British F4 champion Caroline confirmed for Carlin’s British F3 line-up at Spa

Supplied by team’s PR.

18 JULY, 2018 – Carlin have confirmed that reigning FIA British Formula 4 Champion Jamie Caroline will join the team at Spa-Francorchamps for the fifth round of the British F3 Championship this weekend (21-22 July).

Caroline, who dominated the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with Carlin last year, will line up alongside fellow British F4 graduates Nicolai Kjaergaard and Billy Monger, as well as Sun Yue Yang, as he stands in for Clement Novalak who has clashing commitments.

The 19-year-old has already enjoyed a stellar junior motorsport career – becoming the most successful F4 British Championship driver with an astonishing ten victories during his 2017 title winning campaign. He also broke the record books as the first driver ever to take all three race wins over the course of a race weekend at Thruxton – including a hard-fought reverse grid race.

He has since competed in selected rounds of the US F2000 series in the USA, with fourth place finishes at St Petersburg and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Caroline now makes a welcome return to British F3, having competed in the 2016 Autumn Trophy, where he was classified fifth overall with one podium from the three races.

Caroline commented: “I can’t wait to be back racing again. We had a two-day test in Pembrey a couple of weekends ago and that felt fantastic, so I can only imagine what the race weekend will feel like. I’m extremely happy that I’m able to be back racing with Carlin this weekend, especially at Spa, and can’t wait to get going on Friday!”

Reigning British F4 champion Jamie Caroline set to race in America

5 MARCH, 2018 – 2017 British F4 Champion Jamie Caroline has today confirmed that he is moving across the pond to contest the 2018 USF2000 Championship with BN Racing.

Crowned FIA British Formula 4 champion with the most race victories and highest points tally recorded in the history of the series, surpassing that of 2015 champion Lando Norris, Jamie finds himself looking to America to further his career.

Budget constraints leave Jamie unable to take the next step on the traditional British motorsport ladder. Determined not to give up on his career he has made the bold decision to take on America, setting his sights on the Mazda Road to Indy scholarship programme.

Jamie’s first outing in the USF2000 car is this weekend (9-11 March) at the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg and without any pre-season testing under his belt, Jamie knows he has a steep learning curve ahead.

“I’ve always had my eye on racing in America. There seem to be more opportunities for young drivers, the competition is good, plus the whole Mazda Road to Indy scholarship is pretty exciting.” Jamie explained.

“When I heard from BN Racing I was immediately interested. The team looked strong in pre-season testing and with a British team owner I’m sure I will feel right at home. It’s not going to be easy racing on tracks I don’t know without any testing, but I’m definitely up to the challenge and I’m not going out there to make up the numbers.

“I am of course sad to be leaving the British motorsport scene and some of my UK-based sponsors behind, but the opportunities just aren’t available for me to race with a top team in the UK. This is the best career move for me and I hope to find some new sponsors to work with in the US.

“To compete in a Verizon IndyCar support series is awesome. I just want to race, it’s what I’m good at and I’m not ready to give up.”

“Jamie’s resume speaks for itself,” expressed BN Racing’s Bryn Nuttall. “He has had success with multiple teams in many different series’, ultimately topping the end of the year points battles in many of them. A quick study off the track and even faster on it, Jamie will be the final piece in a powerful BN Racing line-up for 2018.

British F4 champions crowned at BRSCC Awards as Monger wins Henry Ford Trophy

  • Billy Monger wins coveted Henry Ford Trophy for extraordinary human endeavour.
  • FIA British Formula 4 champion Jamie Caroline and vice-champion Oscar Piastri receive awards.

5 FEBRUARY, 2018 – Stars of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost were out in force on Saturday 3 February for the BRSCC Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a night to remember for Billy Monger. His determination to recover from his life-changing accident and get back behind the wheel of a race car saw him presented with the prestigious Henry Ford Trophy for human endeavour in the field of motorsports by Ford Performance Europe senior manager Gerard Quinn.

Introduced in 2015 and previously awarded to FIA British Formula 4 champions Lando Norris and Max Fewtrell, the trophy was commissioned by Ford Motor Company to recognise the person who Ford believes has shown extraordinary endeavour throughout the year.

