Pasma doubles his fun at the Speedway with second win as Arden score one-two

  • Pasma wins again from pole position at Rockingham.
  • Priaulx scores fifth podium of season.
  • Jewiss snatches final podium spot at last corner after titanic battle with title rival Simmons.
  • Skelton takes first Rookie class win.

12 AUGUST, 2018 – Having finally taken his maiden win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost earlier in the weekend, Patrik Pasma was at it again in the final race of the Rockingham Motor Speedway meeting. The Finn leading an Arden one-two finish with Sebastian Priaulx second.

Just as he did in round 19, poleman Pasma led flawlessly from lights-to-flag. Perhaps the only blemish a slight lock-up into Deene hairpin on the opening lap.

The Finn can be forgiven for that though after what has been something of a breakthrough weekend which has seen him marry speed with consistency to enable him to have his most successful weekend in single-seaters. He was devastatingly quick around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire track at times and is now on the hunt for plenty more silverware in the remaining races this season.

“It’s been a brilliant weekend with two victories,” said Pasma. “I’m so happy. Our pace has been really good since Friday. The team have done a fantastic job so big thanks to them.

“Priaulx was pushing me hard and then the Safety Car came. I managed to get a good restart and build a little gap.

“These results give me a great boost for the rest of the season. We need to work hard before Knockhill which is the next meeting to get even more wins.”

Behind Pasma at the start there was once again plenty of drama as the field charged into Deene hairpin. This time it was Arden’s Red Bull Juniors Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger who came to grief. The pair making contact and curtailing what had been a strong point scoring weekend for both of them.

Following the race, Hauger was handed a five place grid penalty to be taken at the next possible opportunity for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety.

The commotion ahead in the opening exchanges saw Priaulx profit most. After missing out on an excellent result in the preceding race due to contact at the very same corner, it was fitting that fortune favoured the Guernseyman. He duly picked up the pieces as his team-mates came unstuck and chased Pasma home untroubled on the way to second place and an Arden one-two.

“We got a good start and my team-mates tapped each other which meant I could capitalise,” explained Priaulx. “I got P2 on the first lap and that was the key to my race really.

“I had good pace at the start and I felt like I could try to overtake Patrik at some points, but I felt I didn’t quite have enough to pull it off with minimal risk.

“I got fastest lap which was really good and underlines the pace I have got.

“I’m really happy to finish on the podium after an up and down weekend. We got tapped off the circuit in race two which wasn’t our fault so I’m happy to end with a podium.

“We’ve had the pace for a podium all weekend so we deserved this result. We just need to improve a bit in qualifying, but we’ll learn and find a way to adapt.”

After a Safety Car period triggered by the need to retrieve Paavo Tonteri’s stricken Double R-prepared racer on lap five following contact with the wall on the exit of the final corner, there was no shortage of excitement behind the Arden duo.

As the race progressed spectators were treated to a grandstand finish with Ayrton Simmons attempting to fend off championship rival Kiern Jewiss and Johnathan Hoggard. The latter getting passed by Jewiss on lap nine as he attempted to make a move of his own on Simmons. Instead it was Jewiss who had the last laugh, expertly making his way up the order from 12th on the grid and finishing with a flourish.

Having hounded Simmons lap after lap, a better run through the final chicane on the very last lap set Jewiss up with the opportunity to steal third in the dying moments. He did so superbly as he used the momentum from a better exit onto the straight to out-drag Simmons in the run to the finish line. An unquestionably sweet moment for the Double R ace who has now extended his championship lead to 45 points.

“I got a really good start for the first time this weekend after two not very good ones,” explained Jewiss.

“I got a good launch and ran around the outside into turn two, but I found myself in the middle of everything with the two Red Bull Juniors making contact ahead and then people trying to get up my inside as I braked.

“I had to back out so there wasn’t any contact to stay in the race. I then just set about picking my way through the field and the Safety Car definitely helped. It was just a shame it had to come out due to one of the Double R-prepared cars.

“I knew once someone caught Hoggard it would give him something to think about and when that happened that’s when I really started to pressure Simmons.

“I felt that if I could get my nose in there it might be enough to put Ayrton off a bit and that’s what I did coming into the chicane.

“I thought he would shut the door immediately which he didn’t do quite as much as I expected. His tyres were obviously coming to the end of their life so he had a big slide up the banking through the last corner whereas I had a lot of traction and I got him on the run to the line.

“It was a really exciting race and it feels good to be on the podium, as well as have the last laugh in the championship battle this weekend.

“Let’s see what happens at Knockhill. We need to remain focused and try to do what Pasma did this weekend. We need to get on pole, win the first race, have a steady second race and then pick up the win in the third one.

“That’s what we will be aiming for and if we can take the reverse grid race as well to win the Ford Triple Crown Award and the £10,000 that goes with it then even better!”

It was incredibly close over the line with Hoggard just a couple of tenths adrift of Simmons and Josh Skelton only a further three tenths further back having been in mix for the final podium spot.

The JHR Developments driver still had plenty to celebrate though, having claimed his first Rookie class win after coming out on top in a skirmish with Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing). The Mexican lost out after the Safety Car restart following contact, but did well to pick up the final points paying position, behind Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson, Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports).

