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

Front row lock-out for Arden and Red Bull Junior Team as Dennis Hauger smashes qualifying record

19 MAY, 2018 – Arden’s Dennis Hauger has taken his maiden pole in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton and has done so in spectacular fashion.

The Red Bull Junior driver smashed the British F4 qualifying lap record at the Hampshire circuit with a lap of 1m 13.183s. The record had previously been held by Sandy Mitchell who took pole in 2015 for Arden with a lap of 1m 13.264s.

“It was a great session,” said poleman Hauger. “I wasn’t really sure which lap was my quickest because I couldn’t see it on the timer on my dash.

“The car was working really well. I managed to pump in quite a few good laps and took advantage of a tow when it mattered.

“It’s really warm so the tyres are working incredibly hard here and that means managing the grip levels throughout the race will be key to converting my first pole into a maiden victory.”

Championship leader Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) was once again in the thick of the battle for pole and was on provisional pole for much of the session thanks to a lap of 1m 13.424s.

However, Simmons will miss out on a front row start and instead line up 12th as a result of a 10-place grid penalty for contact at the Donington Park meeting three weeks ago.

It means that third fastest driver and Friday pacesetter Jack Doohan is promoted to second on the grid and in doing so secures an Arden and Red Bull Junior Team front row lock-out.

Paavo Tonteri maintained his form from Friday free practice. Once again proving to be the fifth fastest man out on track. His Double R Racing team-mate Kiern Jewiss just getting the better of him by a margin of 0.045s.

“The track is really hot which means you don’t get much time with the tyres performing at their best,” explained Jewiss. “This track is hard on tyres too.

“I’m pleased with the result and happy to be on the second row. There’s plenty of opportunities to get a tow and fight your way up to the front on the field. We just need to make sure we can look after the tyres so we can be strong throughout the race.

“As a driver you push as hard as you can in qualifying, but you have to remember that it’s an entire weekend of running so looking after the tyres is really important.”

Donington Park race winner Johnathan Hoggard continued to lead the Fortec Motorsports charge by recording the sixth fastest time, with team-mates Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen seventh and 13th fastest respectively.

Meanwhile, Patrik Pasma (Arden) just dipped under the 1m 14s mark with a 1m 13.972s to record a time good enough for eighth, which becomes a 13th place grid slot courtesy of a five-place grid penalty handed to him for unsafe manoeuvres at the previous Donington Park meeting.

The top 10 fastest drivers were completed by the Mexican duo of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments).

Round seven of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost follows at 1610.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional qualifying times Thruxton, 19 May, 2018
1 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:13.183
2 Ayrton SIMMONS* / GBR / JHR 1:13.424
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:13.458
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:13.588
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:13.633
6 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:13.704
7 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:13.929
8 Patrik PASMA** / FIN / Arden 1:13.972
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double 1:14.030
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:14.123 etc.
*10-place grid penalty
**5-place grid penalty

Round 9 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Hauger – Doohan – Tonteri – Jewiss – Hoggard – Simmons – Ericsson – Pasma – Alvarez – Sulaiman etc.

Full times

Doohan and Arden top the times at Thruxton in British F4 free practice

  • Doohan and Arden quickest at Thruxton by almost half a second.
  • All three Double R drivers finish the session in the top five, with Jewiss quickest and proving Doohan’s closest challenger.

18 MAY, 2018 – Jack Doohan and Arden were quickest in free practice at Thruxton for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Doohan rose to the top of the times with two thirds of the session left on the clock, and would stay there until the chequer.

The Aussie remained one step ahead of the field. Although the times set by his rivals tumbled, so did his. The Red Bull Junior driver consistently improved and wrapped up the session in style with a final flourish. A lap of 1m 13.175s with five minutes remaining saw him go 0.420s faster than his closest challenger Kiern Jewiss, as well as 0.089s quicker than the qualifying lap record set by Sandy Mitchell and Arden in 2015.

“This has been a really good start to the weekend for us,” said Doohan. “It’s only practice of course, but I feel like I’m driving well.

“I didn’t really know where I was on the timesheet. I was just focusing on getting the best out of myself and going as fast as possible.