“It’s really special to win a trophy as prestigious as this. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from people to help me get back behind the wheel. I want to take this opportunity to thank all those people because I wouldn’t have won this award if it wasn’t for them.

“I’ve got a lot more to give in the world of motorsport as a driver so let’s see what I can achieve in the next few years. Hopefully I can make everyone proud.

“I’m still looking for a few more sponsors for 2018, but we’re nearly there and I’m really looking forward to announcing my plans for this year.

“I had an amazing time in British F4 even though it came to an end much sooner than I wanted it to. I learnt so much racing in the championship. I know I can take all that knowledge and experience with me to the other forms of motorsport I will compete in and showcase just what British F4 graduates are capable of.”

“Henry Ford founded his company on the back of his racing exploits and we are proud that his legacy means that Ford can maintain its enablement of grass roots entry level motorsports,” explained Quinn.

“The recipient of the Henry Ford trophy for 2017 is a young man who epitomises the famous quote that Henry himself said in 1923 and which is inscribed on the trophy: ‘If people really set their minds on anything it is impossible to prevent their getting what they want.’

“In 2017 Billy overcame life-changing injuries following his horrific accident at the F4 meeting at Donington Park. His strength of character, determination and professional attitude as a sports person has set him apart as an inspiration to everyone.

“He is determined to race as an able-bodied athlete and has ensured that our sport has benefitted positively out of his adversity. He is an extraordinary person who has won the hearts of so many and has become a positive influence for the next generation of racers.”

Monger was joined by fellow British F4 graduates Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri who received their respective FIA British Formula 4 champion and vice-champion trophies from BRSCC chairman Peter Daly.

Caroline dominated the headlines throughout 2017 for his record-breaking exploits. He achieved the highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories and became first driver to win all three races in a single race weekend.

Meanwhile, Piastri shone with his excellent qualifying record and relentless consistency. The Arden driver qualified on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stood on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions.

Carlin British F4 team manager Martin Knapman and mechanic Calum Wooldridge took to the stage to accept the Teams Cup. 2017 was the third successive year in which Carlin scooped the award after a season which saw it record more wins than any other team with a tally of 12.

“It’s fantastic to celebrate my record-breaking 2017 season with all of the team that have supported me and made my success possible,” said Caroline.

“The F4 British Championship is run by mega people, who I very much consider part of my racing family. It’s the best and most popular FIA Formula 4 championship in the world, with extremely competitive grids and a huge number of fans. It’s excellent value for money and a brilliant series for sponsors to be part of with fantastic publicity and media exposure.

“The future is bright for British F4. I’ve written my chapter in its history and I’ll be watching closely to see if anyone can beat my records.”

Images by Gary Hawkins Photography.

British F4 2017 season review: Sweet Caroline

8 DECEMBER, 2017 – The 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost had an abundance of young stars and talented protagonists, but in many ways it was dominated by two young men: Jamie Caroline and Billy Monger.

Caroline sent records tumbling on his crusade to the title. The 18-year-old blitzed the field in the first half of the season. Having joined Carlin over the winter, he got off to a winning start in the opener at Brands Hatch and would never be headed in the standings, with win number two also coming that weekend.

Eight more victories followed in 2017, including another brace at the subsequent meeting and a historic hat-trick at Thruxton; becoming the first driver in series history to win all three races in a single weekend. This just a fortnight after an accident at Donington Park in which friend Billy Monger suffered life-changing injuries.

The top step of the podium beckoned for Caroline at Oulton Park, Snetterton and Knockhill, after which a more conservative approach saw him carefully manage his way to being crowned FIA British Formula 4 champion with two races to spare. His tally of 10 victories the most recorded in a British F4 season, as well as his points total which surpassed the record set by 2015 champion Lando Norris.

2017 will live long in the memory due to the events at Donington, but more so for what transpired afterwards: The motorsport community rallying in a touching display of solidarity and Monger’s determination which demonstrated his strength of character, resolve and professional attitude as a sportsperson. The 18-year-old set himself apart as an inspiration to everyone, winning hearts and becoming a positive influence for the next generation of racers.

