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.

DRIVER NEWS: Double podium for Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing at Silverstone

Supplied by driver’s PR.

18 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline secured two more podium finishes at Silverstone to maintain his lead in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

The rapid teenager went into the penultimate meeting of the season knowing that he could wrap up the title if results were to go his way, and he started the weekend with sixth place on the grid in a tightly-fought qualifying session on Saturday morning.

Jumping up to fourth on the opening lap of race one, Jamie would spend the full 20 minute encounter battling for the podium positions but a late spin as rain started to fall meant he had to settle for fourth spot.

Starting fifth in race two on Sunday, Jamie made a lightning start in his Carlin-run car to rocket into the lead on the run to turn one and pulled out a slender lead through the opening laps.

A small error allowed team-mate Logan Sargeant to close in and make a move for the lead mid-way through, although second place for Jamie allowed him to outscore his main title rival Oscar Piastri.

Jamie would then repeat that result in the final race of the weekend as he followed Piastri home for his 15th podium of the campaign and he now takes a 67.5 point lead into the final races of the season – with a maximum of 75 still available.

“The team continues to give me a great car but we’re struggling for straight line speed through no fault of our own and at a power circuit like Silverstone, that’s always going to make it hard,” he said.

“It would have been good to pick up a victory and wrap up the title up this weekend but it wasn’t to be. I’m still in the best position going to Brands Hatch and have the points on the board, although I’m not going to be taking anything for granted going into the final rounds as anything could happen.

“This weekend could have been better but it could also have been a lot worse. Brands Hatch is a circuit where I’ve always gone well in the past and hopefully that will be the same in a few weeks time.”

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

Can Ford EcoBoost-powered Caroline take the crown at Silverstone?

14 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Half a point. That’s all Carlin’s Jamie Caroline needs to have extended his championship lead of 74.5 points by at the conclusion of this weekend to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion at Silverstone, the home of the British Motor Racing.

It sounds easy, but five other drivers could steal the crown. Chief amongst those are Oscar Piastri (TRS Arden) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin). The two had vastly differing fortunes three weeks ago at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Piastri, who had finished every race this season in the points, saw his run halted with two non-finishes and a solitary point for his efforts.

Sargeant has clawed his way into contention, scoring more points than any other driver since the summer break, finishing no lower than fifth and claiming his maiden victory last time out.

If official testing at Silverstone a week ago is anything to go by, we’re in for a titanic battle between the title protagonists. Caroline set the pace, but Piastri was his closest challenger and a mere 0.082s adrift. The rivals were the only men to lap below the 57 second mark.

Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R Racing) were the other victors at Rockingham, taking their second and fourth wins of the campaign respectively. Elsewhere, Fortec’s Oliver York followed up his maiden win at Knockhill with a brace of podiums. The trio will need to bring home big points to stand a chance of fighting for the title.

Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Patrik Pasma (Carlin) also starred on the podium several weeks ago, the latter coming tantalisingly close to his first British F4 win having led from pole.

Double R’s Karl Massaad was brought back down to earth following his podium exploits north of the border by scoring only two points.

Hampus Ericsson took a hat-trick of Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins at Rockingham. The Fortec driver will want to do the same  at Silverstone in a bid to move to the top of the Class standings. Standing in his way this weekend will be TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell and Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen.

In the overall standings, Caldwell is defending a slender 2.5 point lead from fellow Young Racing Driver Academy product Jamie Sharp. The Sharp Motorsport racer put in an inspired performance at the Speedway to climb five places and into a points-paying position.

Manuel Sulaimán (JHR Developments) and Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) made welcome appearances in the points, meanwhile Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport maintained their top 10 form.

Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard returns after a brief pause in his campaign, while Harry Dyson will aim to join the top 10 party for JHR Developments on his Ford EcoBoost-powered debut.

DRIVER NEWS: Eyes on the prize for Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

12 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline will look to add another title to his resume this weekend when the F4 British Championship Certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads for Silverstone for the penultimate meeting of the year.

