Ericsson clinches Ford F4 Challenge Cup title as Quinn signs off with win in season finale

  • Ericsson seals Ford F4 Challenge Cup with ninth win in Class and storming drive to take third place in the race.
  • Quinn finishes campaign on a high by taking his fourth victory of 2017.
  • Lundqvist stars on podium for 11th time this season.

1 OCTOBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn seized the opportunity from pole to wrap up the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost on a high at Brands Hatch with victory in the season finale. Fortec Motorsports and Hampus Ericsson had plenty to celebrate too, after an inspired drive from the Swede to clinch the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and with it free entry to the 2018 F4 British Championship (worth £15,000).

Quinn was made to work hard for victory by fellow front row starter Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist. The pair were side by side into turn one, with Quinn doing enough to boldly hold on to the lead.

Lundqvist appeared the faster of the two in the early stages, his tyres coming up to temperature quicker and the Swede put Quinn under considerable pressure.

Quinn weathered the storm, finding a rhythm as the race progressed, enabling him to pull out a gap to Lundqvist. A gap that would stand at 2.380s at the chequer and see Quinn overtake Lundvist for fourth in the standings by just half a point.

“Win number four the season feels so good,” said Quinn. “The second half of the race was really enjoyable when I was pulling away out front from Lundqvist.

“He was on tyres that were more used than mine and that meant he was able to get them up to temperature quicker than me, which made for a tricky opening few laps. Once my tyres were up to temperature I got into a good groove and was able to pull away.

“This was a really important race for me because I wanted to end the season on a high. After the disappointment of yesterday, other than qualifying on pole for this race, it’s great to bounce back like this.

“My time in British F4 has helped me improve as a driver massively and it’s been crucial in my career. I raced in British F3 last weekend and the step is huge.

“I would not recommend any driver go from karting to F3, but I would strongly recommend any young driver to make their first step into single-seaters with British F4. It prepares you perfectly for the categories further up the motorsport ladder.

“The F4 British Championship is an ideal way to transition into racing cars and a brilliant stepping stone for any aspiring professional racer.”

“I nearly got another win,” said Lundqvist. “Coming second today and winning a race yesterday makes for a pretty good weekend overall. Losing fourth place to Quinn in the standings by half a point is a bit frustrating though.

“With us starting alongside each other on the front row, the stage was set for a battle. We were side by side into turn one and it was a case of whoever came out in front would likely take the victory and fourth in the championship.

“I have no doubt that this year in British F4 has provided me with the perfect foundation to progress up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

“I’ve shown really strong pace all year. Although the standings might not show it due to the bad luck we’ve encountered, we have been one the front-runners in this championship.

“Five wins is still a great tally for the season. Nine fastest laps, more than any other driver, is also an achievement I’m very proud of.

“It’s great to see fellow Swede Hampus Ericsson get the Ford F4 Challenge Cup title. Many congratulations to him. Hopefully it will provide the springboard for him to fight for the British F4 title in 2018. I think both of us have represented Sweden well this year in the most competitive junior single-seater series.”

There was drama at the start with contact between Lucca Allen and Harry Webb ending the races of both drivers, as well as effectively ending Webb’s Ford F4 Challenge Cup bid.

It was a frustrating end to the campaign for the Richardson Racing driver who came into the final race of the season with every chance of taking the Ford F4 Challenge Cup title after building a nine point lead over Saturday’s two races.

Although the job may have been made much easier for Ericsson, the Swede was far from content with just carefully bringing his car home.

Determined to take the title in style he put on a supreme display of wheel-to-wheel driving with some excellent overtakes to equal his best result of the year; a third place finish having started seventh.

Ericsson was promoted to the podium spot in the latter stages following Logan Sargeant’s uncharacteristic error which sent the American out of the race and with it his chances of becoming vice champion.

Third place saw Ericsson beat Olli Caldwell to the top step of the rostrum and ensure his ninth Class win of the campaign; more than any other driver.

“It was a really good race and I’m so happy with my performance,” said an ecstatic Ericsson. “To secure the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with a win in the Class is special.

“I didn’t know Webb had retired. I just focused on doing my own race and working my way up the order to get on the podium.

“My brother Marcus phoned me from Malaysia before the Grand Prix. He said to just focus on my race and not worry about anything else or overthink things. That’s exactly what I did and now I’m standing here as Ford F4 Challenge Cup champion!

“My first race of the season at Donington Park in April was the hardest one and since then I have just got better and better. To end the season with a third place overall is fantastic too.

“Now I can say I won the Challenge Cup in British F4 in my rookie season and that’s something I’m so proud of. I can build on this success to reach greater heights in my career. I want to come back next year and fight for the British F4 title.”

The accolade of vice champion went to fifth-place finisher Oscar Piastri following a superb season which saw him take to the podium 15 times, including six victories. The TRS Arden Aussie has thrilled fans in 2017, marrying speed with consistency, and firmly signalled to the single-seater fraternity that he is a star of the future.

Piastri found himself sandwiched on the final race classification between the Carlin duo of Patrik Pasma and 2017 FIA British Formula 4 Champion Jamie Caroline. The former making up four places during proceedings, meanwhile Caroline slowed dramatically as he crossed the finish line costing him a fourth place finish.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 30 Brands Hatch GP 1 October 2017
13 laps / 31.63 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 50.157s / 91.09mph
2 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +2.380s
3 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +10.764s
4 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +20.208s
5 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +20.612s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +20.944s
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +21.455s
8 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +21.864s
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +24.665s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +24.891s etc.

