five second time penalty for exceeding track limits which promoted Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) and Josh Skelton to 10th and 11th. The pair finishing behind Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) who was able to deliver on the point scoring promise he showed in race one.

Despite missing out on points, JHR Developments driver Skelton bagged third in the Rookie class and with it his first trip to the podium of the season.

Simmons will start from pole for the ITV4 live-televised feature race at 15.05 tomorrow, as he attempts to extend his championship lead. Hauger will line up alongside him and bid for his maiden victory in the series, as well as the Ford Super Rookie Award which would see him take home £5,000.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 2 Brands Hatch Indy, 7 April, 2018
24 laps / 28.98 miles
1 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 20m 16.015s / 85.82 mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +0.852s
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden +4.127s
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +4.986s
5 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +8.589s
6 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +9.648s
7 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +12.871s
8 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +13.260s
9 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +13.380s
10 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +15.726s etc.

Fastest lap: Hoggard 46.395s / 93.73 mph

Rookie class: 1 Doohan, 2 Hauger, 3 Skelton

Round 3 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Simmons – Hauger – Jewiss – Tonteri – Hoggard – Priaulx – Skelton – Pasma – Sulaiman – Doohan etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Simmons 43 points; 2 Priaulx 37; 3 Jewiss 30; 4 Hauger 21; 5 Hoggard 18; 6 Doohan 17; 7 Pasma 14; 8 Tonteri 10; 9 Allen 5; 10 Sulaiman 4 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Hauger 43 points; 2 Doohan 40; 3 Skelton 25; 4 Tonteri 18; 5 Alvarez 12

Full results

Hauger and Arden on top again in British F4 testing

  • Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger quickest in Norfolk for Arden.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard proves Hauger’s closest challenger.

21 MARCH, 2018 – Arden’s Dennis Hauger picked up where he left off by setting the pace in official pre-season testing for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Snetterton today, having topped the times in the test at Rockingham last week.

Similarly to the Rockingham test, it was Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard who was Hauger’s closest challenger. The two drivers traded blows at the top of the times for much of the day.

Hoggard proved the quicker of the two in the afternoon session with a 1m 52.228s lap, but it was not enough to beat Hauger’s lap of 1m 52.074s which was set by the Norwegian in the morning.

Hauger’s Arden team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Jack Doohan joined the front-running party too. A lap of 1m 52.308s over half a second quicker than his morning’s best and enough to see the Aussie go third on the combined timesheet.

Patrik Pasma and Sebastian Priaulx ensured all of Arden’s runners broke the 1m 53s barrier around the 3-mile Norfolk circuit, ending up fifth and sixth respectively.

Ayrton Simmons was the quickest JHR Developments driver, occupying fourth on the timesheet having recorded a lap half a second faster than team-mate Manuel Sulaiman.

Behind Sulaiman could be found the Fortec Motorsports duo of Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) in 10th.

The start of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is now just weeks away, with the season opener set to take place at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Testing times Snetterton, 21 March, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:52.074 / 1:52.309
2 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:52.490 / 1:52.228
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:52.863 / 1:52.308
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:53.471 / 1:52.624
5 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:52.697 / 1:52.971
6 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:53.037 / 1:52.702
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:53.546 / 1:53.161
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:53.339 / 1:53.351
9 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec 1:55.970 / 1:54.393
10 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp 1:56.227 / 1:54.994

Full times

Mark Webber and Mick Doohan attend British F4 Media Day as Jack Doohan and co. gear up for first race of season

  • Two of motorsport’s most popular stars Mark Webber and Mick Doohan attend British F4 Media Day.
  • Webber excited to continue following the progress of compatriot and Red Bull Junior Team driver Jack Doohan.

20 MARCH, 2018 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost was joined by motor racing greats from the world of two and four wheels at last week’s Media Day at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Nine-time Grand Prix winner and 2015 FIA World Endurance Champion Mark Webber, as well as Mick Doohan who won five consecutive 500cc World Championships from 1994 to 1998, came to cast an eye over British F4’s class of 2018 and follow the progress of Mick’s son Jack who will race with Arden this season.

Like Mick Doohan, Webber has raced motorcycles. The Aussie did so very early in his career, but switched to four wheels when he began karting aged 14.

Car racing soon beckoned and similarly to so many motorsport legends, much of Webber’s early single-seater career was powered by Ford. It began in the Australian Formula Ford Championship before he went on to finish third in the 1995 Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch.

More Formula Ford success followed when he took four victories on his way to second in the 1996 British Formula Ford Championship. He was victorious in the Formula Ford Festival that year and in the Formula Ford Euro Cup at Spa-Francorchamps, taking third in the series despite only competing in two of the three rounds.

Jack Doohan is now looking to follow in the footsteps of Webber with Ford EcoBoost power, making the step up from karting to single-seaters in British F4 and Webber is keen to see how his compatriot and son of close friend Mick will fare.

“I have followed Jack through karting,” said Webber. “I have kept an eye on him because Mick and I are pretty tight so it’s natural for me to be interested in Jack’s progress. I would love to see him do really well.

“If I have got any ideas on one or two things that can make even just one or two per cent improvement then I would love to be able to help. I’m always open to little chats here and there.

“I’m going to try to come to a few race weekends. I know Andy Priaulx well. He’s a great bloke and his son Sebastian is racing in British F4 with Arden too. The team looks very strong in what is a very competitive series.”

The F4 British Championship is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept which was introduced in 2015. Designed to be a globally recognised, yet affordable step between karting and Formula 3, it is the ideal category for drivers to make their first strides to Formula 1 on the FIA single-seater pyramid.

Formula 4’s emergence has established a clear path from karting into single-seaters, something which Webber welcomes: “Formula 4 wasn’t around when I was coming up through the ranks,” he explained.

“Seeing that there is now a clear single-seater category to go to from karts is great, especially with the different F4 series around the world.

“British F4 is so good because the tracks are very technical. It’s unbelievably competitive and a brilliant proving ground for youngsters.

“The first year in cars is a big step for every driver. F4 is a nice format with the power to weight ratio, a little bit of aero and slick tyres. On top of that it’s a category which teaches racecraft.”

Doohan arrives on the single-seater scene with the support of Red Bull as a member of their Junior Team, along with Arden team-mate Dennis Hauger, and Webber paid testament to Red Bull for leading the way in bringing young drivers through the ranks.

“Having seen what the likes of Max [Verstappen] have achieved at such an early age, things have really changed in the last five to six years,” he said.

“Young drivers are getting into Formula 1 now and there’s a lot of expectation placed upon them to deliver.

“Red Bull are the pioneers with regard to pulling this off. Sebastian [Vettel] and Max were very young and Daniel [Ricciardo] was a little bit older.”

With the start of the 2018 season just weeks away, Webber was keen to impart some wise words of wisdom to British F4’s latest crop of rising single-seater stars: “You’ve got to work really hard with the team, understand what you want from the car, work on your weaknesses and keep your consistency really high,” he said.

“Qualifying is important too. If you can qualify high up the grid and get good starts that’s a big part of putting a race weekend together.

“You should never be too shy to work on your weaknesses. I have seen it at every level of motorsport, including the very top.

“Even Schumacher and Vettel have had areas they have had to work on more than others. They’ve always understood that and worked hard with the team around them to become stronger.”

The 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost gets underway on 7/8 April at Brands Hatch. The series will go on to visit the UK’s premier race circuits, including Silverstone which is home to the British Grand Prix – a race which Webber won in both 2010 and 2012.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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