The talented teenager picked up a brace of podium finishes at Rockingham last time out in his Carlin-run car to extend his lead at the head of the championship standings to 74.5 points.

That means that, for the first time this season, Jamie goes into a race weekend aware that he could secure the 2017 title if results go his way – with the two remaining meetings offering a maximum of 75 points each.

Jamie was unlucky to miss out on a podium finish in the corresponding event last year after he was run off the road on the final lap of race one, but he has enjoyed success at the Northamptonshire circuit in the past – taking a race win back in 2015 en-route to the Ginetta Junior Championship title.

Having also topped the times in official testing at the circuit earlier this month, the newly-appointed BRDC Rising Star heads into the weekend in confident mood and aware that another strong showing could be enough to pick up the championship crown.

“There’s no doubt that the results at Rockingham have put me in a great position going to Silverstone this weekend,” he said. “Everyone is saying I have one hand on the title now, but I’m trying not to think about it too much and am just focused on what I need to do on track.

“We went well in testing last week and if we can carry that pace into the weekend then we’ll be in a great position to challenge towards the front in qualifying, and to be in the mix for a win or two.

“If we can do that, then the title should take care of itself, but it would only take a small mistake this weekend to lose me points.

“Even with the lead I have, the main focus has to be to stay out of trouble and when the weekend is over, what will be will be.”

After qualifying on Saturday 16 September at 10.55, the first of three British F4 races will be that afternoon at 15.10.

Race two follows on Sunday morning at 11.15, with race three being featured in ITV4’s extensive live coverage of the BTCC at 16.30.

DRIVER NEWS: Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing extend F4 advantage

Supplied by driver’s PR.

29 AUGUST, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline enjoyed a solid weekend on track at Rockingham to extend his lead in the F4 British Championship Certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings.

Jamie went into the weekend leading the way by 45.5 points over closest challenger Oscar Piastri, and he put his Carlin-run car fifth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend around the high-speed Northamptonshire circuit.

A strong start when the lights went out saw Jamie climb up to third place on the opening lap, and he would then produce a masterful defensive drive to keep fellow Carlin racer Logan Sargeant at bay; earning a strong haul of points whilst running on used tyres.

Race two would prove to be one of frustration for the teenager when contact in the early stages damaged the front wing of his car and forced him into retirement, although any potential points loss was off-set by the fact that Piastri would only pick up a single point for tenth place.

With the Australian then failing to finish again in race three, Jamie was able to bank more strong points with another podium finish; his pace being reflected by the fact that he would post the quickest lap of the race.

It means Jamie has extended his lead in the championship standings heading to Silverstone for the penultimate meeting of the year.

Now leading the way by 74.5 points, Jamie will be crowned champion if he can extend his lead to at least 75 points during the Silverstone weekend.

“Overall we’ve had a good weekend in terms of the points that we’ve scored, although I’d be happier if we could have come away from Rockingham with a win,” he said. “I was happy with the points we put on the board in race one with Piastri not scoring, but race two was just unfortunate and one of those things that happens.

“The pace in the car was clear to see in race three with the fastest lap, but there was no need to take a risk in pushing to try and get ahead of [Oliver] York on track because I knew we were well placed to extend our lead a bit more.

“We’re in a really good position now in terms of the championship with two meetings still to go and I know that if we have a clean weekend at Silverstone and pick up some strong points then we could wrap up the title.

“It’s mission accomplished this weekend and now we can just focus on maximising the results at Silverstone and see where it leaves us.”

TEAM NEWS: Carlin driver Sargeant claims maiden British F4 win at Rockingham

Supplied by team’s PR.

27 AUGUST, 2017 – Carlin driver Logan Sargeant claimed his maiden win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this afternoon, in the final race of the weekend at Rockingham.  The young American led from lights to flag to take his first series victory in dominant fashion as team mate and championship leader Jamie Caroline came home third.  Patrik Pasma enjoyed some close racing and crossed the line 10th with Lucas Alecco Roy 12th.

