KNOCKHILL PREVIEW: Jewiss out to maintain advantage

21 AUGUST 2018: Having seen his lead at the head of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings almost halved when the 2018 season resumed at Snetterton following the traditional summer break, Kiern Jewiss was a happy man when the field headed away from Rockingham for the final time less than two weeks ago.

A strong performance on track for the Double R racer allowed him to extend his advantage back out to 45 points to ensure that he makes the long trip to Knockhill this weekend (25/26 August) as the driver that everyone else is trying to catch.

Whilst Jewiss was able to take his podium tally to an impressive 14 for the season at Rockingham, round seven of the year proved to be a tough one for JHR Developments driver Ayrton Simmons, although he remains second in the championship standings.

Having taken points off Jewiss in the opening race in Northamptonshire, Simmons then failed to finish race two before a grandstand finish to race three saw him lose out on a podium to Jewiss on the final lap.

Whilst that strengthened Jewiss’ position at the top, Simmons will certainly be no slouch in Scotland and will eager to try and replicate the results he secured twelve months ago, when his Knockhill weekend featured a brace of podium finishes.

Behind the top two, the three leading rookies on the grid – Arden’s Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan, and Double R’s Paavo Tonteri – continue to give chase.

Whilst Hauger remains third overall, it was Doohan who moved into the Rookie Cup lead by just four points after finishing ahead of his team-mate in the first two races at Rockingham, before a clash in race three put both into retirement. It was an incident that also earned Hauger a five-place grid penalty that he will now take this weekend at one of the trickiest circuits on the F4 calendar.

From the high of his Snetterton success, Tonteri meanwhile endured a more challenging weekend at Rockingham to pick up just ten points and now has one eye looking back over his shoulder at fellow Finn Patrik Pasma, who secured his maiden win in the opening race of the weekend.

Like London buses, Pasma didn’t have to wait long for win number two to arrive the same weekend and a huge haul of points allowed him to move up two places in the standings to sixth, ahead of fellow Arden racer Sebastian Priaulx and Fortec Motorsport’s Johnathan Hoggard – who returned to winning ways for the first time since Donington Park.

Three points finishes, and a first rookie win, for Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) allowed him to retain his ninth place in the standings, whilst his team-mate Manuel Sulaiman climbed into the top ten thanks to three top ten finishes of his own.

Sulaiman was also aided by another luckless weekend for Fortec driver Hampus Ericsson, although the Swede was at least able to end a run of six races without a point in the final race of the weekend.

The fifth rookie on the grid, Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) will be seeking to maintain his recent upturn in form having scored points in four of the last six races, with Fortec’s Lucca Allen and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) close behind after a top ten apiece at Rockingham. Allen however will not race this weekend in Scotland.

ROCKINGHAM PREVIEW: Rookies on the rise

9 AUGUST, 2018 – Having been the fastest driver in testing and free practice at Snetterton, for Kiern Jewiss to only come away from the previous meeting with 12 points is far from what the leader of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost would have expected. The weekend proved his lowest scoring of 2018 and by some margin, as very little went the Double R ace’s way. Nevertheless, he’s sure to be back with a vengeance at Rockingham Motor Speedway this weekend (11/12 August) as he bids to escape the chasing pack.

Leading that chase is JHR Developments driver Ayrton Simmons. A brace of podiums a fortnight ago have done his title chances no harm and he has trimmed Jewiss’ advantage down from 57 to 29 points. He will want to make further inroads yet again.

Rookies stole the show following the summer break with Arden’s Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan, as well as Double R’s Paavo Tonteri, taking a win apiece at Snetterton. Tonteri scored a popular maiden single-seater victory at the 17th time of asking and in round 18 the trio made history by becoming the first “all-rookie” overall podium in the F4 British Championship.

Not content with letting his fellow rookies take all the limelight, Sebastian Alvarez also shone. The Double R racer recorded his best result of the season in the form of a hard-earned sixth place.

Sebastian Priaulx made a welcome return to the rostrum for the first time since April. Not content with doing it once, he did it twice! His Arden team-mate Patrik Pasma had to settle for points as opposed to silverware, despite a superb qualifying performance which saw him take pole position.

Both Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) and Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports) equalled their best results of the year two weeks ago, meanwhile Hampus Ericsson endured another luckless weekend. His Fortec Motorsports team-mate Johnathan Hoggard fared better to make it six consecutive races in the points. Fourth in round 18 his highest finish since his race wins at Donington Park in April.

Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) salvaged a couple of points at Snetterton, while it was a case of what might have been for Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) who looked on course for a top five finish after a brilliant opening lap in round 17.

