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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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