DRIVER NEWS: Piastri aiming high again

Supplied by driver’s PR.

25 AUGUST, 2017 – Oscar Piastri is hoping to continue his winning form at Rockingham this weekend at the eighth meeting of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign.

Piastri has claimed back-to-back double pole positions and achieved a perfect record of winning from pole position over the last two rounds at Snetterton and Knockhill. The young Aussie has achieved 12 podium finishes, more than any other driver, including five wins and is the only driver to finish in the points in every race so far this season.

“I’m really looking forward to Rockingham. It’s the track I first tested the British F4 car at last year and I’ve always been pretty quick here. We were solid in the test last week and tested a lot of different things on the car. I’m confident the Arden Motorsport cars will be fighting for the podium again this weekend.”

With nine races and 225 points still to be handed out this season nobody can get too comfortable just yet.

“I’m focusing on doing my best for the team. We’re all pushing each other and learning together. It’s been a great season so far and I hope we can keep the momentum going right to the end.”

Caldwell ready to become youngest driver to race in British F4

6 JUNE, 2017 – As far as birthday presents go, competing in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series is probably one of the best. It’s exactly what’s in store for TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell along with cakes and balloons. He celebrates his 15th birthday on Sunday 11 June and therefore becomes eligible to race in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Croft Circuit. In doing so he will make history by becoming the youngest driver to compete in British F4.

Following an international karting career, which brought great success both in the UK and Europe, Caldwell competed in the second half of the Ginetta Junior Championship last year. While waiting patiently on the sidelines so far this season, Caldwell has been hard at work preparing for the challenge of racing against some of motorsport’s most talented junior drivers.

“I’ve been training hard physically, getting ready for my first race,” said Caldwell. “I’m part of the Young Racing Driver Academy and I’ve been working really well with them. I’ve also got a personal trainer who does three sessions with me every week.

“I attended some of the British F4 meetings earlier in the season to develop my understanding and to ensure I know what to expect. I feel prepared for what lies ahead.

“With my birthday on Sunday I’ll miss qualifying and race one on Saturday so I know I’m going start at the back of the grid which takes the pressure off a bit, but I’ll be able to test on Friday which is good.

“So many of the British F4 races this season have been action-packed and it has just made me even more eager to race. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.

“I chose to race in British F4 as opposed to any of the other F4 championships simply because it’s the best. It’s incredibly competitive and it brings the best out of drivers.”

Caldwell’s desire and determination to get behind the wheel has been clear for all to see, including TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “Olli has been desperate to get in the car. He’s seen all his team-mates racing on track and it’s been really hard to keep him away. He’s always in the workshop and his father is always phoning us up to check on progress. Olli is so excited. He’s keen and he’s ready.

“We’ve been doing a lot of simulator work with him as part of his preparation so he can hit the ground running. He certainly knows how to race. We saw that when he raced in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

“He’s been working with Arden and the YRDA for a long time. We helped him throughout karting and he’s gone from strength to strength. He’s a fast learner.”

Caldwell’s rate of progression in the Ford EcoBoost-powered racer has been impressive. Despite having less seat time than many of his rivals, the youngster from Stockbridge, Hampshire was frequently found in the top 10 on the timesheets during the recent official organised test days at Croft and Snetterton.

Caldwell is entered into the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. It sees drivers contest a maximum of seven meetings for a share of a £10,000 prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company and free entry to the overall championship in 2018 worth £15,000.

“Olli’s arrival is certainly going to make the Ford F4 Challenge Cup even more interesting,” said Bloomfield. “It’s going to be tough to win it because he can only contest six meetings due to the timing of his birthday. It means he’s already lost one seventh of his point scoring opportunities in comparison to his rivals, but I’m hopeful he can still come out on top.

“Although experience isn’t necessarily on his side, coming into the championship at pretty much the halfway point, we’re going to give him every chance to be successful. We’ve got a strong team, a good car and a lot of talented people around him.”

When asked about his ambitions for this season Caldwell is focused on two things, the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and his family who have been with him every step of the way.

“Everyone in my family is really excited about my debut,” he said. “They’ve supported me throughout my career, all the way through karting. In many ways this is more than just my journey. It’s a family journey which makes it even more special. I want to make them proud.

“I hope we can take the fight to the other drivers in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. Oliver York currently tops the standings and he’s been driving so well. It will be tough, but I’ll give it my best shot.”