Fastest lap: Linus Lundqvist 1m 27.534s / 100.07mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; Caldwell

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 442 points; 2 Piastri 376.5; 3 Sargeant 356; 4 Quinn 307; 5 Lundqvist 306.5; 6 York 274.5; 7 Simmons 257.5; 8 Pasma 167.5; 9 Massaad 83; 10 Ericsson 69 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Ericsson 367.5 points; 2 Webb 351.5; 3 York 304.5; 4 Caldwell 302; 5 Allen 201; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Sargeant stamps his authority at Brands Hatch with Ford EcoBoost-powered pole

  • Sargeant and Carlin take pole at Brands Hatch.
  • Quinn and TRS Arden secure pole for final race of season.
  • Caroline fourth and Piastri sixth for opener.

30 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Logan Sargeant charged his way to pole in qualifying at Brands Hatch for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, while Alex Quinn secured pole for the final race of the season.

Sargeant overcame Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist with a lap of 1m 26.587s, the Swede having topped the times for much of the early part of the session.

The Carlin racer timed his lap almost perfectly, recording it just before a red flag was thrown to recover the stricken car of Oliver York and repair the barriers.

“Well that’s exactly how I wanted to start today,” said poleman Sargeant. “First of all I want to say a big thank you to Carlin who have put together an amazing car yet again.

“I was a bit disappointed with the red flag coming out as that really compromised my ability to record a strong second fastest lap to take pole in the final race this weekend.

“Nevertheless, to get my first pole position is really special. It’s something we’ve been working towards all year.

“Now I need to capitalise on this fantastic starting position, take as many points as I can and hopefully I can become vice champion.

“I went out there, gave it my all and it paid off. It’s great to do a fantastic job for Carlin. This pole takes us a step closer towards the Teams Cup.”

“Yesterday wasn’t too bad for us and we built on that for qualifying,” added Lundqvist. “We’ve got a good car underneath us so it was just about me putting the lap together which I kind of did today.

“I think we had the potential for pole, but I didn’t quite hook up the ultimate lap. Then the red flag came, but that was the same for everyone. Congratulations to Logan for a great lap and getting pole. Hopefully we can overtake him in the races.

“With a good start we can immediately strike back. I really wanted that pole, but we’re at the front so we can fight for the top step. We’re definitely in the game this weekend.”

The red flag stoppage resulted in a five minute qualifying showdown with the field taking to the circuit, but few drivers improved as they struggled to get their tyres up to optimum temperature.

Two drivers who did were Jamie Caroline and Hampus Ericsson, the leaders of the F4 British Championship and Ford F4 Challenge Cup respectively. However, both had their fastest times removed for ignoring yellow flags.

Caroline drops from third to fourth on the grid for this afternoon’s race, when he will bid to become FIA British Formula 4 Champion; while Ericsson moves back from sixth on the grid to ninth. The Swede crucially remains the quickest Challenge Cup entrant with Caldwell in 12th and title rival Webb in 18th after being hampered by traffic.

The removal of Caroline’s fastest time sees Alex Quinn move up to a third place grid slot. The TRS Arden racer built on a solid Friday to take pole for the final race of the season courtesy of his second fastest lap time, a 1m 26.945s, which was the class of the field.

Behind Caroline on the third row will line-up the TRS Arden duo of Ayrton Simmons and Oscar Piastri. The latter will look to make a lightning getaway to take the fight to his title rival.

The action steps up a gear this afternoon at Brands Hatch with race one at 1400 and the reverse-grid race following at 1700. Tomorrow afternoon’s final round is live on ITV4 at 1502.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional qualifying times Brands Hatch GP 30 September 2017
Round 28 grid order 
1 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:26.587
2 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:26.733
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 57.826s 1:26.939
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:27.043
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:27.209
6 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:27.399
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:27.441
8 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:27.570
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:27.718
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 1:27.771 etc.

Round 30 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Quinn – Lundqvist – Sargeant – Caroline – Simmons – Piastri – Ericsson – Pasma – York – Caldwell etc.

Full times

Title rivals Piastri and Caroline top the times in British F4 testing at Brands Hatch

  • Piastri posts quickest time of the day in dry afternoon session.
  • Caroline tops wet morning running.

29 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title protagonists Jamie Caroline and Oscar Piastri came to the fore in testing ahead of this weekend’s season finale at Brands Hatch.

TRS Arden’s Piastri ended the day quickest having topped the majority of the dry afternoon session, and after winding up second in the rain hit morning session by a margin of 0.047s to championship leader Caroline.

“Today was my first time in a British F4 car around the Brands Hatch GP circuit so I’m particularly pleased with my performance, especially compared to Caroline who has much more experience around here,” said pacesetter Piastri.

“We were quick out of the box and less than half a tenth off in the wet which was pretty good. Then in the afternoon we were very quick on old tyres and were even quicker on new tyres. We’ve had the pace throughout.

“It was only testing so I wasn’t pushing to the absolute maximum, as was probably the case up and down the paddock. I know I’ve got plenty more pace to unleash.

“It’s quite an unforgiving track so one mistake can result in you paying quite a lot for it and I was wary of that at this early stage.

“Hopefully I can maintain my pace advantage into the rest of the weekend. Qualifying will be important because it’s quite hard to overtake around here.

“Winning the championship will be tough, but we’ll go out there to win as many races as we can this weekend. Even if we don’t pull it off, it would be nice to secure second place in the standings from the likes of Sargeant and Quinn.”

Throughout his Ford EcoBoost-powered career Caroline has excelled in the wet and today was no exception around the circuit where he took his maiden win in the series. Caroline ultimately had to settle for fifth on the combined classification after a trip to the barriers in free practice two left him with a wounded car.

“Today has been alright, apart from putting the car in the barriers very early on in the second session which meant the steering was out for the rest of it,” said Caroline.

“I came in with about five laps left on the clock as it wasn’t possible to improve with car the way it was. There is plenty of time up our sleeve.

“Even with damage we were fifth quickest. So without that we would have been P1 or P2.

“In the wet we would have been quicker because my best lap was done when the track was at its wettest. I didn’t really get a clear run towards the end of the session when the rain had eased off. If I had, my margin at the top would have been greater.”