“There’s definitely more in the tank, because my quickest lap wasn’t perfect. I got a tow behind Priaulx after recording a really strong time in the first sector and just pieced the lap together, using the tyre in the right way.

“We kept on getting better and better out on track. We set our best time on older tyres so there should be more to come on new tyres if we can hook the lap up.

“I know there’s more to come from me too. This is only my third race weekend in British F4 and it’s my first season racing cars. I’m confident I will only get stronger as the year goes on.”

It was another strong start to the weekend for Double R Racing’s Jewiss, who looks increasingly accustomed to occupying the top spots on the timesheets and showcasing front-running pace.

“It was a good session for us,” commented Jewiss. “That was a really quick lap from Doohan. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a time similar to that here. I feel that if they’ve gone for a very stiff setup to get that time, it’s going not going to work around here in the races because it’s going to work the tyres too hard.

“We’ll see what we can do tonight. The car felt pretty good on track so let’s see what happens. I think the pace is there and the team is working really well.

“At Donington Park we were able to attack really well and I think we are definitely capable of doing the same here.

“At Thruxton it’s possible to get a really good tow which means that you can come up through the order and perhaps being on pole isn’t the biggest advantage because you risk being under more pressure from drivers behind in the slipstream.

“Nevertheless, the goal is always to be quickest and to secure pole in qualifying. We’ll certainly give our all tomorrow to achieve that.”

Jewiss’ team-mate Sebastian Alvarez and Arden driver Dennis Hauger recorded identical times in third and fourth, while Paavo Tonteri ensured all three Double R-prepared cars finished the session in the top five.

Next on the timesheet could be found the JHR Developments pair of Ayrton Simmons and Manuel Sulaiman. The duo left it until later in the session to show more of their hand and look very likely to be in the fight for honours this weekend. Meanwhile, team-mate Josh Skelton wound up eighth, sandwiched between Arden’s Patrik Pasma and Sebastian Priaulx.

Hampus Ericsson was best of the Fortec Motorsports trio in 11th, ahead of Donington Park race winner Johnathan Hoggard and Lucca Allen, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) in 14th.

Qualifying gets underway at 1125 tomorrow with the first race of the weekend taking place at 1610. Two more races follow on Sunday at 1250 and 1625, with both being broadcast live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Free practice times Thruxton, 18 May, 2018
1 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:13.175
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:13.595
3 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R 1:13.674
4 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:13.674
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:13.721
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:13.762
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:13.848
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:14.033
9 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR 1:14.043
10 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:14.219 etc.

Full times

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.

Hauger and Arden lead the way on Rockingham test day

  • Hauger and Hoggard share testing spoils.
  • Ginetta Junior graduates Jewiss and Priaulx continue to impress.

14 MARCH, 2018 – Dennis Hauger set the quickest time in yesterday’s official pre-season test for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

14-year-old Hauger completed a superb testing performance around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire circuit for Arden, climbing to the top of the times with a 1m 18.547s lap with less than an hour of the test remaining.

It put the Red Bull Junior Team driver 0.044s clear of morning pacesetter Johnathan Hoggard, who pumped in a time of 1m 18.591s just before the lunch break.

“Today has been a really good,” said Hauger. “I really enjoy driving around this circuit and I’m looking forward to coming back here to race in August.

“To set the fastest lap was fantastic, especially now there is not long until the first race. We only have one more test before the start of the season so it’s great to see that the pace is there.

“We have worked very hard to find a setup that enables us to produce consistently quick lap times, while looking after the tyres. I think we have found it and that’s going to prove so important for the races.

“This is only my first year racing in cars so to have test days like today when there are a mix of track conditions really helps with the learning process. The track started off quite wet and then dried out. That gives you the chance to improve your understanding of how the car behaves in different conditions.”

Said morning pacesetter Hoggard: “It’s been a really positive test for us with P1 in the morning and top three in afternoon.

“Compared to last year I’ve had a lot more time to prepare and really focus on what I’m doing. Everything feels more natural. There is still room for improvement, but I’ve come a long way since last season and I’m feeling much stronger.

“There’s some more work we need to do back at base and on the simulator to be completely ready, but we’ll get there in time for the start of the season.

