Super rookie Jack Doohan scores maiden British F4 win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

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

Fastest lap: Skelton 1m 12.055s / 117.71 mph

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

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

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

Full results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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