Piastri was equally impressive and in the afternoon set a strong pace to put himself three tenths of a second clear of his nearest challengers, Logan Sargeant (Carlin) and Alex Quinn (TRS Arden), with a lap of 1m 26.497s.

“It’s been a solid Friday,” said Sargeant. “P3 in the wet and P2 in the dry. We improved by one position during today so hopefully we can do one more tomorrow.

“We’re still quite close to Oscar in the championship and beating him is essential for me to become vice champion, so I’ll be pushing 100 per cent as always to get wins and bring home one-two finishes for Carlin.”

Added Quinn: “Our pace is good. We’re not far off Oscar. There’s definitely an improvement to be made overnight. I had to contend with a couple of technical problems and that held me back a bit.

“Nevertheless, we were still pretty quick and we can get on top of all these little problems for the rest of the weekend to make a step forward and fight for big results.”

Sandwiching Caroline on the timesheet was Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R), both drivers making up the leading sextet all within four tenths of a second of each other.

Oliver York was quickest of the Fortec Motorsports runners having been fourth fastest in the morning and seventh fastest in the afternoon, ending up ahead of team-mate Hampus Ericsson.

With mixed conditions forecast during the weekend an already fascinating battle for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup between Ericsson and Harry Webb, who are tied on points, looks even more intriguing.

Richardson Racing’s Webb has made a habit of shining in the wet and was comfortably inside the top 10 in the morning, while Ericsson who has limited experience in the conditions could only manage 13th. However, the tables turned in the dry with Ericsson the Class pacesetter.

TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell will be a key player in the Challenge Cup this weekend too. Ninth quickest overall and only a couple of tenths slower than Ericsson suggesting that the top step of the rostrum is going to be intensely fought over by the trio. Meanwhile Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen will look to get in the mix to take his first win.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered action gets underway at 0900 tomorrow. It will be lights out for Round 28 of the F4 British Championship at 1400 when Caroline will aim to wrap up the title. In what promises to be a blockbuster day of single-seater entertainment, a further race will follow at 1700. The season finale will commence at 1502 on Sunday and televised live on ITV4.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Leading testing times Brands Hatch GP, 29 September, 2017 (am/pm)
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:42.311 / 1:26.497
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:42.568 / 1:26.802
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 1:43.036 / 1:26.875
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:43.550 / 1:26.885
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:42.264 / 1:26.886
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:43.085 / 1:26.897
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:42.942 / 1:27.204
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:45.281 / 1:27.544
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden 1:44.873 / 1:27.772
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:44.446 / 1:27.808 etc.

Full times

Caroline and Piastri go head-to-head for British F4 title

28 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Winningest driver, highest number of wins in a season, most consecutive victories, and first person to win all three races in one meeting in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Jamie Caroline has made a habit of breaking records in 2017. Yet for all he has achieved, one accolade eludes him. The title.

Nevertheless, he arrives at Brands Hatch this weekend with one hand firmly on the crown. A 67.5 point lead with a maximum of 75 available means Oscar Piastri must finish first or second to take the fight on to the penultimate race, and even then a sixth or 10th place respectively for Caroline would be enough to see the Carlin ace crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

Count Piastri out at your peril though. A remarkable run of 21 consecutive point scoring finishes, as well as three double pole positions and six victories (second only to Caroline’s 10) underlining the Aussie’s exceptional speed and consistency.

Time and time again the TRS Arden driver has done exactly what he has needed to do; performing under pressure, just as he did when winning last time out from Caroline to force a showdown this weekend.

Brands Hatch has been a happy hunting ground for Caroline; the scene of his breakthrough first win in the series on Finals Day last season. Fast forward six months to April at the Indy circuit, and Caroline and Piastri set the tone for their seasons. Caroline qualified on pole and raced to victory in the first and third races of the weekend. Piastri qualified alongside him on the front row and brought home a brace of podiums.

The fight to claim the inaugural Ford F4 Challenge Cup looks set to go down to the wire. Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb arrive tied on 315.5 points, with Ericsson ahead by virtue of his eight Class wins to Webb’s four.

Ericsson’s Silverstone weekend was crucial. Two further Challenge Cup wins to make him winningest driver in the Class, coupled with a dogged effort to bring his wounded car home in the final race, has seen him claw his way to the top.

With not enough races remaining for Webb to equal Ericsson’s win tally, Webb must outscore Ericsson over the course of this weekend to take the title. Fail to do so and the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, as well as the lucrative prize of free entry to next year’s championship (worth £15,000), is Ericsson’s. Webb arguably faces the tougher task of the two, having last competed at Knockhill, while Ericsson arrives with the wind firmly in his sails.

The battle for the Teams’ Cup is finely poised too with heavyweights Carlin and TRS Arden in contention. Between them in 2017, the two squads have won 22 of the 27 races contested prior to this weekend.

Carlin are in pole position to take the title for the third year in a row with a 103 point lead. It means that if TRS Arden fail to reduce the gap to Carlin by at least 17 points in the opener, the boys and girls in blue will be celebrating a historic hat-trick.

Logan Sargeant has played a pivotal role in Carlin’s title tilt. The American’s season finally hitting the kind of heights many predicted after the summer break. He followed up his maiden victory at Rockingham with another win just a fortnight ago, after pulling off one of the overtakes of the season when he ran around the outside of Caroline to snatch the lead. Although Sargeant is out of contention for the drivers’ title he could still be a key player, doing his team-mate a favour by taking points away from Piastri.

TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn was the other victor at Silverstone. The 16-year-old followed up his 2016 British F4 Rookie title triumph at the home of British Motor Racing with another masterful performance. TRS Arden will want more of the same from their Cornish ace to take the fight to Carlin.