Starting from pole position after an impressive qualifying performance yesterday, Sargeant made the perfect getaway to lead the field on lap one with team mate Caroline jumping from fifth to third into turn one.  Pasma lost out slightly from his 11th placed grid slot and was 12th, while Roy had made up places to 13th.

While Sargeant looked perfectly in control in the lead, Caroline had a charging Linus Lundqvist to contend with, who was battling hard in the fight for third.  As the duo fought, Aryton Simmons was able to close in and in turn challenged Lundqvist for fourth.  As the order behind Caroline changed, the championship leader found himself under attack from the Simmons, with the Arden driver briefly claiming third before Caroline calming took the position back.

The racing action continued throughout the field, with Pasma and Jamie Sharp fighting for 11th place as Roy moved up to 13th place.  At the front of the field, Sargeant drove the perfect race, managing to pull away from second placed man Oliver York and claim his first victory of the season by 3.2 seconds.

Caroline extended his lead in the standings by 74.5 points and with Sargeant closing in on Oscar Piastri for the second place spot in the Drivers’ standings.

Speaking about his victory, Sargeant said, “It’s taken a long time but we’ve got the win.  We’ve had quite a few podiums and it was only a matter of time really.  First of all I want to thank Carlin, for always putting together a great car.  I got a good start off the line today and after that I could put my head down and just focus on my race.  I didn’t have too much pressure behind me, so I just took it easy in the last few laps, it was a lot of fun.”

Team mate Caroline added, “The second I got into third and I saw Piastri get taken out, I wanted to take as many points as I could.  Now we’ve got a 74.5 point lead, so that’s good.  I sat right behind Oliver [York] in case he made any mistakes, but I didn’t want to make any myself.  But I’m mega happy for Logan today who did a great job to take the win.

“Hopefully we can go into Silverstone and get a few wins there, it would be nice to get over a 100 point lead so we can go to our home race at Brands Hatch and celebrate [the title].  But I’ve learnt not to lose points by making silly mistakes, so we’re focusing on maintaining our advantage.”

The British F4 drivers head to the penultimate round of the season at Silverstone on 16/17 September.

Sargeant in command at Rockingham with maiden British F4 win

  • Carlin’s Logan Sargeant claims popular maiden win from pole.
  • Caroline extends championship lead with Piastri failing to finish.
  • Ericsson achieves Ford F4 Challenge Cup hat-trick.

27 AUGUST, 2017 – Rockingham’s bumper BTCC crowd were left saluting the Sargeant, as the Carlin racer took a commanding lights-to-flag maiden victory in the live-televised 24th round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

Having played a starring role throughout the season, the American claimed a popular and well-deserved win from pole position.

He nailed the start, immediately putting daylight between himself and the field. From then on the Infinity Sports Management-backed rising star controlled the race expertly. He was calm, composed and incredibly quick.

“That was so much fun,” said an ecstatic Sargeant. “First of all I want to say a massive thank you to Carlin. They’ve done an amazing job with this car. I also want to say a big thanks to Infinity Sports Management who have helped me massively this season with my driving.

“It felt like the longest race of my life, leading from lights to flag! I was really consistent and was able to take it easy at times, not pushing too hard and not making mistakes. I could build up a gap throughout the race and was able to maintain the lead comfortably.

“I got the best starts I have all season in both of today’s races and that makes life easier too.

“We saved our newest tyres for this race because we knew we were on pole so it was our best chance of winning. That was the target and that’s what we achieved.

“We’ve been chipping away in the championship and this weekend has seen us take another big points haul. It’s not going to be easy, but if we can get some more wins who knows how high we might end up? There’s still everything to fight for.”

Front-row starter Ayrton Simmons found himself immediately under attack from the fast-starting Linus Lundqvist and Oliver York. The latter making it past coming into turn two while Jamie Caroline dived around the outside of all three drivers at Deene, emerging in third behind York.

With pace in hand and having recorded the fastest lap of the race on the third tour of the 1.94-mile Speedway, Caroline backed Lundqvist into Simmons to give the Swede plenty to think about.