TRS Arden confirms driver line-up for four-car F4 British Championship title challenge

8 FEBRUARY, 2017 – Having come tantalisingly close to the FIA British Formula 4 crown for the past two years, Garry Horner’s TRS Arden team have announced another strong squad of international drivers for 2017.

Ayrton Simmons, Oscar Piastri and Yves Baltas will all compete with TRS Arden in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford and the youngest of the four, Olli Caldwell, who doesn’t turn 15 until June, will race in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. All of the team’s drivers are products of the acclaimed Young Racing Driving Academy.

Simmons, who is himself still only 15-years-old, returns to the fold after a strong maiden campaign in which he ended 2016 as British F4’s Rookie class vice-champion having recorded six class wins, despite having missed the first two rounds due to his age. In the season finale at Brands Hatch Simmons held off Championship runner-up Sennan Fielding for second place and almost sneaked past champion and eventual race winner Max Fewtrell. Although still only 15-years-old, Simmons unquestionably has both youth and experience on his side as he embarks on his first full season in single-seater racing.

Ayrton Simmons: “I’m extremely excited to sign for Arden for a second year running in British Formula 4, and I’m very grateful for their confidence in my performance. Having been part of their Young Racing Driver Academy for a few years now, I know I’m in the right team to attempt the championship title and I am working very hard pre-season to achieve it”

Australian karting ace Oscar Piastri lit up the timing screens on countless occasions during the first official pre-season test at Oulton Park last week.

The 15-year-old already has F4 experience having competed in the sister UAE series and has no shortage of accolades to his name. Piastri finished sixth out of a field of over 90 drivers in the 2016 CIK-FIA World OK-Junior Championship, third in the 2015 KF3 Australian Kart Championship, second in the 2014 Australian National Sprint Kart Championship and third in the X30 Junior IAME International Final that same year.

Oscar Piastri: “I am really happy to join TRS Arden for the F4 British Championship. Testing has gone really well and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in one of the most competitive single-seater series in the world. I’ve raced in countries around the globe, but having the chance to race at the UK’s premier circuits, including the home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and having it broadcast live on television to millions of people is something very special.”

Like Piastri, American hotshot Yves Baltas has shown pace and maturity during testing. As part of the YRDA programme, Baltas tested with TRS Arden throughout 2016, and underwent plenty of simulator training, which has given him the perfect preparation for the challenge ahead. The New York City teenager started karting aged four and went on to claim numerous podiums across the United States in the Rotax Mini Max and Junior Max classes. Baltas turns 15-years-old later this month and he’s ready to prove he has what it takes to succeed in the Ford EcoBoost-powered series.

Yves Baltas: “Arden is a great team, the engineers are fantastic. They are helping me to learn everything and how to set the car up to ensure it’s as fast as it can possibly be. As testing has progressed I have felt increasingly comfortable in the car. It’s so much fun to drive, especially through the high speed corners. I think it should be a good year for us. I’m really proud to be an American driver with an American engine thanks to the 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine that is used in British F4.”

Olli Caldwell completes TRS Arden’s four-car assault and is aiming to win the inaugural Ford F4 Challenge Cup in his rookie season in British F4. Challenge Cup drivers will race in seven meetings during the season for a share of a £10,000 prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company and free entry to the overall championship in 2018 worth £15,000.

Following an international karting career, which brought great success both in the UK and Europe, Caldwell competed in the second half of Ginetta Junior Championship last year. The young racer from Stockbridge, Hampshire will be the youngest ever driver to join the F4 grid on 11 June at Croft, as he turns 15 on the very same day as his first British F4 race!

Olli Caldwell: “I’m really excited to be joining Arden for this season’s F4 British Championship.  It’s something I have worked hard for over the last few years, having been through the Young Racing Driver Academy since I was 11 years old – I have received the best support throughout my career so far, I’m ready to take on the F4 Challenge Cup to claim the title.”
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Ben Bloomfield, TRS Arden Team Manager: “I’m delighted to welcome the drivers on board for the 2017 season. It is great working with the YRDA once again, and to have a full four-car line up. The championship focuses on the young talent, and within the team we have four of the most talented young drivers on the scene. We have been working closely with the drivers over the winter period – last week at Oulton Park for the first official test we proved we have incredible pace this year. I’m looking forward to the first race at Brands Hatch.”

Fewtrell finishes in style to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion

  • Lights to flag victory for Fewtrell sees him claim title in thrilling season finale.
  • Fielding gives his all to come within touching distance of championship.
  • Ayrton Simmons rounds off best weekend of his British F4 career with second place.