Ayrton Simmons and Olli Caldwell will also need to deliver for the Banbury outfit. Brands Hatch has happy memories for Simmons. The scene of his maiden victory in the series at the beginning of the year. While Caldwell arrives on a high having returned to the top step of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup podium at Silverstone.

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen made it a hat-trick of second place finishes in the Class two weeks ago. The best weekend of his fledgling single-seater career also saw him come tantalisingly close to his first top 10 finish.

Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport have consistently had the pace to fight for top 10 finishes and that’s what they did once again at Silverstone. Expect more of the same from them, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), Patrik Pasma (Carlin), Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin), as well as the JHR duo of Manuel Sulaiman and Harry Dyson looking to get in on the top 10 party. The latter acquitted himself well on his Ford EcoBoost debut a fortnight ago. A 12th place finish after a battling drive up through the order, a particular highlight.

Linus Lundqvist will want to banish memories of a disastrous opening weekend at Brands Hatch, plagued by technical difficulties which saw him fail to score a single point. The super Swede has been one of the stars of the season and arrives with one goal: to add to his tally of race wins. His Double R Racing team-mate Karl Massaad will have wins on his mind too, having already starred on the podium in 2017.

In addition to battling for Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours with Ericsson, Fortec Motorsports will be want to bring home even more silverware with Oliver York and Johnathan Hoggard. York has become a regular podium fixture since his maiden win at Knockhill, while Hoggard finally made it onto the rostrum last time out after an inspired drive.

DRIVER NEWS: Stellar weekend for Piastri at Silverstone

Supplied by driver’s PR. 

19 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Oscar Piastri was once again back at the front in the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost meeting at Silverstone. The 16-year-old Aussie single-seater ace dominated qualifying, recording his third double pole of the season by a staggering 0.2s and 0.4s on the short Silverstone National circuit layout. He then went on to take the HP Tuners backed Arden Motorsport car to podium positions in every race, including another lights to flag win in Sunday’s feature race, bringing his tally to 6 wins and 15 podiums for the season.

“It was great to get back to the front again after the nightmare of Rockingham. The car, the engine and the team performed flawlessly”, said Piastri.

“Race one didn’t quite go to plan as there was some confusion about being allowed to do burnouts to heat the rear tyres on the formation lap. Being the pole man, I thought I followed the briefing instructions correctly and my rear tyres were very cold on the line which gave me a lot of wheelspin. I lost one place in the opening lap and was under a lot of pressure until my tyres came up to temperature.

“When the rain came in the last couple of laps, Jamie Caroline sent it up the inside and spun right in front of me which let York through into second place. I still managed P3 which was less than I wanted, but a podium nonetheless.”

The reverse grid race saw Piastri start in P6 and gain three places to finish on the podium again in third after working through some traffic and avoiding an incident.

“The reverse grid races are tough. The front two rows always put their new tyres on giving them a speed advantage for most of the race. Also, there’s usually a higher risk of contact amongst out of position cars in the first few laps and you need to be careful where you position the car.”

Sundays feature race was all Piastri, starting from pole and driving away from the rest of the field to win by almost 4 seconds.

“Race three was perfect. I got a great start and got into a rhythm early. I didn’t really feel challenged at all by Jamie so I was able to build a gap and keep pulling away during the whole race. The car speed is a real credit to the team, the close analysis of the data and video, and the work we’ve done in testing during the year.”

“I’ve outscored Jamie at every round since Oulton Park, except for Rockingham, so I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made in my first real season in cars and on these tracks I’ve never raced on before. We’re all really happy that we will take the fight to the last round of the championship at Brands Hatch GP.”

Piastri keeps title race alive with sublime sixth Ford EcoBoost-powered win of season

  • Poleman Piastri wins at Silverstone.
  • Championship rival Caroline follows him home in second.
  • Hoggard takes hard-fought maiden podium.
  • Caldwell secures Ford F4 Challenge Cup win, as Ericsson moves to top of Class standings.

17 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri scored his sixth win of the campaign, ahead of rival Jamie Caroline at Silverstone to take the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title fight to the season finale at Brands Hatch in a fortnight.

From pole position Piastri was a man on a mission, determined to score maximum points and finish ahead of Caroline to keep his championship bid alive.

A flawless getaway saw him unchallenged into turn one, while Caroline ran around the outside of Alex Quinn and Hampus Ericsson in a similar fashion to his exquisite first corner heroics in the day’s earlier race.

It left the top two in the championship to battle it out at the front, but Piastri had the edge. He built and managed a gap back to Caroline to secure a comfortable victory, setting fastest lap on the way to the chequered flag.

“It’s special to win at Silverstone, the home of British Motor Racing and the Grand Prix,” said Piastri. “It’s a home race for the team with TRS Arden based about half an hour down the road in Banbury, so it’s great to get a win and two podiums this weekend.

“I did everything I could this weekend. It’s a shame Jamie finished right behind me in second which limited the amount of points I took out of his championship lead, but I’ve managed to take the title fight to the final meeting at Brands Hatch and anything can happen there.

“I saw Jamie got into second straight away and he’s always quick in the opening laps, but once I saw I was pulling away I was able to find a rhythm and it was quite easy out front.

“I then just concentrated on driving a clean and smooth race, avoiding any potential penalties for track limits.

“We saved our best tyres for this race with two new tyres available to us and we made a change to the car which definitely helped us. The car was great and that shows with our pace and recording the fastest lap.

“It’s going to be tough to get the drivers’ title, but I will give it my all. The same goes for the Teams’ Cup too. This win keeps us in contention and if I can get some more wins at Brands Hatch we might be able to steal it at the end.”

“We almost took the title this weekend, but couldn’t quite pull it off,” said Caroline. “We’re on the verge of getting it wrapped up now, but I’m taking nothing for granted. I’ve won all three races in one weekend this season and there is no reason why Oscar cannot do the same.