“The winter break was a great opportunity to recharge the batteries, but it’s brilliant to be back behind the wheel on days like today to showcase the excellent pace we have.”

It was another impressive showing from Kiern Jewiss who arrived having set the pace in the first official pre-season test at Brands Hatch last month. The Double R driver finished second quickest in both the morning and afternoon sessions. His best lap of 1m 18.758s came in the afternoon and was just over two tenths shy of Hauger.

Behind Jewiss on the timesheet could be found fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) who completed the leading quartet of drivers capable of breaking the 1m 19s barrier.

2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion Hampus Ericsson looked assured out on track, completing a comprehensive programme for Fortec Motorsports and improved upon his morning’s best time by over half a second in the afternoon.

The experienced Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) came to the fore when conditions were at their most difficult during the initial morning’s running. It saw the field having to contend with a very damp circuit and called for the use of Hankook’s wet tyres. A solid day’s work followed for the British F4 race winner on the way to sixth in the combined classification.

Patrik Pasma and Jack Doohan ensured that all four Arden-prepared cars were inside the top 10. The latter completing a mammoth 133 laps – more than any other driver.

The Double R duo of Paavo Tonteri and Sebastian Alvarez sandwiched 10th place man Lucca Allen on the combined classification. Allen finding plenty of room for improvement between the two sessions, much like team-mate Ericsson.

Manuel Sulaiman and Jamie Sharp completed less laps than they would have liked. Their running was limited due to an off and a technical gremlin respectively, while Sulaiman’s JHR Developments team-mate Josh Skelton wound up 14th.

Ford’s young stars are back in action in just seven days, with the next official pre-season test taking place at Snetterton on Wednesday 21 March. All roads then lead to the season opener at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April.

Testing times Rockingham, 13 March, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 1:18.976 / 1:18.547
2 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 1:18.591 / 1:18.776
3 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 1:18.862 / 1:18.758
4 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 1:19.063 / 1:18.953
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:19.694 / 1:19.089
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 1:19.217 / 1:19.098
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 1:19.337 / 1:19.239
8 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 1:19.267 / 1:19.269
9 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 1:19.330 / 1:19.310
10 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec 1:20.137 / 1:19.383 etc.

Full times

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.”

Ford’s young stars ready to rock

  • Eight drivers still in with a realistic chance of the title as Max Fewtrell leads the way going into Rockingham meeting.

25 AUGUST, 2016 – Just nine races remain to decide the outcome of this year’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. The title fight is wide open with no less than eight drivers still having a realistic shot at top honours.

Championship leader Max Fewtrell arrives at Rockingham Motor Speedway battling to defend his slender points lead after keeping cool amid the fireworks out on track at Knockhill and adding yet another valuable podium to his tally.

Fewtrell is part of the formidable Carlin quartet which includes Devlin DeFrancesco, James Pull and Petru Florescu. The squad were dominant in pre-season testing at Rockingham. Don’t be surprised to see more of the same.

During a dramatic weekend of Ford EcoBoost-powered junior single-seater racing just a fortnight ago, it was Australians Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) and Zane Goddard (Double R Racing) who came out on top with a win apiece. As others around them faltered, the Aussies were in the ascendancy and in doing so put themselves into thick of title fight; Red Bull Junior Leeds now sitting just five points adrift of Fewtrell.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn also made strides in the standings, finally having a weekend where he could showcase his true pace; claiming a race victory and romping further clear in the Rookie Class.

JHR’s Sennan Fielding is another serious contender for the title and despite a Knockhill weekend that didn’t quite come together, he showed flashes of speed which if unleashed consistently could prove devastating. Team-mates Billy Monger and Jack Butel have no shortage of talent behind the wheel either so are also likely to be in the mix.

Elsewhere, TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins, as well as star rookies Jack Martin and Ayrton Simmons all have the potential to compete towards the sharp end.

Jamie Caroline and Frank Bird are hungry for more strong point scoring success, with Nicolai Kjaergaard wanting to rediscover the form he showed at Snetterton last month.

Compatriot Patrik Matthiesen (JTR) returns after missing out on Knockhill and Richardson Racing’s Alexandra Marinescu re-joins the cohort of Ford EcoBoost-powered young talent.