SNETTERTON PREVIEW: Advantage Jewiss at the halfway stage

26 JULY, 2018 – It’s 15 races down, 15 to go as the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost returns this weekend (28/29 July) following the summer break. Snetterton is all set to stage the latest instalment of a scintillating season.

With five race wins, five second-place finishes and two third-place finishes, Kiern Jewiss begins the second half of the season in pole position for the UK’s most coveted single-seater title.

The Double R ace has been rapid from the outset and proved he can win from anywhere on the grid. His 2018 campaign has gained plenty of momentum and he will look to extend his 57 point lead in the standings over closest rival Ayrton Simmons.

Simmons has his sights set firmly on regaining his spot at the top of the championship however. The JHR Developments driver got his season off to a stellar start with two wins and tasted further victory at Oulton Park, but a tough weekend at Croft leaves him with a point to prove.

Dennis Hauger put together a near-perfect weekend last time out, converting two pole positions into two victories and bagged a brace of fastest laps. The Red Bull Junior Team driver looks to have found his feet in the championship and is sure to be a contender for top honours once again.

His Arden team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Jack Doohan also grabbed headlines at Croft, following on-track heroics which saw him carve his way through the field from the back of the grid into podium position.

Paavo Tonteri (Double R) and Patrik Pasma (Arden) go into the second half of 2018 still on the hunt for their maiden wins, but given their performances it is surely just a matter of time.

The summer break couldn’t have come soon enough for Sebastian Priaulx. His first win in the opening weekend of the season seems like a distant memory and he will have used the holidays to regroup and come back stronger with the Arden team.

The same can be said of the Fortec Motorsports camp. Johnathan Hoggard doubled up with wins in April, but since then his and the team’s season hasn’t quite reached the same heights. Hoggard, Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen have found themselves bringing home top-10 finishes as opposed to silverware. It will be fascinating to see if they can turn the tables and finish the season with a flourish.

Josh Skelton equalled his best result of the season just before the summer break and JHR Developments team-mate Manuel Sulaiman is on a fine points scoring run which spans the last six races. Meanwhile, Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport are on the cusp of being regular top 10 finishers along with Double R’s Sebastian Alvarez.

CROFT PREVIEW: Form man Jewiss the one to beat

21 JUNE, 2018 – It’s all change at the top of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heading to Croft this weekend (23/24 June). Kiern Jewiss is now the man leading the chase for the UK’s most coveted single-seater title, having wrestled top spot away from Ayrton Simmons at Oulton Park thanks to his fourth win of the season and two further podiums.

Jewiss arrives with the best recent form of any driver. His team, Double R Racing, also has an excellent record at Croft and holds the lap record at the North Yorkshire track.

A difficult qualifying put Simmons on the back foot a fortnight ago. However, he took his opportunities well around a circuit that’s notoriously hard to overtake on, namely winning the reverse grid race. The JHR Developments ace will be further buoyed by his pacesetting performance in a two day test at Croft several weeks ago.

The other driver to shine in that test was Jack Doohan. The Arden racer came into it full of confidence after clinching his maiden single-seater win at Thruxton and topped day two of proceedings. His team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger also arrives on the up having taken his maiden win. A just reward for a driver who had come within touching distance of victory on several prior occasions.

Flying Finns Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing) and Patrik Pasma (Arden) are separated in the standings by just two points. There was little to choose between them throughout the Oulton Park meeting. The pair could frequently be found duelling on track. Expect more of the same as they hunt for their first wins in the series.

Johnathan Hoggard endured another frustrating weekend last time out and will want to recapture the winning feeling he had back in April at Donington Park. Meanwhile, Fortec Motorsports team-mate Hampus Ericsson showed signs that he has turned a corner this season and is returning to the front-running level he reached towards the end of 2017.

Josh Skelton’s excellent run of consecutive points scores came to an end at Oulton Park, but he responded well to get back into the top 10 in the final race of the weekend and will look to build on that. Elsewhere, JHR Developments team-mate Manuel Sulaiman arguably had his best weekend of the season so far with three top 10 finishes.

Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) endured a torrid time at Oulton Park and will want to turn things around to head into the summer break on a high. Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports) and Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) will also hope for more after battling well throughout the last meeting, but only coming away with a point each for their efforts.

OULTON PARK PREVIEW: Simmons still on top with Jewiss in hot pursuit

7 JUNE, 2018 – Three podiums three weeks ago ensured that Ayrton Simmons would lead the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heading to Oulton Park this weekend (9/10 June). The JHR Developments driver has made seven out of a possible nine trips to the rostrum this season and continues to lead the chase for the most coveted title in UK junior single-seater racing.

It is a lead that has diminished however, with the advancing Kiern Jewiss looking increasingly at home behind the wheel of his Double R-prepared racer. Three wins in the last five races and outscoring Simmons in all but one of them means the 15-year-old has clawed his way to within touching distance of Simmons. The pair separated by just five points.