“Every time I have been to Brands Hatch for the final meeting of the season I have qualified on the front row and won races so we’ll see if we can do that again in two weeks.

“Overall this weekend could have gone a lot better, but it could have also gone a lot worse. We’ve got our eyes firmly on the prize.”

There was no shortage of drama at the start. Alex Quinn got the jump on front row starter Hampus Ericsson, but the Swede made contact with the rear of Quinn’s car, spectacularly propelling the front of Ericsson’s racer up the air. Ericsson clattered the tarmac with a thud, but remarkably was able to continue.

Despite finishing last and four laps down the Fortec Motorsports racer took third in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. It crucially puts him to the top of the Class standings, tied with Harry Webb on 315.5 points, but ahead courtesy of his eight Class victories.

Quinn eventually succumbed to damage half way through proceedings, but not before dicing with team-mate Ayrton Simmons which provided Patrik Pasma with the chance to bravely run around the outside of the pair of them.

After the opening exchanges Logan Sargeant found himself in third, but under pressure from Johnathan Hoggard, the duo battling wheel-to-wheel, lap after lap. Their squabble allowed Pasma and Oliver York to make it a four-way scrap for the final podium spot.

With Hoggard seeing Pasma and York advancing in his mirrors, the rookie made a brilliant move on Sargeant. Team-mate York followed suit, getting the run on Pasma and hanging around the outside of Sargeant to take fourth.

York then set about passing Hoggard in a captivating intra-team battle. The former eventually overcoming Hoggard’s resolute defence on lap 18 by running around the outside of him into Brooklands to earn himself the inside line for Luffield.

Losing momentum, Hoggard found himself under attack from Pasma. Contact resulted, but Hoggard was able to keep going and York was forced into the pits with a technical gremlin, promoting his team-mate back up to third.

“I wanted to put on a good show for everyone watching at home, live on television, and I think I did that,” said a beaming Hoggard.

“It was a tricky race in so many respects, but I still managed to get third. I got past Logan after quite a struggle and then I saw Oliver getting closer and closer in my mirrors.

“Then he eventually got past me. There was a bit of an incident with Pasma, but with how the penalties worked out things finally went my way.

“This is a result I can build on and gives me a lot of confidence. It’s a weight off my shoulders to get this first podium. I’ve had some bad results when I could have been right up there, but it’s come good today.”

Double R Raicng’s Linus Lundqvist put on a thrilling performance for the millions of viewers watching on television with ITV4’s live camera fitted to his car. The super Swede came from the back of the grid to finish an incredible fifth, passing team-mate Karl Massaad in the process. The latter ending up seventh behind Simmons.

Olli Caldwell broke Ericsson’s run of five consecutive Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins by finishing eighth overall after climbing several places. It was a welcome return to the top step for the TRS Arden driver, having last tasted victory at Snetterton in July.

“It’s really nice to be back on the top step of the podium, especially after the way the other two races went this weekend, as well as the weekend at Rockingham,” said Caldwell.

“We were running as high as fifth at one point and although I lost some places towards the end I still think this a really good result after such an eventful weekend.

“Staying mentally strong when things aren’t going your way is helped by having a great team around you and that’s what I’ve got at TRS Arden.

“I’ll have the advantage over my rivals in the Challenge Cup in two weeks because I don’t think any of them have raced around the Brands Hatch GP track and I have thanks to my experience in Ginettas last year.”

Sam Smelt delivered on his Friday practice promise by finishing in the top 10 for GW Motorsport, scoring points after a brilliant drive up the order from 16th.

Meanwhile Manuel Sulaiman doubled his tally for the weekend with another point score for JHR Developments. He denied Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen his first point in British F4 by 0.053s on a weekend where the Irish rookie has shown a significant step forward in terms of pace.

Attention now turns to the season finale at Brands Hatch GP in a fortnight (30 September/1 October). Caroline will arrive with a 67.5 point lead in the standings and will only need a sixth place finish in Round 28 to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion. Meanwhile his Carlin squad can take the Teams’ Cup in the same race if TRS Arden fail to reduce their 103 point lead in the standings by 17 points.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 27 Silverstone, 17 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 20m 10.018s / 102.49mph
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.751s
3 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +16.453s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +19.879s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +20.016s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +20.665s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +21.393s
8 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +21.584s
9 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW +22.193s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +26.745s etc.

Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 57.163s / 103.31mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Allen; 3 Ericsson

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 412 points; 2 Piastri 344.5; 3 Sargeant 326; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 259.5; 6 Simmons 234.5; 7 Oliver York 233.5; 8 Pasma 147.5; 9 Massaad 80; 10 Webb 68 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
=1 Ericsson 315.5 points; =1 Webb 315.5; 3 York 298.5; 4 Caldwell 234; 5 Allen 174; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Quinn reigns supreme at Silverstone

  • Third win of campaign for front row starter Alex Quinn.
  • York and Piastri complete podium.
  • Caroline’s championship lead reduced by just three points to 71.5.
  • Ericsson takes the Ford F4 Challenge Cup spoils for seventh time this season.

16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – TRS Arden and Alex Quinn shone at Silverstone to take victory in Round 25 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, ahead of Oliver York and Oscar Piastri after a dramatic finish hit by torrential rain.

Silverstone has proved a happy hunting ground for Quinn. It was the scene of his British F4 Rookie title triumph in 2016, which he capped off with a fantastic win at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Starting on the front row the Cornish racer was determined to add another victory to his name at the home of British Motor Racing and he duly delivered. A lightning start saw him get the jump on team-mate and poleman Oscar Piastri.

Piastri made life difficult for Quinn in the opening stages, refusing to let him escape while bringing Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Jamie Caroline (Carlin) with him. Caroline having already made up two places on the first lap.

As the race progressed Quinn eventually managed to break free of Piastri’s clutches. The heavens opened with just two laps remaining, but Quinn remained unfazed out front. The 16-year-old danced his way around the 1.64 mile circuit on slick tyres in the pouring rain to take his third win of the campaign.