Although Oscar Piastri had to settle for vice-champion, a stellar season saw the TRS Arden ace qualify on pole seven times – more than any other driver – and stand on the podium in half of all races, including the top step on six occasions. The Aussie took the title fight to the final meeting and while his efforts proved in vain, the 16-year-old established himself as one to watch in the coming years; deemed to have shown the most promise and improvement during the season to win the Joe Tandy Memorial Award and scooped the Drivers’ Choice Award, as voted by his peers.

Logan Sargeant played a pivotal role in Carlin winning its third successive Teams Cup. His form was particularly impressive after the summer break, outscoring Messrs Caroline and Piastri in second half of 2017. He followed up victory at Rockingham with another win at Silverstone, where he pulled off one of the best overtakes of the season by running around the outside of Caroline to snatch the lead.

2016 Rookie champion Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) had to wait until Croft to taste victory and hit his stride in the latter stages of the campaign with a win at each of the final three meetings. The Cornishman’s triumphs at Rockingham and the Brands Hatch finale the pick of the bunch. The latter a faultless drive from a talented teenager who has progressed leaps and bounds in his two years with the series.

Team-mate Ayrton Simmons got off to a flying start, winning the second race of the season, but had to wait until after the summer break for further podium visits. Patrik Pasma’s efforts merited a win. It proved elusive in a year that saw him consistently finish in the top 10, where fellow Carlin racer Lucas Alecco Roy joined him on several occasions.

A disastrous opening weekend for Linus Lundqvist saw him fail to score a point, but his prodigious pace was undeniable. His climb from the back of the field to fifth at Silverstone was particularly special. The 18-year-old doubled up with wins at Croft, another came at Rockingham and he signed off in style with his fourth win at Brands Hatch to banish the demons from six months earlier. Double R team-mate Karl Massaad also brought home plenty of points, with podiums at Thruxton and Knockhill.

Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) ended the season as top rookie. Growing in confidence, a switch from the Ford F4 Challenge Cup to contest every race came as no surprise. He set his sights on a maiden win and he didn’t have to wait long, taking the chequered flag at Knockhill. A further three podiums over the Rockingham and Silverstone weekends added to his tally of five, while win number two came at Brands Hatch.

York looked a likely candidate to clinch the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, but team-mate Hampus Ericsson and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb had other ideas. With York ineligible to score Challenge Cup points from the halfway stage of the season and Ericsson contesting the final six meetings, the young Swede came to the fore and overhauled Webb who had climbed to the top of the standings at Knockhill.

Ericsson announced his arrival on the single-seater scene with some deft overtaking on his debut at Donington Park, scoring points in his first two races. More followed as the season progressed, with an overall podium at Knockhill. He saved his best until last with the Challenge Cup going down to the wire between himself and Webb; stamping his authority when it mattered with a record ninth Challenge Cup win, as well as an overall podium.

For Webb it was a case of what might have been during a year in which he recorded more Challenge Cup podiums than any other driver with a tally of 20 from 21 races. A start-line tangle robbed him of the chance to fight Ericsson in the finale, having outscored him in the first two races of the weekend.

Olli Caldwell (Arden) became the youngest FIA F4 driver in history when he contested his first race at Croft on his 15th birthday. At Snetterton he claimed two Challenge Cup victories in quick succession and had further visits to the top step of the podium at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

Manuel Sulaimán scored his maiden podium on Finals Day, having a racked up a host of point scoring finishes for JHR Developments while dovetailing commitments in the sister Mexican F4 series. Sulaimán was joined on the grid by fellow Mexican Alexandra Mohnhaupt (Fortec Motorsports) at Snetterton, who returned to the series after making her debut in 2016.

Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec Motorsports) contested a handful of meetings with the aim of a full assault on the championship in 2018. He wasted no time in showcasing his talent, most notably on the way to a podium at Silverstone.