Carrie Schreiner also returns for Double R; the highlight of her last British F4 outing a fantastic fourth place at Thruxton.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway with two test sessions tomorrow ahead of official qualifying at 1020 and Round 22 of the Championship at 1415 on Saturday. The action then ramps up even more on Sunday with the second race of the weekend at 1050 and the final race starting at 1552 which will be screened live on ITV4.

Rockingham timetable
Friday 26 August
1205-1305 & 1655-1755 Testing

Saturday 27 August
1020 Qualifying; 1415 Race 1

Sunday 28 August
1050 Race 2; 1552 Race 3 LIVE ON ITV4

On TV – Live on ITV4 & itv.com/btcc Sunday 1552
On Radio – Listen to live circuit commentary on British F4 Radio.
Listen to interviews throughout the weekend here.

Zane Goddard blitzes British F4 field for Knockhill win

  • Goddard in a league of his own as he flies to second British F4 win of the year.
  • Quinn makes it a hat-trick of Rookie class victories at Knockhill.
  • Leeds pulls off stunning overtake on his way to second in the race and the standings.

KNOCKHILL 14 AUGUST, 2016 – Zane Goddard claimed an emphatic win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford feature race at Knockhill. He led home compatriot Luis Leeds and Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn.

Goddard had been exceptional off the line in the preceding British F4 races this weekend and it was the same story for Round 21 of the Championship, as he flew past Leeds for second place into turn one.

The Australian then set about Quinn who led from pole. The breakthrough came sooner than he perhaps imagined. Quinn locked up on tyres that weren’t quite up to optimal temperature into Taylor’s Hairpin and Goddard needed no encouragement to scythe his way up the inside.

His Double R-prepared race car looked like it was on rails around the 1.27 mile Fife track; the team clearly having set the car up perfectly. Goddard maximised the Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery at his disposal and was simply untouchable, unsurprisingly recording fastest lap on the way to his second British F4 victory.

Said Goddard: “I was super consistent. It felt perfect. The whole race played out perfectly. It couldn’t have been any better. I’m really happy. Huge thanks to the team and the fans. They’ve been great and cheering me on as I crossed the line.

“The car was so good it was hard to actually do anything wrong in it. The car was hooked up and fantastic.

“The starts have been so good lately. We keep nailing them and hopefully we can keep this up in the future.”

“Knockhill is a track where there isn’t too much braking which means you’re pushing the car quite hard most of the time and to the limit which is tricky to do, but it’s rewarding when it works out.

Despite losing out to Goddard at the start there was no let-up from Leeds who focused on getting past Quinn and he did so with arguably the overtake of the weekend.

The Red Bull Junior ducking to the outside of Quinn into Taylor’s Hairpin forcing him to cover and then making a split-second switch down the Fortec racer’s inside under braking without locking up. A beautiful move, showcasing extremely fair and respectful driving from both drivers who exhibited true class.

Explained Leeds: “We had a lot of pace. This weekend started off pretty average in qualifying when we were unfortunate not to be on slicks at the right time, but we didn’t lose our focus.

“We got pole for race two and turned things around from there. We’re pretty close to leading the championship now and we must keep moving forward.

“This morning I was 48 points off the lead and now I’m only five away which is the beauty of this sport.

Speaking about his epic overtaking manoeuvre: “I learnt that move from Daniel Ricciardo when he did something very similar to Vettel at Monza when they were team-mates and I really hope he gets to watch my move today.

“I saw Alex make a mistake and I was originally going to go around the outside, but I thought I would make it look cool and switch to going down the inside. It looks pretty cool on camera I think.”

Quinn was solid in third and rounded out a strong weekend with yet another Rookie class victory. His 12th of the campaign.

Said Quinn: “I lost the lead to Zane on the opening lap and I think that was just down to tyre temperature which we have been struggling with all weekend, but I’m still really happy with this. A win (following’s Florescu’s exclusion from the meeting) and a podium is not a bad thing to be coming out of the weekend with.