“I got Oscar off the line which is what I was aiming to do because to go head to head in the race would have been more tricky considering the way things are in the championship battle. We have to keep maximising the points.

“I knew the start was my best and safest opportunity to get the job done so I’m really happy to have pulled it off.

“It wasn’t easy after the start though because Oscar was very quick at the beginning, but I eventually managed to pull out a bit of a gap.

“Then I saw a massive black cloud overhead and knew the rain was coming. I stayed calm, didn’t push too hard and it paid off.

“I was trying to pay attention to how much rain was on my visor and how much water there was on the track. The last lap was like driving into the unknown, but I’ve always liked these conditions throughout my career.”

Behind Quinn the situation was far less straightforward. After Caroline got the better of York with a bold move to take third just before the rain began to fall, the championship leader moved to double his fun as he attempted to pass and pull away from chief title rival Piastri on the final lap.

It resulted in a spin for Caroline, forcing Piastri to take evasive action. The Aussie took a wide line and hit the brakes. York promptly capitalised to take second, diving up the inside of both drivers.

“Overall it was a good race for us,” commented York. “We had the pace throughout. Even when the rain came down we were something like a second quicker than anyone else on the last lap when we took second place.

“Jamie went for a late move and I had to back out really otherwise it could have ended very differently. Then it started to rain and he was sideways through Brooklands after a half spin. It forced Oscar out wide and it gave me the opportunity to scythe up the inside the pair of them.

“I think I was a little held back by Oscar which meant I couldn’t attack Quinn for the win. I’m still happy to get second which means plenty more points in the championship so we can continue to target a top five finish in the championship at the end of the season.

“This is my third podium in four races so it’s great to have this kind of consistency and is a sign of our strength.”

“The start was not good at all,” said Piastri. “I didn’t have enough heat in the tyres which meant I couldn’t get the traction I wanted off the line.

“I felt I was faster than Alex in the opening laps, but as the race progressed I didn’t have the life in the tyres that he did which meant I couldn’t quite keep up with him.

“The heavens opened on the final two laps and I was probably a bit too cautious. On the last lap Jamie went for a bold move and spun in front of me. I had nowhere to go other than slam on the brakes and that let York through.

“I’m not happy with the result, but it could have been a lot worse. We finished on the podium and in front of Jamie so that’s still positive.”

A below-par qualifying for Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons meant the stage was set for them to come storming through the field from 15th and 11th respectively. Both took no prisoners as they flew up the order, each making up four places on just the opening lap. The duo put on a display of overtaking that was a feast for the eyes, with Simmons finishing fifth and Lundqvist sixth. Simmons recording fastest lap of the race in the process.

Behind them finished Carlin’s Logan Sargeant, while eighth place for Hoggard earnt the Fortec Motorsports racer points and pole position for tomorrow’s partially reversed grid race.

Team-mate Hampus Ericsson had to settle for ninth despite a spell in sixth, but with Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen and TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell in 14th and 17th respectively, Ericsson secured his seventh Ford F4 Challenge Cup win. It leaves him tied with Oliver York for most wins in the Class this season.

“The Challenge Cup is the main thing to win and that’s what I have got my sights set on,” explained Ericsson. “To get another win in the Class again today was so important.

“At one point in the race I was sixth, but I went off the track and had to settle for ninth.

“I don’t like the rain much, but I enjoyed it on the slicks. It was a lot of fun!

“The overtake I made on Sargeant into Brooklands was so cool. I got in the slipstream and went around the outside of him. It was a really special move that I’m very proud of.

“Whenever I’m battling with the title contenders like that it’s really exciting and proves that I’m able to fight at the front.”

Carlin’s Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 ahead of Double R’s Karl Massaad. Meanwhile JHR Developments driver Harry Dyson put on a fine display on his competitive single-seater debut, picking his way expertly through the field from last on the grid to finish 12th.

The Ford EcoBoost action continues tomorrow with Round 26 at 1115 when Hoggard will be gunning for his maiden win in the series from pole. The final race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ITV4 and is scheduled for 1630. Piastri will be the poleman once again, with the aim of converting it into his sixth win of the season in a bid to take the title battle to the final meeting of the season.

However, Jamie Caroline will have other ideas and can take the title tomorrow if he has increased his championship lead from 71.5 to at least 75 points once the chequered flag falls on the final race.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 25 Silverstone, 16 September, 2017
21 laps / 34.44 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 29.835s / 100.84mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.122s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +1.748s
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +3.164s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +8.912s
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +9.027s
7 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +10.021s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec +10.880s
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +12.001s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.135s etc.

Fastest lap: Ayrton Simmons 57.165s / 103.30mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Allen; 3 Caldwell

Grid for Round 26: Hoggard – Sargeant – Lundqvist – Simmons – Caroline – Piastri – York – Quinn – Ericsson – Pasma etc.

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 376 points; 2 Piastri 304.5; 3 Sargeant 289; 4 Quinn 280; 5 Lundqvist 247.5; 6 York 233.5; 7 Simmons 216.5; 8 Pasma 143.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 275.5; 4 Caldwell 194; 5 Allen 138; 6 Monger 100

Full results

Piastri puts it on pole, as TRS Arden secures front row lock out at Silverstone

  • Piastri takes double pole.
  • Third front row lock out for TRS Arden.
  • Championship leader Caroline sixth fastest.
  • Entire field covered by just over a second.

16 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Oscar Piastri carried his front-running Friday form into qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with a sublime double pole position. Team-mate Alex Quinn left it late to qualify second and in doing so ensured TRS Arden secured its third front row lock out of the campaign.

Piastri could be found at the top of the timesheet for much of the 20 minute session. However, he was pushed hard, not only by team-mate Quinn, but Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York. The Andy Priaulx Sports Management backed rising star enjoyed a spell on provisional pole, briefly breaking Piastri’s stranglehold on the session with a 57.873s lap with just under five minutes remaining.