BRANDS HATCH 2 OCTOBER, 2016 – Max Fewtrell won the final round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion in style, just hours after his Carlin team had become Teams Champion for the second consecutive year.

Fewtrell refused to buckle under immense pressure for the duration of a nail-biting finale which saw Ayrton Simmons and Sennan Fielding chase him home.

The Carlin racer had to overcome a three point deficit to Fielding heading into the race and was in perfect position to do so starting from pole with Fielding in sixth.

He grasped the opportunity with both hands and put on an inspiring display at the front to hold onto the lead. Showcasing not only his mental strength, but exceptional talent behind the wheel.

A clean getaway ensured he led the field into turn one and although he was unable to break away from Simmons, he had enough in hand to remain just far enough ahead to prevent Simmons from making an attack.

“I cannot really put into words just how winning the title feels at the moment,” said Fewtrell. “It’s all a bit surreal and absolutely amazing. I’m really happy for the team too. It’s been such a long season, especially with it going down to the last race.

“I knew I couldn’t let Sennan past and I thought if he got past Ayrton it could get really tricky. I just stayed really consistent and in a good place.

“I’ve worked so hard with the team and it’s amazing to see it all pay off.

“Winning this championship with Ford involved and the FIA is amazing. I think it’s the best junior championship to win. I’m so happy to have won it in my first year of racing in cars. It’s definitely the highlight of my career so far.”

Simmons’ race proved to be more about defensive driving than attacking after Fielding climbed several places thanks to some jaw-dropping overtakes into Paddock Hill Bend where he bravely put everything on the line in his crusade for the title.

Simmons had other ideas though and the youngest driver on the grid rounded off a year in which he has progressed at a rapid rate for TRS Arden by keeping Fielding at bay. Simmons undoubtedly proving he has what it takes to race with the very best. A hard charging Fielding arguably one of the most formidable competitors any racer will come up against.

Explained Simmons whose performance this weekend ensured he finished second in the Rookie class – a feat made all the more impressive given that he missed the first two meetings of the year due to his age: “That race was so intense. I knew I had the pace. I started catching Max towards the very end and would have liked the race to go on a little longer.

“I’m really pleased with what we have achieved this season. The team have been amazing so huge thanks to them.

“It’s been a fantastic end to the season and I’m hungry for even more success now. Hopefully we will be even stronger next year.”

Added championship runner-up Fielding: “We made a few changes to the car which didn’t quite go to plan. I gave it my all from start to finish. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done. Every gap I could have gone for I did.

“It’s disappointing for myself and the team because we have put in so much hard work, but we’ve done so well to develop the car throughout the season.

“A massive thank you to everyone at JHR and Amigos for putting me on the grid. I’m looking forward to 2017 and hopefully I can get that lucky break I deserve. I have shown I can develop a car and bring a team on.

“The team have done a phenomenal job to compete against the likes of Carlin, Fortec and Arden which just shows that JHR are a top team.

“Without a doubt even if I had all the budget in the world I would still choose JHR and do it all over again.

“Thank you to everyone at British F4 as well. It really is one of the best championships in the world.”

Saturday race winner Pull finished just outside the podium places in fourth, but put in yet another assured drive which has been commonplace this year for the Hertfordshire racer.

Behind him Luis Leeds was able to round off the season with a solid points score, with fellow Aussie Goddard in sixth for Double R Racing.

Devlin DeFrancesco made a welcome return to the points after a frustrating weekend for the Canadian ace who has shone on so many occasions in 2016. He came out on top in an entertaining tussle with Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.

British F4’s newest race winner Jamie Caroline put in a spirited drive to make his way from last on the grid to ninth by the time the chequered flag fell, whilst Rafael Martins finished in the final points paying position.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford

Provisional results Round 30 Brands Hatch GP 2 October 2016
14 laps / 34.06 miles
1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 20m 37.529s / 99.09mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +0.339s
3 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +0.890s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +1.961s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +2.520s
6 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +3.006s
7 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +6.229s
8 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +6.772s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec +11.472s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +16.790s etc.

Fastest lap Sennan FIELDING / JHR / 1m 27.274s / 100.37mph

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

Provisional championship standings 1 Fewtrell 358; 2 Fielding 351; 3 Leeds 300; 4 Pull 291; 5 DeFrancesco 265; 6 Florescu 260; 7 Quinn 248; 8 Goddard 239; 9 Martins 205; 10 Caroline 181 etc.

Rookie class 1 Quinn 589; 2 Simmons 430; 3 Kjaergaard 400; 4 J Martin 393; 5 R Martin 130

Full results