“I’m really happy with my performance and the team’s performance. It’s definitely been a step higher after the summer break. It’s great to be back at the top here and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

A cracking battle for fourth emerged as the race progressed as JHR’s Sennan Fielding found himself fending off Max Fewtrell, Rafael Martins and James Pull. The latter having already pulled off superb move to overtake Kjaergaard.

Commented Fielding: “We made quite a drastic change to the car before the race which didn’t seem to work so I did well to get fourth. I’ve not felt too well in myself all weekend so I think this is one of those weekends you just have to brush under the carpet.

“We could have capitalised more on what happened this weekend [to other title rivals]. We had good pace in the car, but I know we have good pace in the car for Rockingham too and we were quick there last year. We’ve made a lot of improvements since then and I know we can do a really good job.”

Meanwhile Caroline and DeFrancesco resumed battle after the day’s earlier race as they jostled for eighth in entertaining fashion.

Kjaergaard rounded out the top ten claiming a well-deserved point and closing the gap to Jack Martin for second in the Rookie class, with Martin crossing the line less than three tenths behind the Dane.

Said Kjaergaard: “It’s been a tough weekend really. We’ve struggled with the setup of the car and I haven’t managed to adapt to this track as well as I would have hoped. I still managed to keep some of the rookies’ behind me though which has given me good points for the rookie championship.”

Ayrton Simmons and Frank Bird also showcased their wheel to wheel prowess with an enthralling battle for much of the race, whilst Monger was unfortunate to spin having been as high as sixth.

Provisional results Round 21 Knockhill 14 August 2016
24 laps / 30.4 miles
1 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 20m 18.396s / 89.84 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +5.815s
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +8.354s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +11.276s
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +11.593s
6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +12.092s
7 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +12.533s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +21.287s
9 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +21.603s
10 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +26.364s etc.

Fastest lap Zane Goddard 50.232s / 90.80 mph

Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Kjaergaard, 3 Martin, 4 Simmons

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 232, 2 Leeds 227, 3 DeFrancesco 214, =4 Fielding 210, =4 Pull 210, 6 Florescu 202, 7 Goddard 178, 8 Quinn 174, 9 Martins 128, 10 Caroline 122 etc.

Rookie class
1 Quinn 399, 2 J. Martin 288, 3 Kjaergaard 283, 4 Simmons 236, 5 R. Martin 130

Full results

Red Bull Junior Leeds charges to British F4 victory as fireworks fly

  • Luis Leeds shines on his way to third British F4 win.
  • Championship leaders Florescu and DeFrancesco crash out.
  • Enthralling 13 car battle for the final podium place.

KNOCKHILL 14 AUGUST, 2016 – Luis Leeds stood on the top step of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford podium for the third time this season after a perfect drive from pole.

The Red Bull Junior star made a clean getaway off the line and had enough pace in hand to keep Double R’s fast starting Zane Goddard at bay. Goddard having leapt past Jamie Caroline who stuttered off the line due to making a false start fractions of a second beforehand.

The two Aussies sped away from the field unaware of the drama that was to unfold behind them. Leeds recording fastest lap in the process and bringing home a victory which puts him right in the thick of the championship battle.

Said a beaming Leeds: “We’ve had a tough run of things lately, but we’ve worked so hard as a team. The car feels pretty perfect this weekend. We’re really on it and really starting to get things together now so we can be a real contender for this championship.

“I was pushing hard every lap out there. I was pretty chilled out at the start. I knew what I had to do. I then just kept my head down and pushed lap after lap.

“Everyone has had their share of bad luck this season. Hopefully we’ve had all of ours and we can get this championship.

“Big thanks to Dr Marko, the Red Bull team and Arden who are behind me. Things are going really well and we just need to keep this form going now.”

Commented Goddard: “I got a good start again. Not quite as good as yesterday, but fortunately Jamie didn’t get a good start so I got past him straight away and then I was behind Luis. I was quicker than him in some parts of the track and he was quicker in others. Second is great with really good points.

I think the team and I have done a fantastic job to be fighting at the front against the bigger teams so all credit to Double R. This result is well deserved. Hopefully we can get another good start in the final race and be on the podium again.”