Piastri promptly responded with a 57.743s lap and then proceeded to better it on his following flying laps. A 57.610s would prove to be his best and his string of fast laps earnt him pole for the final race of the weekend based on second-fastest times.

“I went out there and did exactly what I needed to do,” said poleman Piastri. “It’s going to be tough to get the championship now with the gap to Jamie Caroline. All I can do is get pole positions and wins and we’ll see what happens.

“I’ve been fast every time I’ve been here and we were fastest for pretty much the whole session. I’m really pleased with my performance and as a team we’re performing so well.

“I knew my pace was pretty strong because I was able to close up to Jamie pretty comfortably when I was behind him on track earlier in the session.

“We were P2 in the dry yesterday and P1 in the wet, and this morning I have put it on pole so I think we’re in a very good place whatever the conditions will be during the rest of the weekend.”

Quinn crashed the front row party in the dying seconds of the session on his final run with a lap of 57.826s, demoting York to third alongside team-mate Hampus Ericsson. The latter putting in his best qualifying performance of the season to earn a front row grid slot in the final race of the weekend.

“It was very difficult out there, the track was improving every lap and I managed to pull a lap out of the bag on my final flyer,” explained Quinn. “It’s great that Oscar got pole and we have another front row lock out for the team.”

“It’s going to be a close race, particularly the battle between myself at Oscar and especially at the start. Hopefully we can bring home big points for the team.

“I was a bit worried when the red flag came out because I wasn’t sure I could get the temperature in the tyres in time, but I stayed calm, brought the tyres in and just got the temperatures right on my final lap to hook things up.”

Behind the all-Fortec second row, can be found an all-Carlin third row with Logan Sargeant beating championship leader Jamie Caroline to fifth on the grid by just 0.009s.

“I’m feeling pretty relaxed,” said Caroline. “We can afford to start sixth given where we are in the championship. I’ll be sending it around the outside in the race to climb up the order!

“Our tyres went off towards the end and I struggled for front end grip whereas others got quicker.

“I know my race pace is strong and our best is yet to come this weekend. We’ll be up there fighting for the top spots.”

Karl Massaad was Double R’s highest qualifier in seventh, with Friday pacesetter Linus Lundqvist only capable of 15th after making contact with the wall in the pit lane.

Johnathan Hoggard ensured all Fortec Motorsports-prepared cars qualified inside the top 10 ahead of Patrik Pasma and Olli Caldwell.

The first F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the Silverstone weekend follows at 1600.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional qualifying times Silverstone 16 September 2017
Round 25 grid order 
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 57.610s
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 57.826s
3 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 57.873s
4 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 58.028s
5 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 58.084s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 58.093s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R 58.141s
8 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 58.158s
9 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 58.290s
10 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden 58.321s etc.

Round 27 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Piastri – Ericsson – Quinn – Caroline – Sargeant – York – Hoggard – Simmons – Pasma – Massaad etc.

Full times

Lundqvist and Piastri share the British F4 testing spoils at Silverstone

  • Lundqvist posts quickest time of the day in dry morning session.
  • Piastri tops wet afternoon running.
  • Top 12 drivers covered by half a second.

15 SEPTEMBER, 2017 – Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist set the pace in testing at Silverstone ahead of the upcoming rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend.

Lundqvist was the only driver to break the 57 second barrier in the morning session with a lap of 56.975s; a time that would remain unbeaten with rain prior to the afternoon session seeing drivers take to the track on wet tyres for the duration.

In a frenetic opening 40 minutes which saw drivers jostle for top spot, Lundqvist just edged out TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri and Alex Quinn. The top three drivers covered by a mere 0.180s.

The trio led the way in the afternoon too, but in slippery conditions it was Piastri who proved quickest with a 1m 04.752s lap, ahead of Lundqvist and Quinn.

“It was a lot of fun out there today and my first time driving around Silverstone in the wet,” said Lundqvist.

“It was a very good Friday for us. We weren’t quite where we wanted to be in testing last week, but we came here confident that we could improve and we’ve done that.

“We have a good base setup for the wet so those conditions didn’t faze us and we were immediately on the pace.

“I’m fifth in the championship right now so I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think the pressure is on the other guys really. I’m just going out there to win.

“I feel very comfortable in the car and that’s key. It means you can be relaxed and focus on pushing the limit.

“If you are comfortable in the car and it’s behaving predictably you can focus on taking the best lines and performing at your optimum. This gives you that extra bit of confidence and that can help you to find that extra tenth which is even more important around a relatively short lap like this.”

Added Piastri: “It’s been a really good start to the weekend and great to build on our performance in testing last week when we were P2.

“In the morning Linus was obviously very quick, but we know where we can improve in the dry and in the wet Alex was very strong the whole time. I managed to do a fast lap before the end and that put me P1.

“In the wet there is a lot more variation in terms of lines you can take. It’s a lot more about feeling the car and finding the limit.

“I don’t mind what the weather brings based on the pace we have shown today in both conditions. Hopefully we can build on today and bring home some excellent results.”

Ayrton Simmons underlined TRS Arden’s strength around the Northamptonshire circuit to go fourth quickest in the morning.

Fortec Motorsports were another team to have a solid day’s running, particularly excelling in the dry conditions with all three of their drivers comfortably inside the top 10 and within four tenths of Lundqvist’s time. Fifth, sixth and seventh going the way of Oliver York, Hampus Ericsson and Johnathan Hoggard respectively.

Behind the Fortec Motorsports runners came Carlin’s title contenders Jamie Caroline and Logan Sargeant; the latter faring well in the damp conditions to be sixth quickest in the afternoon. Team-mate Patrik Pasma is another who enjoyed the wet running going fourth quickest.

