Hoggard flying high following maiden British F4 win at Donington Park

  • Lights-to-flag win for Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard.
  • Sebastian Priaulx makes superb start to secure second.
  • Jack Doohan comes out on top in thrilling battle with Arden team-mate Dennis Hauger for final podium spot and Rookie class win.

28 APRIL, 2018 – Johnathan Hoggard was flawless from start to finish to convert pole into a maiden victory in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Donington Park.

Having taken his first pole position in the series just hours earlier, Hoggard followed up with a sublime lights-to-flag win around the wet Leicestershire circuit.

A clean getaway saw him escape the clutches of the chasing pack into turn one and he quickly set about building a margin over second place man Sebastian Priaulx (Arden). The latter making an excellent move at the first corner to swoop past team-mates Patrik Pasma and Dennis Hauger.

A Safety Car to enable the recovery of Kiern Jewiss’ stricken racer following contact further down the field on lap seven saw Hoggard’s two second lead wiped out. However, he continued to not put a foot wrong, mastering the restart to put daylight between himself and Priaulx and take the chequered flag several laps later.

“It feels great to get pole and the win in the same day,” said Hoggard. “I’m over the moon with the result.

“Brands Hatch was a bit of a heartbreak really, finishing first on the road, but losing out on the win due to a time penalty for a false start.

“It was tricky out there today. I had to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes, but push at the same time to try to build a gap.

“The Safety Car restart made things harder, bringing everyone closer to me, but I managed to pull a little bit of a gap again and hold it.

“Getting this first win is definitely a weight off my shoulders and hopefully there will be a lot more wins to come.”

Added Fortec Motorsports team owner Richard Dutton: “Brands Hatch was disappointing because Johnathan went off the track in qualifying which meant he was down the order and on the back foot; even though he won a race on the road, but lost out due to a penalty.

“It was very frustrating so it’s nice that Johnathan has been able to win the first race this weekend and I’m sure there will be many more.

“He has progressed a lot over the winter. He has come on leaps and bounds and he has been quick everywhere he’s been.

“As long as he can qualify like he did this morning, then the race weekends should be a lot easier for him.”

“I had a good start,” commented Priaulx. “I went around the outside and I wanted to try to keep the others tight on the inside. I stuck to the outside, had grip and just powered around them to take P2.

“It all comes down to feeling in situations like that. I didn’t want to run anybody onto the grass and I was fair with the room I gave. I’m really happy with the move and my race.

“Hoggard and I were pretty close in terms of pace so it was hard to pass and I didn’t want to risk making a move that would take us both out.

“It’s all about finishing and scoring strong points. It’s not always about winning every race. To win the championship you need to be consistent and constantly up there. The wins will come.”

It was an unfortunate end for Jewiss (Double R Racing) who had lit up the timing screens throughout in his efforts to climb up the order from ninth, having dropped a couple of places from seventh on the grid. The MB Partners-backed rising star recording the fastest lap of the race, a 1m 20.988s, on lap six.

Front row starter Patrik Pasma had been running in third for much of the race, but lost out in the skirmish that ensued after the Safety Car restart. The Finn was forced to retire, cruelly taking away his chance of what would have been a hard-earned podium.

It left Arden’s Red Bull Junior Team duo of Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger to battle it out for the final podium spot and the Rookie class win. The pair swarming all over each other and swapping positions repeatedly in the closing stages. Doohan ultimately got the better of Hauger on the penultimate lap and fended him off to take the spoils.

“At the start of the race I had to contend with Ericsson who was defending really well and made it hard to get past,” explained Doohan.

“After I got past him and the Safety Car came out I knew it was my time to shine and that I had to take advantage of it.

“I got a run around the outside of Hauger into turn four at the restart and got pretty close to Pasma in turn eight, but he ended up pushing the entry a bit and dropping a wheel on the dirt which gave me the upper hand.

“Then I had Hauger coming back alongside me down the main straight so it was really close and we battled it out until the end which was exciting.

“It was a really good battle with lots of fair racing and it feels great to get another podium.”

Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) scored his best result of the season so far with fifth at the circuit at which he made his car racing debut a year ago, and in doing so achieved pole position for the partially reversed grid race on Sunday.

Championship leader Ayrton Simmons was able to bring his JHR Developments-prepared racer home in sixth to score valuable points in his quest for the title, recovering well from 10th on the grid.