Sharp Motorsport’s Jamie Sharp laid the foundation for a stronger 2018, while Sam Smelt put GW Motorsport in the points paying positions, building on Jacky Liu’s breakthrough top 10 finish at Oulton Park. Daniel Cao (Double R) finished just two places higher than his Chinese compatriot in the standings courtesy of point scores at Donington Park, Thruxton and Oulton Park.

Yves Baltas’ campaign was curtailed for budgetary reasons, while Lucca Allen (Falcon Motorsport) and Harry Dyson (JHR Developments) gained valuable experience with a view to fighting for major honours in 2018.

Championship positions and prize winners
FIA British Formula 4 champion: Jamie Caroline
Runner-up: Oscar Piastri
Third overall: Logan Sargeant
Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion: Hampus Ericsson
Teams Cup: Carlin

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing add to podium tally on title winning weekend

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

2 OCTOBER, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline brought the curtain down on his record-breaking campaign in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with another trip to the podium on the weekend where he successfully wrapped up the 2017 title.

Jamie went into the weekend with a lead of 67.5 points in the title race and as hot favourite to secure the crown, with a maximum of 75 still available.

The talented teenager qualified fourth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend and took his place on the grid aware that a solid result would be enough to wrap up the title.

A fine start saw Jamie making up places off the line but a clash with Alex Quinn going in to Paddock Hill Bend saw him drop to the back of the field.

Undeterred, Jamie recovered well to fight his way back up towards the points-scoring positions with a number of scintillating laps and an eighth place finish was enough to given him the British F4 crown.

Fresh from celebrating his success with his family, Jamie went into the second race of the weekend starting from eighth on the grid and had climbed into sixth when a three-car accident further down the field led to officials bringing out the red flag.

Sixth on the grid for the restart, Jamie made his move as soon as the lights went out to rocket up to second on the opening lap, and would hold position through to the finish to add to another podium to his already impressive tally.

A fifth place finish in the final race of the weekend left Jamie with a record-breaking points total of 442 from a season that saw him finish on the podium an astonishing 16 times – including a series-high ten wins.

Jamie also led an impressive 176 laps over the course of the season, 84 more than any of his rivals and more than 37% of the total completed during the year.

“It’s the first season where I haven’t won on the GP circuit, but it’s hard to be too disappointed about it when I’ve wrapped up the title,” he said. “I knew going into the opening race that there was a good chance I could win it and although the race turned out to be more difficult than it could have been after the first lap, I enjoyed battling back through the field.

“Race two was all about the start and having made up places off the line it was good to bring home a podium finish, and then in race three, I just wanted to go out and enjoy myself with the pressure off.

“Overall it’s been a great season and I feel proud of the records that I’ve set to win the title. Now the season is done, I want to celebrate what I’ve achieved and then start work on planning for next season when hopefully I can build on what I’ve achieved this year.”

Jamie’s F4 title success gives him a second title in three seasons running with support from Pirtek UK, with the youngster having taken top honours in the Ginetta Junior Championship during the first year of the partnership back in 2015.

“We’re delighted to see Jamie wrap up the championship and to take a second title in three seasons is a fantastic achievement,” Pirtek UK managing director Chris Stuckey said.

“From the first race of the year he has shown himself to be the best driver on the grid, and his spectacular performances on track have provided us with some fantastic coverage during the year.

“It’s a richly deserved title, and there is no doubt Jamie has the talent to follow in the footsteps of those drivers who have been successful in the series in the past and have gone on to compete at the highest level.”

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

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing secure British F4 title

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

30 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline has further cemented his place in series history after wrapping up the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title at Brands Hatch.

An eighth place finish in a dramatic opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch allowed Jamie to take an unassailable lead over the chasing pack with two races still to run.

The championship title caps an astonishing season on track for the 18-year-old, who has sent British F4 records tumbling over the course of the campaign.

Having joined the leading Carlin team over the winter, Jamie kick-started his campaign with a win in the opening race of the year at Brands Hatch back in April and would never be headed in the championship standings from that point onwards.