Jack Doohan turned heartbreak into jubilation at Thruxton. Victory slipped through his fingers on the final lap of round eight due to a technical glitch, but he bounced back emphatically to win the final race of the weekend and with it the £5,000 Ford Super Rookie Award. The Aussie also extended his lead at the top of the Rookie class standings over fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger, who signed off from the meeting with an overall podium.

Hauger deserved much more, especially with victory looking likely until the last lap of round seven. Arden team-mate Sebastian Priaulx had a similarly luckless weekend, salvaging three top-10 finishes, while Patrik Pasma bagged plenty of points.

Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard, Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen also endured an unfortunate outing and will want to recapture the form which saw the team score two victories at Donington Park thanks to some superb driving from Hoggard.

Mexico’s Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) and Sebastian Alvarez achieved their highest-placed finishes of the season so far at Thruxton and are on the up. Meanwhile, Alvarez’s Double R team-mate Paavo Tonteri looks to be going from strength to strength on the back of two more podiums at Thruxton.

Rochdale’s Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport will be aiming for a consistent run of top-10 finishes this weekend at their home round of the season. It is something which Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) is becoming particularly accustomed to now that he is on a run of five consecutive points scores.

THRUXTON PREVIEW: Simmons still on top as chasing pack closes in

17 MAY, 2018 – After scoring a brace of race wins and a further two podium finishes in the opening two meetings of the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, Ayrton Simmons is looking to extend his lead at the top of the standings at Thruxton this weekend (19/20 May).

The JHR Developments driver bounced back from a tricky qualifying at Donington Park to bring home a valuable haul of points. However, he was outscored by Kiern Jewiss (Double R), Sebastian Priaulx (Arden), Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec) and Jack Doohan (Arden). Ultimately seeing his championship lead reduced to 14 points.

Of that chasing quartet, Jewiss and Hoggard shone bright three weeks ago. Jewiss won spectacularly from the back of the grid and Hoggard doubled up with victories following his maiden pole in the series.

With the exception of Simmons, Priaulx is the only driver to have not finished a race outside the top six. The 17-year-old has a taste for victory having won the second race of the season and is already showing the kind of measured performances which are the hallmarks of a title contender.

Not only did Doohan star on the overall podium several weeks ago, just as he did at Brands Hatch, he added a further two Rookie class wins to his name to edge ahead of team-mate Dennis Hauger in the Rookie Cup standings.

Hauger came away from Donington Park with a podium and Rookie class win, but it could have been more if things had gone his way. The Norwegian finished first on the road in round five, only for a time penalty for exceeding track limits to rob him of victory.

A strong qualifying performance last time out led to Patrik Pasma (Arden) recording his first podium of the campaign, while fellow Finn Paavo Tonteri’s weekend didn’t hit the heights his pace promised. The Double R racer will want a change in fortune this time around.

Hampus Ericsson (Fortec) achieved his best result of the season so far, while JHR’s Josh Skelton continued to finish in the top 10 to score a handful of points.

Jamie Sharp once again showcased his aptitude for battling up the order, picking up a pair of seventh place finishes for Sharp Motorsport.

Elsewhere, Lucca Allen (Fortec) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR) finished in the points, along with Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) who also made his first trip to the Rookie podium.

DONINGTON PARK PREVIEW: Simmons sets sights on Ford’s Triple Crown

25 APRIL, 2018 – How do you follow up your best weekend in motorsport? That’s the question facing championship leader Ayrton Simmons after a stellar start to the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. The JHR Developments driver arrives at Donington Park with a 19 point lead courtesy of a brace of victories and a second place finish at Brands Hatch.

Simmons will try to go one better by winning all three races to bag the £10,000 Ford Triple Crown Award and given his form, who would put it past him? However, don’t expect the Epping racer to have things all his own way. There’s little to choose between Ford’s rising stars.

Sebastian Priaulx claimed his maiden single-seater win in only his second race in the series and is now gunning for more. Meanwhile, his Arden teammates Patrik Pasma, Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan will be in the hunt for wins in their quest for the title. Hauger and Doohan starred on the overall podium three weeks ago and are tied on points at the top of the Rookie standings, having each taken a Rookie class win.

Paavo Tonteri is snapping at their heels in the chase for the Rookie Cup. He signed off his debut weekend with an overall podium, as well as a win in the class. The Infinity Sports Management backed youngster looks to have carried that momentum to Donington Park, having topped official testing at the circuit on Monday. Elsewhere, team-mate Sebastian Alvarez will aim to get his first points on the board.