Caroline received a 10 second time penalty for his false start but in typical Caroline fashion fought tooth and nail with a plethora of cars behind. It quickly became a 13 car battle for the final podium place as a train of Ford EcoBoost-powered cars raced nose to tail around the 1.27-mile Knockhill circuit.

Carlin’s DeFrancesco and Petru Florescu were in the pound seats swarming all over the back the back of Caroline. DeFrancesco ducking and diving in his attempts to get past the Fortec racer. It was to no avail however and as the race drew ever closer to its conclusion it ended in tears for the Carlin pairing.

Caroline’s robust defence unsettling DeFrancesco at Taylor’s hairpin, allowing Florescu to move alongside his team-mate down the main straight. The title rivals made contact, sliding into the tyre barriers and blowing the title race wide open.

Following the incident the officials chose to exclude Florescu from the meeting due to a trackside altercation, whilst DeFrancesco and Caroline were handed ten place grid penalties to be taken when possible to do so.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn found himself surrounded by the Carlin quartet for much of the race. Petru Florescu sneaking past early on, but then found James Pull and Max Fewtrell all over him. Fewtrell eventually found a way past and the fireworks between his team-mates provided him with a valuable third place.

Said Fewtrell: “Starting eighth I knew it would hectic around a track like this. It was kind of like karting all over again. I did a few good moves to get myself up the order and then I knew it would kick off so I was just waiting, ready to pounce.

“I think I did well and I’m happy with the podium after a difficult day yesterday. You’ve always got to keep an open mind and try to place yourself in the right position to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t. Thankfully today it did.”

Despite just missing out on the podium, Quinn found consolation in claiming his 11th Rookie class win of the year. Ayrton Simmons joined him on the podium for the second time of the weekend taking sixth overall, whilst Kjaergaard made a welcome return to the rookie celebrations with third in class.

Explained Quinn: “It was a harder race compared to yesterday because we weren’t on new tyres and others were. The car has improved though, but I would like a little bit more for the race this afternoon.

“I’m starting from pole so I think we have a good opportunity to take the win, but it’s going to be all about getting a good start and building a gap which I think we can do.

“All the Carlin cars have been so strong this season so it was tough against them. I struggled with a bit of understeer in turn six which had an impact down the back straight where there is a good opportunity to overtake so I had to defend really hard, but I did my best and still got fourth.”

JHR’s duo of Sennan Fielding and Billy Monger showed flashes front running pace, fighting up the order, but found themselves bottled up behind Simmons and Martins ahead. In a full blown TRS Arden vs JHR Developments duel, it was the resplendent red TRS Arden cars which came out on top.

Falcon Motorsports’ Alexandra Mohnhaupt drove brilliantly, equalling her best finish of her fledgling British F4 career.

Provisional results Round 20 Knockhill 14 August 2016
17 laps / 21.53 miles
1 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 16m 15.334s / 79.49 mph
2 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +0.467s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +2.257s
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +3.026s
5 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +3.448s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +4.018s
7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +5.343s
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +6.188s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +6.568s
10 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec +7.534s etc.

Fastest lap Luis Leeds 49.814s / 91.56 mph

Rookie class 1 Quinn, 2 Simmons, 3 Kjaergaard

Round 21 grid Quinn – Leeds – Goddard – Fielding – Monger – Fewtrell – Martins – Pull – Kjaergaard – DeFrancesco etc.

Full results

Fielding off to a flyer at Snetterton in British F4

  • JHR’s Fielding leads the way in super-close testing at Snetterton, with the majority of the field covered by less than a second.

SNETTERTON 29 JULY, 2016 – Sennan Fielding and JHR Developments got their weekend in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford off to a flying start by topping the times in testing. A time of 1m 52.254s from Fielding in the morning session proved to be enough to see him reign supreme at the end of the day’s proceedings by over two tenths of a second.

It represents a welcome return to form for a driver whose quest for the title is in need of a shot in the arm after a frustrating outing at Croft before the summer break. The Chesterfield racer looked at ease around the Snetterton 300 circuit and on the basis of today’s performance is sure to be in the thick of the fight for top honours.

Said Fielding: “The [Ford EcoBoost] engine feels very good and the car felt extremely good which gives me a lot of confidence. I think the pace we have had today being P1 in the first session and P2 in the second session shows how consistent we are which is nice. We are quick on old and new tyres which gives us a lot of confidence for the weekend.”