Going from strength-to-strength, Jamie became the first driver in series history to win all three races in a single weekend at Thruxton in May, and by the end of round four at Oulton Park, had already surpassed his points tally for the entire 2016 season.

A tenth win of the year at Knockhill earned Jamie the record for most wins in a season, whilst he has now also surpassed the record for points in a season set by Lando Norris back in 2015.

“It would have been nice to secure the title with another victory but I’m delighted to wrap it up with a few races to space,” he said. “To become the British F4 champion is a good thing to add to my CV, and I’m proud to have taken my second title for Pirtek Racing.

“Going into this season, my aim was to fight for the title but I didn’t expect to enjoy the level of success I’ve had. To break the points record and to set a new record for wins in a season is fantastic, and hopefully before the weekend is over I can add to that win tally.

“So many people have supported me to get to this point and I have to thank all of my family, Phil Glew, Edge Sporting Management, everyone at Pirtek UK and all my other sponsors, as I wouldn’t have been able to take this title without them.”

Jamie’s success this season gives him a second championship in three years, with the British F4 crown being added to the Ginetta Junior Championship title he secured in 2015 in what was his first season with backing from Pirtek UK.

“Although we knew that Jamie stood a good chance of fighting for the championship title this season, we never expected it to go as well as it has done,” marketing manager Tammie Argent-Peters said.

“From the first race at Brands Hatch, he has shown himself to be the class of the field and to take the title and set the records he has set this season is a fantastic achievement.

“His spectacular performances on track in the Pirtek Racing car have provided us with some fantastic coverage this season and we’re delighted to see him end the year with another title to his name.”

Caroline crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion as Lundqvist wins

  • Eighth-place finish enough to put Caroline’s points tally out of reach with two races in hand.
  • Carlin win Teams’ Cup for third consecutive year.
  • Lundqvist makes it five wins for the season after superb start.

30 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Jamie Caroline secured the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title at Brands Hatch to cap a record-breaking season for the Pirtek Racing-backed Carlin star. An eighth-place finish enough to put him clear of title rival Oscar Piastri in the standings. Meanwhile, at the front of the field Linus Lundqvist took his fifth win of the campaign following a lightning start.

In typical Caroline fashion there was no shortage of drama. Starting fourth on the grid the championship leader found himself in the gravel trap at turn one after a tangle with Alex Quinn. The latter was left stranded while Caroline was able to escape.

The stage was set for a trademark Caroline comeback through the field and the 18-year-old did not disappoint, scything his way from last to eighth by the time the chequered flag fell.

Said the 2017 FIA British Formula 4 Champion: “It would have been nice to secure the title with another victory but I’m delighted to wrap it up with a few races to space.

“To become the British F4 champion is a good thing to add to my CV, and I’m proud to have taken my second title for Pirtek Racing.

“On top of that I’m proud to have made it a hat-trick of British F4 drivers’ titles for Carlin, as well as play a key role in bringing home a historic third consecutive Teams’ Cup for them.

“Going into this season, my aim was to fight for the title but I didn’t expect to enjoy the level of success I’ve had. To break the points record and to set a new record for wins in a season is fantastic, and hopefully before the weekend is over I can add to that win tally.

“So many people have supported me to get to this point and I have to thank all of my family, Phil Glew, Edge Sporting Management, Carlin, everyone at Pirtek UK and all my other sponsors, as I wouldn’t have been able to take this title without them.”

Despite Caroline and Quinn’s tangle promoting rival Piastri up to fourth, the Aussie was unable to make further inroads on the leading trio: Lundqvist, Sargeant and Simmons. It meant that even if Caroline had finished outside the points, he still would have been crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion because Piastri needed to take at least 18 points out of Caroline’s lead in the opening race of weekend to keep the title fight alive.

Out front, Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist was in complete control after a daring move around the outside of poleman Logan Sargeant into turn one. The Swede handled two Safety Car restarts impeccably, the first following the recovery of Quinn’s car, the second coming as a result of Lucas Alecco Roy beaching his car in the gravel on the exit of Clearways.

“The move at the start was decisive,” explained Lundqvist. “There was no doubt in my mind that I wasn’t going to come out of turn one in the lead.