As had been the case at Brands Hatch, Jamie Sharp had it all to do after a difficult qualifying. The Sharp Motorsport racer once again rose to the challenge. He picked his way through the order to take seventh despite starting from the back of the grid and going off the track at the first corner with Josh Skelton. Meanwhile Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing) was a first lap casualty after being forced to take to the gravel at McLeans.

Lucca Allen ensured all Fortec Motorsports runners achieved top 10 finishes by crossing the line in eighth, while the sole remaining Double R Racing driver Sebastian Alvarez finished ninth ahead of the JHR Developments pair of Manuel Sulaiman and Josh Skelton.

Round five of the season gets underway at 0925 tomorrow. At 1520 the lights will go out for round six which will be shown live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 4 Donington Park, 28 April, 2018
12 laps / 23.74 miles
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 17m 12.680s / 82.65 mph
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +1.215s
3 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden +7.061s
4 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +7.331s
5 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +9.965s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +10.216s
7 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +10.595s
8 Lucca ALLEN / IRE / Fortec +11.830s
9 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +12.128s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +12.442s etc.

Fastest lap: Jewiss 1m 20.988s / 87.97 mph

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

Grid for Round 5: Ericsson – Hauger – Doohan – Priaulx – Hoggard – Simmons – Sharp – Allen – Alvarez – Sulaiman etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Simmons 76 points; 2 Priaulx 67; 3 Jewiss 48; 4 Hoggard 43; 5 Doohan 38; 6 Hauger 35; 7 Tonteri 25; 8 Ericsson 19; 9 Pasma 18; 10 Skelton 10 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Doohan 80; 2 Hauger 73; 3 Skelton 55; 4 Tonteri 43; 5 Alvarez 27

Full results

York targets top three in F4 British Championship

  • York switches from Ford F4 Challenge Cup to contest remainder of British F4 season.
  • Intensive training programme with APSM and iZone during summer break sees talented teenager brimming with confidence.

25 JULY, 2017 – Oliver York has been a standout performer in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with seven wins and seven second place finishes in class, and this season’s leading rookie has big ambitions as he embarks upon the second half of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign. The Fortec Motorsports racer will switch from the Challenge Cup and focus his efforts on the overall championship in a bid to climb up the table from seventh and consistently fight at the front for race wins.

Although his Challenge Cup success has put him at the top of the class standings by a margin of 40 points, York’s motivation for turning his attention solely to the overall championship is clear: “Top three in the championship is my aim,” said York. “That’s what I’m working towards in the second half of the season.

“I believe I can achieve that and that’s why I have chosen to switch from the Challenge Cup to compete in all the remaining races this season. At the beginning of the year everyone aims to be in the top three and at the front. If you can take the title it’s a bonus.”

Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) and iZone Driver Performance have been honing York’s skills behind the wheel during the summer break in an effort to help him fulfil his ambitions and prepare for a frenetic two months which will see the 16-year-old contest 16 races.

“The team at APSM and iZone have been working with me so I can hit the ground running. Both in terms of fitness and track knowledge. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator and focused on learning the remaining circuits on the calendar.

“APSM and iZone believe in me. We all want to get that first British F4 win under our belts. We’ve already achieved a lot, including podiums and a pole position, but my first race win is the next big target. It’s the only thing that’s missing.”

Further support has come from his those around him in the Fortec Motorsports team. Namely guidance from his engineer Dan Mitchell, team owner Richard Dutton and team manager Ollie Dutton who have created an environment in which York believes both he and his team-mates can excel.

“At Fortec we always want to achieve top results, but the team also tries to create an enjoyable atmosphere to help take the pressure off,” said York. “There are other things beyond just the racing. They understand that and create a relaxed environment for drivers which really helps while everyone works towards the same goal. We want to win, but we want to have fun while doing it.

“Oulton Park didn’t go to plan because we didn’t do any testing beforehand and I missed half of the first practice session because of a school exam,” explained York, reflecting on the ups and downs in his maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered season. “At Croft we were really fast in the dry, but then it rained in qualifying which threw us a bit.

“My pole position at Thruxton is my biggest achievement so far. The second place at Donington Park was also pretty special. I could have perhaps won that race. Jamie Caroline and I were trading fastest lap times. We ended up being about 15 seconds ahead of everyone else. We were so fast.”

York also has plenty of admiration for the F4 British Championship which is enabling him to build an excellent platform from which to progress up the FIA single-seater pyramid: “The racing in British F4 is one of the best things about the series. It’s so close. Everyone is out there for one thing and one thing only. To win. It’s what makes it so exciting and so special. You feel like you really have to earn your success.