The Double R trio is completed by Kiern Jewiss. He lies third in the standings just a point adrift of second place man Priaulx. Jewiss’ pre-season pace promised much and he unquestionably delivered at Brands Hatch, doubling up with second place finishes and also a fourth. Fastest in the morning in the official test at Donington Park and second overall suggests he’s all set to continue to deliver this weekend.

Hampus Ericsson had an opening weekend to forget. He returns to where he made his debut in the series and burst onto the single-seater scene with some sublime overtakes. Expect plenty more bold moves with the Fortec ace having a point to prove.

Team-mate Johnathan Hoggard will be another major player. Victory would have been his in the second race of the season, but for a false start which saw him hit with a 10 second time penalty. Lucca Allen made a brilliant start to life as a Fortec driver, achieving his best finish in eighth. He’ll look to build on that.

Jamie Sharp bounced back from a difficult qualifying to bring home points for Sharp Motorsport at Brands Hatch. This weekend’s target will be to qualify higher up the grid to ensure he’s in the points-paying positions from the outset.

Josh Skelton caught the eye on his single-seater debut. A pair of Rookie class podiums and fifth place finish overall means he arrives as one to watch. Meanwhile, JHR team-mate Manuel Sulaiman’s start to the season faltered after a top 10 finish. The Mexican will want to turn things around at Donington.

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.

British F4 heads north of the border as Ford EcoBoost-powered title race hots up

10 AUGUST, 2017 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads north of the border this weekend (12/13 August) to provide plenty of single-seater thrills at Knockhill. Championship leader Jamie Caroline arrives having made yet more history a fortnight ago by winning a record nine British F4 races in one season.

The title chase is well and truly on however. TRS Arden had their best weekend in the series last time out, with Oscar Piastri adding two victories to his name to reduce the points gap to Carlin’s Caroline.

Double R’s Linus Lundqvist also reduced his deficit to Caroline, starring on the podium twice. He’s brimming with confidence as he takes to a track which his team have traditionally been very strong at.

Team-mate Karl Massaad will view this weekend as a chance to kick-start the second half of his campaign after a luckless return from the summer break.

Carlin’s Logan Sargeant was locked in a race-long duel with Piastri for the win at Snetterton. The American has been knocking on the door of his maiden victory for some time now and is one to watch as he gives his all to finally stand on the top step.

TRS Arden’s superb Snetterton weekend saw Ayrton Simmons ensure a one-two finish, and Alex Quinn feature on the podium. Meanwhile Olli Caldwell took two Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins. Quinn knows what it takes to win at Knockhill, having done so last season in Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery.

Caldwell was prevented from a hat-trick of Challenge Cup wins by Fortec’s Hampus Ericsson who made use of new tyres and an attacking mindset to snatch class victory.

The battle for Challenge Cup honours is made even more intriguing as Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb returns. A driver with three class wins and 11 podiums.

Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will want to maintain his record of never having finished off the Challenge Cup rostrum.

Jacky Liu returns from single-seater commitments in China. He’s joined at GW Motorsport by Sam Smelt who came tantalisingly close to scoring points on his debut.

Jamie Sharp and Sharp Motorsport had a torrid time in Norfolk. They will be hoping to have left their misfortune behind as they make the journey north from Rochdale.

Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard salvaged a point score on an otherwise frustrating debut, while team-mate Oliver York equalled his best result with a second place finish.

Patrik Pasma didn’t gel with the longest circuit on the calendar. Carlin’s flying Finn will hope for a more successful time in Fife. Team-mate Lucas Alecco Roy will want to follow-up one of his best performances – climbing six places to break into the top 10.

Although Manuel Sulaiman couldn’t convert his first British F4 pole position, he brought home valuable points for JHR and will want more of the same.

Fans are in for a treat this weekend with four races being staged at Knockhill, due to Round 12 of the season not taking place at Oulton Park earlier in the year because of delays in the schedule. With the grid for this race determined by the second fastest times from qualifying at Oulton Park, we go into the weekend with the mouth-watering prospect of championship frontrunners Caroline and Piastri starting from pole and second respectively.

The bumper weekend kicks off with three test sessions tomorrow, followed by qualifying on Saturday at 1130. Race one gets underway at 1430, with lights out for race two (Round 12) at 1710. The single-seater action continues on Sunday with two further races at 1015 and 1540, the latter screened live on ITV4. There’s even more excitement in store for fans with a driver autograph session at 1330 and the British F4 VR Experience in the Ford Race Centre in the support paddock.

Race two (Round 12) grid order – based on second-fastest times from qualifying at Oulton Park 20 May, 2017
Caroline – Piastri – Sargeant – Quinn – Lundqvist – Massaad – Pasma – Simmons – Webb – York – Sharp – Roy – Liu