“Double R have done an amazing job with the car and I feel like I’m extracting the maximum performance from myself.

“It was hard to find a rhythm out front because of the Safety Cars, but I think I handled them well. I kept the temperature in the tyres and brakes, and was able to perfect the restarts.

“I feel like I had the edge over the field in that race. We’ve had a very good car throughout the weekend. We almost put everything together for pole in qualifying and we did it when it mattered in the race.”

Lundqvist was kept honest throughout proceedings however by Sargeant. Although the American ace was unable to convert pole into his third Ford EcoBoost-powered win, his second place coupled with Caroline’s points score was enough to secure Carlin its third consecutive Teams’ Cup title in the series.

Ayrton Simmons completed the podium, avoiding the drama at the start and joined the stalemate at the front which saw the leading trio separated by just over a second at the fall of the chequer.

There was further drama lower down the order as Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours were fought for. Class leader Hampus Ericsson’s race came undone when a move on Karl Massaad for eighth failed to go his way and left him tumbling down the field. It saw Olli Cadlwell become leading Challenge Cup runner which he maintained until the race’s conclusion to secure his fourth win in the Class.

Ericsson was then faced with the prospect of making his way through the order. The Fortec Motorsports racer was halted by Challenge Cup rival Harry Webb (Richardson Racing), who fended the Swede off to take second and crucially the lead in the standings by three points with two races remaining.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 28 Brands Hatch GP 30 September 2017
11 laps / 26.76 miles
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 19m 15.303s / 83.40mph
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +0.653s
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +1.582s
4 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +2.368s
5 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +4.449s
6 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +5.134s
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +6.993s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +8.737s
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +9.829s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +10.240s etc.

Fastest lap: Linus Lundqvist 1m 26.808s / 100.91mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Webb; 3 Ericsson; 4 Allen

Grid for Round 29: Sulaiman – Pasma – York – Piastri – Simmons – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Caroline – Caldwell – Massaad etc.

Full results

Title rivals Piastri and Caroline top the times in British F4 testing at Brands Hatch

  • Piastri posts quickest time of the day in dry afternoon session.
  • Caroline tops wet morning running.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title protagonists Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri came to the fore in testing ahead of this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch.

TRS Arden’s Piastri ended the day quickest having topped the majority of the dry afternoon session, and after winding up second in the rain hit morning session by a margin of 0.047s to championship leader Caroline.

“Today was my first time in a British F4 car around the Brands Hatch GP circuit so I’m particularly pleased with my performance, especially compared to Caroline who has much more experience around here,” said pacesetter Piastri.

“We were quick out of the box and less than half a tenth off in the wet which was pretty good. Then in the afternoon we were very quick on old tyres and were even quicker on new tyres. We’ve had the pace throughout.

“It was only testing so I wasn’t pushing to the absolute maximum, as was probably the case up and down the paddock. I know I’ve got plenty more pace to unleash.

“It’s quite an unforgiving track so one mistake can result in you paying quite a lot for it and I was wary of that at this early stage.

“Hopefully I can maintain my pace advantage into the rest of the weekend. Qualifying will be important because it’s quite hard to overtake around here.

“Winning the championship will be tough, but we’ll go out there to win as many races as we can this weekend. Even if we don’t pull it off, it would be nice to secure second place in the standings from the likes of Sargeant and Quinn.”

Throughout his Ford EcoBoost-powered career Caroline has excelled in the wet and today was no exception around the circuit where he took his maiden win in the series. Caroline ultimately had to settle for fifth on the combined classification after a trip to the barriers in free practice two left him with a wounded car.

“Today has been alright, apart from putting the car in the barriers very early on in the second session which meant the steering was out for the rest of it,” said Caroline.

“I came in with about five laps left on the clock as it wasn’t possible to improve with car the way it was. There is plenty of time up our sleeve.

“Even with damage we were fifth quickest. So without that we would have been P1 or P2.

“In the wet we would have been quicker because my best lap was done when the track was at its wettest. I didn’t really get a clear run towards the end of the session when the rain had eased off. If I had, my margin at the top would have been greater.”