Simmons duly obliged and as he squabbled with Lundqvist, ultimately coming out on top after firing up the inside of the Double R racer at Tarzan to take fourth on lap nine, Caroline was able to break away. The Carlin driver followed in York’s wheel tracks to bring home a valuable haul of points for his championship bid.

“We’ve shown our pace this weekend with two second place finishes,” commented York. “Overall it’s been a good weekend. After qualifying P2 we’ve just progressed from there.

“I managed to get past Ayrton at the start which was important because he is a hard driver to overtake and then I was able to get my head down from there.

“We had the pace to challenge for the win in that race, but we struggled a little bit on the older tyres.

“The kind of form we’re now showing is really good and proves we can be a real force in this championship.

“I’ve been working with a new engineer Mick Kouros for the last few rounds and we’re gelling really well. This is translating into the strong results we’ve got this weekend. Mick knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s made some improvements to the car since Knockhill so these podiums are a nice reward for him and the team.”

“Our starts have been pretty good this weekend,” said Caroline.  “We haven’t lost a place off the line.

“Overall it’s been a good weekend points wise. It means I can relax a little bit more with a 74.5 point lead heading to Silverstone.

“If we can have a clean Silverstone weekend with three podiums then we could be looking at wrapping up the title then.

“I knew pace wise I would be quicker than Lundqvist based on the long runs from Friday, so I knew if I backed Lundqvist into Simmons that would cause them to have a squabble and then I could break away. I’m pleased to get fastest lap too.

“I didn’t really want to risk a decent points’ finish trying to overtake York. It’s been a good weekend’s work.”

Behind the top five the battle for Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours raged between TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell and Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson; the two drivers making up several places early on from 10th and eighth on the grid.

As well as battling with Ericsson, Caldwell was having to contend with a technical glitch and a window of opportunity finally arose for Ericsson on lap nine coming out of Deene hairpin. The Swede grasped it with both hands. Meanwhile Caldwell’s race came to a premature end soon after as he was forced to retire the car due to the technical problem.

“It was a tough fight with Caldwell in the first part of the race for sixth and the Challenge Cup lead,” said hat-trick hero Ericsson. “I was really pleased to come out on top.

“I pulled off the move coming out of Deene hairpin. Caldwell got wheel spin coming out of the hairpin and we ran side by side into turn three. I then got the sling shot past him on the inside of turn four.

“We’ve found a really good rhythm at the moment and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve at Silverstone.”

Piastri’s miserable weekend continued, with his TRS Arden-prepared racer pointing the wrong way on the exit of Deene on the opening lap and an early retirement soon following.

His team-mates Simmons and Alex Quinn enjoyed an eventful second lap, with the latter running onto the grass having overtaken Simmons late on during the opening lap. It sent Quinn down the order from fifth to ninth, but he would climb his way back up to seventh ahead of Manuel Sulaiman. The JHR Developments driver returned to the points for the first time since the Snetterton meeting in July, having made up four places during the race.

Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport starred in the points once again in ninth, while Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 ahead of Jamie Sharp and Lucas Alecco Roy. The duo were locked in an entertaining battle for the final part of proceedings, just in front of Lucca Allen (Falcon Motorsport) who recorded his best finish in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with second.

After another scintillating weekend of Ford EcoBoost-powered action, attention now turns to the upcoming meeting at Silverstone on 16/17 September where Caroline will have the chance to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 24 Rockingham 27 August 2017
15 laps / 29.10 miles
1 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 20m 13.252s / 86.34mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +3.235s
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.935s
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.114s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +6.612s
6 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +9.206s
7 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +10.221s
8 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +15.358s
9 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW +16.195s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +18.729s etc.

Fastest lap: Jamie Caroline 1m 19.961s / 87.34mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 364 points; 2 Piastri 289.5; 3 Sargeant 283; 4 Quinn 255; 5 Lundqvist 239.5; 6 York 215.5; 7 Simmons 206.5; 8 Pasma 142.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 250.5; 4 Caldwell 179; 5 Allen 120; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Ford EcoBoost-powered win number four for Lundqvist

  • Lights-to-flag win for Lundqvist after measured drive from Double R racer.
  • Ericsson ensures a Swedish lock out of the top step by claiming Ford F4 Challenge Cup victory.
  • First non-finish of season for title contender Piastri.