Fellow championship protagonist TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds also looked very at home around the three mile circuit finishing second in the timesheets. A buoyant Leeds commented: “I haven’t been in the car for a while so it’s good to be back with Arden boys and I think we can have a good weekend.

“I like Snetterton a lot because it’s a long track and it’s really technical so it makes it more about the driver. I think this weekend is a big turning point in the season because it’s the start of the second half.”

Frequent Friday star James Pull stood out once more with the quickest time in the afternoon session ending up third fastest overall. He was just three one thousandths away from Leeds, with Jack Martin proving to be quickest of the Rookie Class drivers a mere 0.025s back.

A cautiously optimistic Pull stated: “The wind was a bit strong so that made it a bit harder to get the confidence through the high speed corners, but the car felt really good. I just need to forget about today now and try to get a good time tomorrow. Whenever we have had a good Friday we have always struggled a little bit on the Saturday. It’s going to be all about getting the optimum qualifying session because half a tenth could be worth one or two places. It’s so close.”

Both Max Fewtrell and Nicolai Kjaergaard celebrated their 17th birthdays this today and both caught the eye; Fewtrell finishing fifth and Kjaergaard narrowly missing out on a top 10 time.

Explained Kjaergaard: “The first session went alright, but on used tyres in the second session we were very close to where we want to be. We were struggling a little bit on new tyres in the second session, so we need to work on that for qualifying tomorrow. To come back strong like this after the break gives me confidence that I can score good points in all three races.”

Carlin’s Petru Florescu and Devlin DeFrancesco wound up sixth and tenth; the former just under three tenths off of Fielding’s pace and clearly in good shape for the rest of the weekend.

Ayrton Simmons and Alex Quinn both found themselves inside the top ten when the chequered flag fell; Quinn showing strong pace behind the wheel of his Racing Steps Foundation backed racer in the afternoon.

“I felt really confident in the car right from the green flag this morning,” said Quinn. “It’s been a really positive start to the second half of the season and I’m looking forward to the rest of this weekend. We had really good pace in the afternoon. Qualifying is going to be really important. I think we have shown we can do well in that tomorrow and that will make the races easier.”

TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins and JHR Developments’ Billy Monger shone on old tyre runs, both running as high as fourth in the latter half of the afternoon session.

Meanwhile Croft race winner Zane Goddard, Fortec Motorsport’s Jamie Caroline and JHR’s Jack Butel had a relatively quiet day on track. However, they are sure to strike back with a vengeance when the action hots up tomorrow.

The majority of drivers posted their quickest time of the day in the morning session with only Patrik Matthiesen (JTR), Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports) and newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motrosport) finding time in the afternoon. British F4’s newest recruits improving a by a massive 1.4s and 2s respectively.

Said Matthiesen: “We’re still struggling a little bit with the lap time, but it was definitely better in the afternoon. Top ten this weekend is a realistic target. It would be nice to get some good points. I’m enjoying driving this circuit more and more. We’re working a lot on sector three. That’s the part of the track I need to improve in.”

Added Bird: “Points are definitely the aim this weekend. The summer break came at a bad time for me really because we were just starting to hit form, but hopefully we can carry it on this weekend. Snetterton is a track I like. I was struggling a bit today, but I’m sure I will get on top of it.”

With the top 13 drivers covered by less than a second all eyes are going to be on the F4 British Championship’s bumper Saturday at Snetterton. It kicks off with qualifying at 0900 ahead of rounds 16 and 17 of the championship at 1355 and 1715 respectively. The stage will be then set for a thrilling finale which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1450 on Sunday.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Snetterton 29 July 2016 (am/pm)
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:52.254 / 1:52.777
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:52.477 / 1:53.310
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:52.480 / 1:52.592
4 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:52.505 / 1.53.333
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:52.524 / 1:53.323
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:52.530 / 1:53.214
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:52.531 / 1:53.587
8 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:52.614 / 1:52.841
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:52.835 / 1:53.504
10 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:52.895 / 1:53.133 etc.

Full times