Lanan Racing’s Jake Hughes is provisionally the inaugural BRDC F4 champion after a lights to flag victory at Donington Park today (Saturday 28 September).
After clinching his sixth pole position of the season in the earlier qualifying session, which also secured him the £1,000 end of season prize for the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup, Hughes blasted into the lead and then didn’t look back to take his fourth win of the season by 2.1 seconds from Sean Walkinshaw Racing’s Matty Graham.
With Hughes winning, Hillspeed’s Seb Morris needed to take at least second to take the championship down to the final day, but was forced to settle for third, giving Hughes a lead of 61 points, including dropped scores, with 60 points remaining over the rest of the weekend. SWR’s Jack Barlow also needed to secure a third place finish in the race, but was classified 13th.
The standings remain provisional pending Seb Morris’ appeal into his exclusion from his Snetterton victory, though Hughes would still hold a comfortable advantage regardless.
Hughes led well away from the line, and then proceeded to pull out a gap of over 2.6 seconds before backing off in the final laps after to bring the car home.
But he crossed the line at the end of 12 laps with a comfortable margin to Graham, and was able to celebrate as he passed his exuberant Lanan Racing team on the pit wall, who displayed ‘F4 Champ’ on their pit board as he powered past.
It completes a remarkable season for the Water Orton driver who was the Easykart E-Plate Champion last year, and has now claimed the BRDC F4 title in his first season of car racing. By winning the F4 title, Hughes lands £25,000, a prize test with leading Formula 3 squad Carlin, and a watch worth £4,500 from luxury manufacturer BRM.
“It’s too crazy to even think about it” Hughes exclaimed afterwards. “It’s still provisional but coming across the start finish line to see ‘F4 Champ’ on the pit board was absolutely unbelievable. There are still two races to go but it’s been a long season and Lanan Racing have been absolutely fantastic with me. They haven’t put a foot wrong all year so I want to say a massive thanks for them. Also a massive thanks to Jonathan Palmer and the BRDC for setting up such a brilliant championship.”
“I could see the positions in my mirrors, and I knew I had Matty [Graham] behind and I knew that if it stayed like that I was the provisional champion. To be honest I was a little bit nervous in the last three laps but my lap times didn’t drop off much and I managed to keep it on the black stuff and bring it home. Seeing the team cheering me over the line was brilliant.
“I plan to have some fun tomorrow! If I can I’d like to still win and if I score more points than Seb over the two races tomorrow then we know for sure anyway. But I can afford now to have a little bit of a relax tonight and go out and enjoy the races tomorrow.”
Charlie Robertson caught Seb Morris in the final stages, but eventually settled for fourth, while James Greenway claimed fifth in his privately entered machine. James Fletcher was sixth for Team KBS, ahead of Gustavo Lima (HHC), Struan Moore (Hillspeed), Jake Dalton (Lanan) and Raoul Hyman (HHC).
The final two races of the main season will take place tomorrow, with Moore starting on pole for Hillspeed with the top-eight finishers in today’s race reversed on the starting grid.
BRDC F4 Championship, Donington Park race one result:
1. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, 12 laps
2. Matty Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +2.154s
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +4.306s
4. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +5.029s
5. James Greenway, Frank T Greenway Racing, +8.678s
6. James Fletcher, Team KBS, +12.833s
7. Gustavo Lima, HHC Motorsport, +14.025s
8. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +16.926s
9. Jake Dalton, Lanan Racing, +17.922s
10. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +19.430s
BRDC F4 Championship, provisional standings
1. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, 427 points (417 on dropped scores)
2. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, 364pts (356 on dropped scores)
3. Jack Barlow, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 360pts (347 on dropped scores)
4. Matty Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, 351pts
5. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, 338pts
6. Jake Dalton, Lanan Racing, 330pts
7. Matt Bell, Douglas Team E-Lites, 265pts
8. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, 263pts (259 on dropped scores)
9. Ross Gunn, Motionsport, 242pts
10. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, 238pts