Piastri was equally impressive and in the afternoon set a strong pace to put himself three tenths of a second clear of his nearest challengers, Logan Sargeant (Carlin) and Alex Quinn (TRS Arden), with a lap of 1m 26.497s.

“It’s been a solid Friday,” said Sargeant. “P3 in the wet and P2 in the dry. We improved by one position during today so hopefully we can do one more tomorrow.

“We’re still quite close to Oscar in the championship and beating him is essential for me to become vice champion, so I’ll be pushing 100 per cent as always to get wins and bring home one-two finishes for Carlin.”

Added Quinn: “Our pace is good. We’re not far off Oscar. There’s definitely an improvement to be made overnight. I had to contend with a couple of technical problems and that held me back a bit.

“Nevertheless, we were still pretty quick and we can get on top of all these little problems for the rest of the weekend to make a step forward and fight for big results.”

Sandwiching Caroline on the timesheet was Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R), both drivers making up the leading sextet all within four tenths of a second of each other.

Oliver York was quickest of the Fortec Motorsports runners having been fourth fastest in the morning and seventh fastest in the afternoon, ending up ahead of team-mate Hampus Ericsson.

With mixed conditions forecast during the weekend an already fascinating battle for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup between Ericsson and Harry Webb, who are tied on points, looks even more intriguing.

Richardson Racing’s Webb has made a habit of shining in the wet and was comfortably inside the top 10 in the morning, while Ericsson who has limited experience in the conditions could only manage 13th. However, the tables turned in the dry with Ericsson the Class pacesetter.

TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell will be a key player in the Challenge Cup this weekend too. Ninth quickest overall and only a couple of tenths slower than Ericsson suggesting that the top step of the rostrum is going to be intensely fought over by the trio. Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will look to get in the mix to take his first win.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway at 0900 tomorrow. It will be lights out for Round 28 of the F4 British Championship at 1400 when Caroline will aim to wrap up the title. In what promises to be a blockbuster day of single-seater entertainment, a further race will follow at 1700. The season finale will commence at 1502 on Sunday and televised live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Leading testing times Brands Hatch GP, 29 September, 2017 (am/pm)
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:42.311 / 1:26.497
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:42.568 / 1:26.802
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 1:43.036 / 1:26.875
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:43.550 / 1:26.885
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:42.264 / 1:26.886
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:43.085 / 1:26.897
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:42.942 / 1:27.204
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:45.281 / 1:27.544
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden 1:44.873 / 1:27.772
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:44.446 / 1:27.808 etc.

Full times

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing ready for Finals Day

Supplied by driver’s PR.

28 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline will look to wrap up the biggest accolade of his racing career to date this weekend when the curtain comes down on the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season at Brands Hatch.

A stunning campaign at the wheel of his Carlin-run car means Jamie heads into the final three races of the season at his home circuit with a lead of 67.5 points in the standings.

Just 75 points are available across the weekend, leaving Jamie in pole position to secure what would be his second championship title in three seasons.

Jamie has an impressive record at Brands Hatch and has taken victory on the longer Grand Prix layout in every season since he moved into car racing back in 2014.

That included a dramatic win in 2015 that helped him to secure the Ginetta Junior Championship title, and a victory last year that marked his breakthrough success in single-seaters.

A further ten wins this season have marked Jamie out as the stand-out driver in the field, and he heads into the weekend with his focus firmly on the job at hand.

“Despite the situation with the championship, I’m not feeling under lots of pressure and am taking the same approach I’ve taken all year,” he said. “It isn’t over until it’s over, but a lot of the hard work has been done to give me the lead I have, and it’s down to me now to finish the job.

“I know what I need to do and if I can maintain the kind of results that I’ve enjoyed throughout the season, the championship will take care of itself.

“I’ve always gone well on the GP circuit at Brands Hatch and I’m hopeful that I can put on another strong performance this weekend to end the year on a high.

“Because it’s my home circuit, I’m expecting to have a lot of people coming along to cheer me on and I can’t get wait to get started.”