“The championship is run incredibly well. We get a lot of track time and three 20 minute races every weekend on the TOCA package as the sole single-seater support series to the British Touring Car Championship. It means we get so much exposure with lots of fans and television coverage.”

York returns to action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend (28-30 July) at Snetterton. Many will be keen to see if his hard work over the summer has paid off as he bids to finally stand on the top step of the podium in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series.

Ericsson to race in British F4 with Fortec Motorsports

5 APRIL, 2017 – Fortec Motorsports and Hampus Ericsson, younger brother of Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson, have agreed terms on a deal which will see the talented Swedish karter race in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford EcoBoost. Ericsson will compete in the series’ Ford F4 Challenge Cup where entrants contest a maximum of seven out of 10 meetings during the season.

“I’m really excited and happy to race in British F4 with Fortec Motorsports,” said Ericsson. “I cannot wait to start my first race at Donington Park.

“I wanted to make the step up from karting to cars and British F4 is the best place to do that. The championship is so competitive and the tracks look very interesting to drive.

“I raced with Alex Quinn in karting and he’s really strong. I also know Logan Sargeant well. To compete against talented drivers like them is what every driver wants to do to prove themselves.”

Ericsson finished runner-up in the Swedish Karting Championship’s KJ Junior class last year and in the top three in the Junior 60 class two years prior.

The 15-year-old joins fellow rookie Oliver York at Fortec Motorsports, who impressed in his maiden outing at the opening round of the UK’s leading single-seater series.

“I’m looking forward to racing alongside Oliver,” added Ericsson. “I think we can work really well together and achieve excellent results.”

Older brother Marcus was no stranger to success with the Fortec Motorsports team, winning the Formula BMW UK Championship in his rookie year and then recording a number of podiums with the team in Formula 3 before climbing his way up to Formula 1.

While Hampus will hope to emulate his brother, he’s keeping his feet firmly on the ground: “I did a couple of testing days in November with the team, but I definitely need to build up my experience of the car and that will happen as I do more and more laps.

“This year is very much a learning year. It will be my first year racing in cars. At the moment I’m not looking too far ahead in my career beyond British F4. I need to take things one step at a time, but it would be nice to be overtaking my brother Marcus in a Formula 1 race one day.”

Fortec Motorsports team owner Richard Dutton echoed the sentiments of his newest recruit: “2017 is very much a learning year for Hampus. He has missed pre-season testing so it’s not going to be easy for him, but we’re looking forward to the rounds at the end of the season to see how much he has developed. The first part of the year will definitely be about learning and building experience.

“Hampus has been very competitive throughout his karting career and I think he has the ingredients to succeed in cars. He set the lap record at the World Junior Karting Finals in Bahrain and performed very well so there’s no doubting his raw speed and talent.

“He tested with us in Valencia last November. It was his first time in the car, but he impressed. In an ideal world he would have done plenty of pre-season testing, but we’ll do the best we can.

“We have put together a very exciting programme for Hampus and I think he will become part of the Fortec Motorsports young driver programme too.”

International kart champion Oliver York joins British F4’s Challenge Cup with Fortec Motorsports

  • Karting star Oliver York has sights set on double British F4 title tilt.
  • 15-year-old from Pyrford, Surrey is the first Fortec Motorsports driver confirmation for 2017 British F4 season.

8 MARCH, 2017 – IAME X30 international junior kart champion and Super One champion Oliver York has signed with Fortec Motorsports to contest the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. A new initiative for 2017, introduced by organisers of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, to enable drivers to compete for under £100,000.

Although York’s sights are set on Challenge Cup success, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of gunning for the crown of FIA British Formula 4 Champion and the 12 FIA Super Licence points that go with it. The 15-year-old is eyeing up a double title tilt should he get his campaign off to a flying start, with drivers competing in the Challenge Cup also eligible to score points in the overall championship.

Said York: “I’m very excited to join the F4 British Championship with Fortec Motorsports. It’s the world’s most competitive junior single-seater series, with live television coverage and thousands of trackside spectators at every meeting.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to showcase my talent against some of the fastest and most exciting motor racing prospects.

“It’s the best championship to go into from karting and to begin my single-seater career with Fortec is even more special. The team know what it takes to succeed and they have been brilliant at helping me to understand the car.

“Testing has been going really well. I’m learning every lap and I’m confident we can achieve some brilliant results. I think we can fight for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and have a shot at the British F4 title if everything goes to plan.”