Elsewhere, a 10 second time penalty for a false start for JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman put him on the back foot for the rest of the race, leaving him finishing in 11th despite coming home eighth on the road.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 21 Rockingham, 12 August, 2018
14 laps / 27.16 miles
1 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 20m 16.891s / 80.34 mph
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +1.229s
3 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +12.201s
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +12.377s
5 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +12.603s
6 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR +12.910s
7 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +14.293s
8 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +15.548s
9 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +18.132s
10 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +19.666s etc.

Fastest lap: Priaulx 1m 19.991s / 87.30 mph

Rookie class: 1 Skelton, 2 Alvarez

Provisional championship standings
1 Jewiss 319 points; 2 Simmons 274; 3 Hauger 258; 4 Doohan 234; 5 Tonteri 209; 6 Pasma 188; 7 Priaulx 186; 8 Hoggard 173; 9 Skelton 76; 10 Sulaiman 58 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 367 points; 2 Hauger 366; 3 Tonteri 339; 4 Skelton 278; 5 Alvarez 199

Full results

European karting star Josh Skelton joins British F4

19 MARCH, 2018 – 17-year-old European karting star Josh Skelton from Dearham, Cumbria is the latest driver is to enter the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost as part of a stellar line up at JHR Developments.

The European Rotax Max and British Super One driver is targeting rookie honours in his first season of car racing. Said Skelton: “I am delighted to join JHR Developments for 2018. They have an incredible record of getting the best from young drivers and helping them achieve a high level of success.

“I know that Ayrton, Manuel and I will work well together and I hope to repay the faith placed in me by my sponsors Alpine Stars, Skelton Joinery and BJ Human Performance by bringing home some great results.”

Added JHR Developments team principal Steven Hunter: “We are absolutely delighted to attract such a talented driver in the form of Josh. It is a real coup for the team. Whilst he will be a rookie and need to learn the circuits, he has already shown us that he has an exceptional ability to learn quickly. We fully expect him to be at the sharp end of the grid soon.”

The 2018 F4 British Championship campaign gets underway at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 7/8 of April before moving on to Donington Park on 28/29 April.

Simmons, Sulaimán and Skelton set sights on Ford EcoBoost-powered success with JHR Developments

16 MARCH, 2018 – JHR Developments have confirmed a trio of talented teenagers will contest the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with the squad. British F4 race winner Ayrton Simmons joins Steven Hunter’s outfit for his second full season in the series, alongside Manuel Sulaimán and Josh Skelton.

Simmons burst onto the single-seater scene partway through the 2016 campaign and capped it off with a superb podium in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch. The circuit has been a happy hunting ground for the Epping based racer. It was the location of his breakthrough maiden victory at the start of the 2017 season, in a year which would see him go on to finish seventh in the standings with a further five podiums to his name.

In 2018 Simmons is looking to make plenty more visits to the top step of the podium in his bid for the UK’s most coveted single-seater title.

“When we were given the opportunity to join JHR Developments for 2018 it was a no brainer,” explained Simmons. “I have seen how professionally they operate over the last couple of years.

“We will have a limited testing plan due to my other commitments, but we all feel that I can have a genuine shot at the championship.

“Having Manuel Sulaimán as a team mate is great news as we are both native Spanish speakers and good friends away from the track.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my outstanding sponsors DWS, ELEV8 and Couper Earnshaw for their support. They are all as excited as me to be part of the JHR family.”

Manuel Sulaimán from Puebla, Mexico returns to the F4 British Championship in 2018 for a full season, having dovetailed commitments in the sister Mexican F4 series last year.

The 16-year-old starred on the podium in 2017 and is hoping for more of the same in 2018. Having recently been signed to the highly regarded management team All Road Management, Sulaimán is looking forward to proving himself against the best junior single-seater talent.

“I am delighted to return to race in the F4 British Championship,” said Sulaimán. “It is the toughest F4 championship in the world to win given the quality of the drivers that compete in it. It’s where you want to be racing because battling with the best talent makes you raise your game.

“To be able to contest the season with JHR Developments again is brilliant. They know how to fight for the top positions having finished runner-up and third in the overall standings in the past. Their determination to win is incredible.”

Josh Skelton from Dearham, Cumbria completes JHR Developments’ stellar line-up. The 17-year-old arrives on the back of a wealth of karting success in European Rotax Max and British Super One.

“I am thrilled to join JHR Developments for 2018,” said Skelton. “They have such an incredible record of getting the best from young drivers and helping them to achieve high levels of success.

“I know that Ayrton, Manuel and I will work well together and I hope to repay the faith placed in me by my sponsors Alpine Stars, Skelton Joinery and BJ Human Performance by bringing home some great results.”

Said JHR Developments team principal Steven Hunter following his raft of driver announcements: “We have followed Ayrton’s progress with interest as he is an incredibly talented young driver. This will be his second full season in British F4 and we feel he has an excellent chance of fighting for the title.

“It is fantastic to have Manuel return with us for a full championship campaign. It will enable him to build on the success attained at the end of last year and there is no doubt in my mind that Manuel will be at the front of the grid all year.

“Finally, attracting such a talented driver in the form of Josh is a real coup for the team.  Whilst he will be a rookie and need to learn the circuits, he has already shown us that he has an exceptional ability to learn quickly. We fully expect him to be at the sharp end of the grid soon.”