26 AUGUST, 2017 – Linus Lundqvist withstood pressure from a fast-starting Oliver York to take a commanding win from pole position in Round 22 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

York sniffed his second victory of the season in the opening exchanges through turns one and two, at one point just nudging in front of Lundqvist. However, the Swede was wise to his advances and kept York pinned to the outside to prevent him from scything past.

The Double R ace then set about pulling a gap and controlled the pace out front on the way to his fourth win of the campaign, with York 1.895 seconds behind.

“It’s brilliant to be able to add to my tally of wins for the season,” said Lundqvist. “I was so happy after qualifying on pole and now I’m on a whole other level!

“It was a bit tough at the start, defending the lead from the guys behind, but I held on and pulled a gap.

“Then it was all about managing the tyres which was made harder by being chased by York. So I had to manage the tyres while trying to maintain the gap which is not easy.

“I’m hugely excited to see what we can achieve tomorrow. I’m so happy with how the car is handling. The team have done an incredible job. It’s always so exciting to get behind the wheel of the British F4 car. Let’s see if we can get another win this weekend.”

“We were very evenly matched at the front,” added York. “Linus got a gap in the first part of the race. I managed to get alongside and just slightly in front of him through the first and second corners, but was on the outside so couldn’t quite make the move stick.

“Second is a good result. It’s good points for the championship and we can build on this.

“Even though I got my first win a fortnight ago we’ve been struggling a bit so it’s good to qualify well and carry that through into the race, battling at the front and showing we have the pace to win. Hopefully we can bag plenty more points tomorrow.”

Another fast starter was Jamie Caroline with lightning reactions off the line from fifth on the grid. The championship leader ran three abreast with Carlin team-mate Logan Sargeant and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons on the run into Deene, running around the outside of the pair to emerge in third place.

Struggling with worn tyres, Caroline was unable to escape Sargeant’s clutches and in the closing stages his mirrors were full of Sargeant’s Ford EcoBoost-powered racer.

Caroline’s saving grace was a better run out of Brooke Chicane lap after lap. It was just enough to prevent Sargeant from getting sufficient slipstream down the straight and around the turn one banking to set up a move into Deene.

“We were fortunate in that race that Piastri was unable to finish and that I was able to hold on to third,” explained Caroline.

“We were on our most used tyres in that race which showed with the kind of lap times we were achieving, as well as the fact I was drifting through quite a few corners!

“It’s not a bad result at all as far as the championship is concerned with another good points haul.

“If we can get a podium in all three races this weekend that would be brilliant and then go into Silverstone with the chance of taking the title there.

“I initially pulled a gap to Logan and was catching York, but I just knew I didn’t have it in the tyres to mount a proper attack so I backed off, but then the tyres dropped off further and Logan was able to reel me in.

“I was kind of surprised I was able to pull away from Logan coming out of the last corner and onto the banking because I was struggling for traction due to the life left in the tyres. On one lap I even rubbed along the wall and I have no idea how the car stayed intact. Ford and Mygale clearly know how to build a strong car!”

As Caroline and Sargeant squabbled, the TRS Arden duo of Ayrton Simmons and Alex Quinn looked to pick up the pieces, but ran out of laps and had to settle for fifth and sixth; ahead of Patrik Pasma whose seventh place earns him pole for the reverse-grid race.

Caroline’s third could prove all the more decisive when taking into consideration the fate of Oscar Piastri in the race. His chief title rival suffered front wing damage early on and then encountered a technical problem which left him dropping down the order despite an impressive rear-guard action which saw him initially keep a gaggle of six cars behind him.

The Aussie ultimately had to retire on lap six after coming into the pits. His first non-finish of the season after a remarkable run of 21 consecutive races in the points.

Jamie Sharp was in fine form for Sharp Motorsport, showing no signs of the balance issues that hampered him on Friday to climb more places than any other driver from 13th to eighth. The Rochdale racer pulled off some perfectly-judged moves, notably a bold dive up the inside of Karl Massaad at Tarzan.