Fortec Motorsports head into the 2017 British F4 season on the back of a stellar 2016 campaign, having won the Rookie Class title with Alex Quinn who claimed a remarkable 16 class wins, including three overall race victories.

Commented Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “Oliver has a lot to learn, but he is unquestionably a very talented and promising young racer. He’s a double karting champion so comes into this season with a winning mentality.

“It’s going to be a tough year with the British F4 grid shaping up to be incredibly competitive yet again, but we’re confident Oliver can go really well in 2017.

“We’re very keen to do an excellent job with him this season, especially after how well he has performed in testing.”

Mitchell’s cautious optimism is not misplaced with York having impressed in his official pre-season test debut at Brands Hatch Indy which saw him finish third on the timesheets, just a tenth adrift of the fastest time. This was followed up at Donington Park, by comfortably ending the test inside the top 10.

York’s step up to the UK’s leading single-seater series represents an important milestone for Richard Dutton’s Fortec squad, as York is the first product of the team’s junior driver programme to progress from karting to Formula 4.

Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) have also played an integral role in York’s development and will look to combine their expert mentoring, advanced training technology and performance psychology in a bid to give York the edge on track.

Explained York: “Being part of the Fortec Motorsports junior driver programme has been a key part of my development and the fantastic support of APSM has accelerated my progression further. I hope we can carry my championship-winning momentum from karting into cars this season.”

York’s quest for glory in the F4 British Championship and Ford F4 Challenge Cup commences in the inaugural rounds of the season on 1/2 April at Brands Hatch. The Ford EcoBoost-powered series will play a starring role on the live-televised TOCA package alongside the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship.

Alex Quinn: British F4 Rookie Champion in profile

28 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – With all eyes on the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend and the six drivers still in contention for the title, one contender arrives with 2016 champion status already to his name. Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn wrapped up the Rookie class in style last time out at Silverstone with his third overall victory of the season. The first of which came in only his fourth ever car race on the back of a fantastic pole position at Donington Park.

Quinn has been nothing short of exceptional in the Rookie class. 2016 has seen the 15-year-old from Camelford, Cornwall put in some virtuoso performances and thoroughly stamp his authority all over the Rookie standings. 16 class wins and a total of 23 class podiums putting him well clear of the chasing rookie pack.

Said the Rookie class champion: “I cannot express my feelings. I’m so happy. I need to say a huge thanks to the Racing Steps Foundation and Fortec because without them I wouldn’t be here, let alone at the front.”

“I’m really happy with the car and my performance. I pushed as hard as I could to get the win at Silverstone and showed that I can race through the field, as well as lead from the front.”

“It’s a relief to finally become Rookie champion. We’ve been dominant in the class for quite a few races. It wasn’t clear-cut when we were going to win it. We had a good chance and it’s good to get it done so we can focus on just winning races now.”

Quinn landed a fully funded drive with Fortec Motorsports thanks to the Racing Steps Foundation after impressing in a three day, 10-driver assessment staged by the not-for-profit Foundation last October. He has not looked back since.

Explained RSF co-ordinator Derek Walters: “Alex’s attitude and feedback, as well as the way he conducts himself has always been impressive. The great thing about Alex is that you can tell him things. He learns and then understands it, be that on the mental or physical side. He’s hungry to learn and we have seen him mature during the course of the season.

“The Foundation was put together way back in 2007 and its philosophy is to get people like Alex to develop into professional drivers. It has proved very successful.

“The F4 British Championship is a good place to be, especially with the MSA involved. We’re very happy. There are a great bunch of people running the series and we love being involved with Ford at the sharp end of racing. It’s a natural place for us to gravitate to as young drivers come out of karting.”

Commented Fortec Motorsports team owner Richard Dutton: “Alex has done a great job this season, especially for someone as young as he is. He’s been seriously impressive. His success has been great for Fortec Motorsports and the Racing Steps Foundation in the F4 British Championship. We’re very good at developing young drivers. It’s what we aim to do and it’s working.”

Quinn has been a shining example of the progression the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford enables drivers to make. From a quiet Cornish racer to a formidable competitor who doesn’t need to be asked twice to go for a gap when he sees it; Quinn’s rapid rate of development has been a highlight in a season blessed with many.

Although mathematically Quinn’s overall title chances are slim, one thing is certain, the on-track exploits of a 15-year-old with a very bright motorsport career ahead of him are sure to be savoured by many this weekend.