Meanwhile, JHR Developments driver Manuel Sulaiman bounced back brilliantly from no running in the morning to go eighth quickest by the time the chequered flag fell on the day.

Sam Smelt put in a time good enough for the top 10; his Friday running suggesting he is more than capable of continuing both his and GW Motorsport’s point-scoring form.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost qualifying gets underway at 1055 tomorrow, with the lights due to go out for Round 25 of the championship at 1600. Two further races follow on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 from 1630.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Leading testing times Silverstone 15 September 2017 (AM/PM)
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 56.975 / 1:04.864
2 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 57.104 / 1:04.752
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 57.155 / 1:04.908
4 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 57.259 / 1:05.083
5 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 57.291 / 1:05.315
6 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 57.294 / 1:06.891
7 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 57.328 / 1:05.613
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 57.332 / 1:05.804
9 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 57.383 / 1:05.136
10 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW 57.406 / 1:05.946 etc.

Full times

Quinn for the win at Rockingham

  • Quinn leaves it late to snatch victory from poleman Pasma.
  • Title contenders Caroline, Piastri and Lundqvist suffer misfortune.

27 AUGUST, 2017 – TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn scored his second win of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season, after a patient drive from second on the grid and a bold move on long-time leader Patrik Pamsa to take to the top step at Rockingham.

Quinn was the better off line of the front-row starters, but Carlin’s Pasma positioned his car perfectly to remain in first. The Finn then endured immense pressure from Quinn, covering off every move that the 2016 British F4 Rookie Champion could throw at him.

Quinn continued to stalk his prey, biding his time and making the decisive move on lap 13. The Cornish racer getting a better run out of Deene hairpin and boldly running around the outside of Pasma through Yentwood.

Unleashed, Quinn immediately recorded his fastest laps of the race and was able to comfortably take the chequer.

“It’s good to be back on the top step,” said Quinn. “I had to work hard for it. I had a lot of attempts to overtake, but Patrik defended so well and that made it difficult to get past.

“Eventually I got the run on him coming out of turn two and got around the outside at turn three. It was a really tricky move and a little bit scary, but I’m happy I pulled it off.

“I was then immediately able to build a gap and the race got easier from that point.

“I knew I was a lot quicker than Patrik so I was careful not to rush things, overdo it or make a stupid move. I waited patiently and it played out right for me in the end.

“It’s good to get a win here. I’ve never had great results here in the past, so it’s nice to change that and this helps us in the championship.”

“The race was really tough,” added Pasma. “It wasn’t the result we wanted, but we just have to keep working hard and improve to get that win.

“I led the majority of the race and unfortunately I made a slight mistake towards the end which gave Alex the opportunity to make a move which was a shame. I’m proud of how well I defended under immense pressure for so many laps.”

As Quinn and Pasma duked it out in front it brought Simmons, Sargeant and York into play. At one point the leading quintet were covered by less than two seconds in a fight for top honours.

Simmons did well to take the final podium spot, balancing attack with defence while managing heavily worn out tyres.

“We had old tyres on in that race which made it harder to keep up with Alex and Patrik, but we didn’t drop too far back from them which was good,” explained Simmons. “I think I was helped by the fact that they were battling with each other.

“I had to defend a lot in that race too. I had to balance attacking with defending, managing the tyres and driving smart. I’m happy with my performance.

“We’ve saved our best tyres for the final race when we will start from P2 so hopefully we can take the win.

“I’m sure Sargeant won’t make it easy starting from pole. I finished ahead of him in this race so hopefully I can come out on top again.”

Sargeant got the better of York after the latter took too much kerb, unsettling his car and leaving the door open for the American to pounce.

Behind York finished Fortec Motorsports team-mate Hampus Ericsson who climbed his way from 10th on the grid to sixth. The Swede finished ahead of fellow big mover and Ford F4 Challenge Cup runner Olli Caldwell who had made up five places from his starting position.

“It’s really good to make it two Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins for the weekend so far,” said Ericsson. “I’m really happy and so is the team. To get sixth place with York in fifth means lots of points for the team.

“The important thing was to keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble. That’s been my plan all weekend and it’s paying dividends.

“If we can get the full set of Challenge Cup wins this weekend that would be brilliant so we can close the gap to the points leader in the Class standings.”

Just a fortnight after recording both his and GW Motorsport’s first top 10 finish, Sam Smelt was at it again, this time bringing his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer home in eighth.

Lucas Alecco Roy was back in the points in ninth, recovering well from early contact with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport).

Title contenders Jamie Caroline, Linus Lundqvist and Oscar Piastri suffered a frustrating race. Damage from early skirmishes for Caroline and Lundqvist forced them into the pits and retirement.

Meanwhile Piastri’s rapid progress through the field, which saw him overtake eight cars on the opening lap, was abruptly halted on lap two with a trip through the gravel at Tarzan after a battle with Caroline.

Piastri persevered however, recording the fastest lap of the race on his way back up to 10th place by the chequer and denying Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen a maiden points score.

The ITV4 live-televised Rockingham finale follows at 1512.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 23 Rockingham 27 August 2017
15 laps / 29.10 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 20m 20.323s / 85.84mph
2 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +1.531s
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +3.261s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +4.214s
5 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +4.593s
6 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +5.922s
7 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +6.804s
8 Sam SMELT / GBR / GW +7.290s
9 Lucas Alecco ROY / GER / Carlin +14.093s
10 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +14.802s etc.

Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 1m 18.854s / 87.45mph

Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Caldwell; 3 Allen

Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 349 points; 2 Piastri 289.5; 3 Sargeant 258; 4 Quinn 249; 5 Lundqvist 229.5; 6 York 197.5; 7 Simmons 194.5; 8 Pasma 141.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 66 etc.

Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 225.5; 4 Caldwell 179; 5 Allen 102; 6 Monger 100

Full results