The latter finished ahead of Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson who is making a habit of taking Ford F4 Challenge Cup victories, and did so again with his fourth Class win of the campaign with Olli Caldwell (TRS Arden) and Lucca Allen (Falcon Motorsport) completing the podium.

Caldwell found himself facing an uphill battle from lap two after a tangle at Tarzan saw him spun around. The talented teenager was unperturbed though and climbed up to 12th, behind Sam Smelt (GW Motorsport) after entertaining battles with Allen and Carlin’s Lucas Alecco Roy.

Ford’s young stars are back on track at Rockingham at 1005 tomorrow for the reverse-grid race with the Rockingham finale, in which Sargeant will go from the pole, to be televised live on ITV4 at 1512.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 22 Rockingham 26 August 2017
15 laps / 29.10 miles
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 20m 05.929s / 86.87mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.895s
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +5.329s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +5.672s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.010s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +7.235s
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +15.905s
8 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +19.923s
9 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +21.332s
10 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +24.284s etc.

Fastest lap: Linus Lundqvist 1m 19.629s / 87.70mph

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

Grid for Round 23 Pasma – Quinn – Simmons – Sargeant – Caroline – York – Lundqvist – Sharp – Massaad – Ericsson etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 349 points; 2 Piastri 288.5; 3 Sargeant 246; 4 Lundqvist 229.5; 5 Quinn 224; 6 York 187.5; 7 Simmons 179.5; 8 Pasma 123.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 200.5; 4 Caldwell 161; 5 Monger 100; 6 Allen 87

Full results

DRIVER NEWS: Rockingham success the aim for Jamie Caroline and Pirtek Racing

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

24 AUGUST, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline will seek to take more steps towards the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title this weekend when the series heads to Rockingham for the eighth meeting of the year.

The talented teenager picked up his tenth win of the campaign last time out at Knockhill to maintain a lead of 45.5 points in the championship standings.

The aim now will be to try and extend that advantage in the latest three rounds of the British F4 season at a circuit where Jamie has enjoyed success in the past.

That includes a double victory during his Ginetta Junior Championship winning campaign, with the two wins at the Northamptonshire circuit helping him to eventually wrap up the title.

Rockingham was also the scene of one of Jamie’s best drives last season, when he embarked on his first year of single-seater competition.

In a performance that went viral online afterwards, Jamie fought his way from 18th on the grid in race one to finish in fourth – making up an astonishing eleven places on the opening lap alone.

This time around, Jamie will seek to maintain his impressive qualifying record to put himself at the sharp end of the field, with three solid results and a strong haul of points being the ultimate goal.

“After a difficult weekend at Snetterton, it was good to return to the top of the podium last time out at Knockhill and to take my win tally into double figures,” he said.

“I’m confident that we’ll have a strong car again at Rockingham and that we’ll be right in the mix at the sharp end of the grid.

“The ultimate goal as ever is to be on the top step of the podium this weekend, but it’s also that stage of the season when the points are the most important thing.

“I want to come away from Rockingham with a big score on the board and to at least maintain the lead I have in the standings.”

Ahead of the Rockingham weekend, Jamie was named as one of seven drivers to be granted BRDC Rising Star status.

F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is the highest profile graduate of the Rising Stars programme, which is open by invitation only to drivers aged 24 and under seeking to make a career in motorsport.

Jamie will now proudly carry the BRDC’s Rising Star emblem on his Carlin-run car through the remainder of the season.

“I’m delighted to have been named as a BRDC Rising Star,” he said. “To have been rewarded for my performances on track is fantastic and I feel very proud to now be carrying the BRDC logo on my car.”

After qualifying on Saturday 26 August at 10.20, the first of Rockingham’s three British F4 races will be at 14.15 on Saturday afternoon, with race two following at 10.05 on Sunday morning.

Race three then takes place at 15.12 and will feature as part of the BTCC’s extensive live coverage on ITV4.

Live results from the weekend will be available at www.tsl-timing.com