8 MAY, 2017 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost continues to showcase the wheel-to-wheel action and incredible overtaking that has put it firmly on the map as one of the most thrilling single-seater series.
Formula 1’s stars of the future came to the fore at the fastest track in Britain, Thruxton Circuit, putting on a show to savour on Sunday 7 May for the thousands of spectators trackside and millions watching live on television.
The racing was hard, but fair throughout the field, with frenetic battles for position taking place lap after lap. A truly exemplary display of motor racing at its finest from Ford’s young stars which was greeted with rounds of applause.
A remarkable weekend was made even more special, as Carlin’s Jamie Caroline made history by becoming the first driver to win all three races in one British F4 meeting. The Pirtek-backed racer is in the ascendancy with seven wins already this season. Two more than any driver achieved in 2016.
Caroline arguably secured the hardest-fought victory of his career in round eight of the season. A titanic tussle between himself and Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist leaving everyone on the edge of their seats.
Just hours later, the championship leader was at it again. A trademark opening lap saw him propel his way into the lead from which he never looked back. Dancing on the edge of adhesion, but always under control.
There were stories to savour throughout the field. Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York completed a hat-trick of Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins and added another hard-earned overall podium to his name in round nine.
Logan Sargeant (Carlin) made his first appearance on the podium in the same race; the American karting ace putting together his strongest weekend of the campaign so far.
TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri returned to the rostrum in round eight and maintained his second place position in the standings.
Meanwhile Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Harry Webb (Richardson Racing) continued their point scoring runs. The two drivers were almost inseparable, with one of the stand-out battles on a day when there so many which will live long in the memory.
ROUND 8: CAROLINE TRIUMPHS AFTER TITANIC TUSSLE AT THRUXTON
Carlin’s Caroline extends lead at top of standings with win number six of season.
Plethora of wheel-to-wheel action and sublime overtaking will see race remembered as one of the best in recent history of the championship.
Double R’s Lundqvist and TRS Arden’s Piastri complete podium.
Oliver York takes second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of weekend.
Carlin and Jamie Caroline made it six wins for the season in round eight of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Caroline emerged triumphant after one of the most thrilling races in the history of British F4.
A trademark Caroline flying start saw him propel his way from sixth by the time he reached turn two. However, he was unable to break clear of the field.
Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist made amends for losing second off the line to Fortec Motorsports Oliver York, with a perfectly judged move down the inside of York coming into Club on lap three and then proceeded to hunt down Caroline.
A fascinating battle ensued as Lundqvist rapidly closed in, finding a way past on the drag up Woodham Hill, only for Caroline to strike back a lap later into the final chicane and go on to take the chequered flag as more drama unfolded behind him.
“Sixth to first by the second corner is pretty good going,” said Caroline. “I beat the record I set at Donington which was sixth to first by the end of the lap.
“The car was mega throughout the whole race and I’m looking forward to bolting on some fresh tyres for the final race and will try to do the triple for Billy Monger.
“I knew after pre-season that Linus would be a contender for race wins along with a few of the Arden drivers, Billy and Logan [Sargeant] so I’m over the moon to come out on top in that race.
“Linus is very quick and he’s going to be up their fighting throughout the season. We were pulling some mega moves as we battled for the lead and we’ve got a huge amount of respect for each other. Hopefully we can have many more races like that this season.
“Carlin have done so much work with me, making me mentally and physically stronger. They’ve won the British F4 title the last two years and there is pressure on me to do it this year.
“It’s still only the third meeting of the season so there’s no point in getting carried away. There’s a long way to go.
“I thought yesterday’s win was the hardest-fought victory I have ever had, but this race topped it.
“To produce racing like we have seen today, the F4 British Championship is the best of the best.”
“That was a lot of fun,” commented Lundqvist. “It was an incredible battle between myself and Jamie. Unfortunately he came out on top on this occasion, but we’ll try to turn the tables in the next race.
“We had good pace and I think anybody could have finished on the podium because it’s so even and in the races here it’s even closer because of all the slipstreaming.
“You can be first on one lap and then down to fifth on the next one! It’s good racing from everyone. We all trust each other and there’s a lot of respect. That’s what enables the kind of show we put on in that race.
“I didn’t get the best of starts, but I fought back and managed to get in the lead, just missing out on the top step in the end.
“It felt like we put on an amazing spectacle for everyone watching and I think they enjoyed it a lot.”
Ayrton Simmons pulled off a well-timed move to pass poleman Logan Sargeant at Club on lap three, after Sargeant had been shuffled down the order in the opening laps. However, Sargeant was having none of it and returned the favour just a lap later to regain fourth.
Behind him could be found team-mates Oscar Piastri and Alex Quinn with the former doing well to hold off the hard charging 2016 British F4 Rookie Champion. Patrik Pasma got in on the act as the race progressed, at one point inches apart from Quinn as they raced side by side down the main straight.
Elsewhere in the top 10 Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) got the better of Harry Webb (Richardson Racing) following an entertaining race-long duel, with York finishing in eighth and taking his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win of the weekend having had Sargeant and the TRS Arden trio find a way past him.
Simmons and Piastri were on a mission in the latter stages, gaining the upper hand as they made their bids for the podium. The former taking the fight to the squabbling Caroline and Lundqvist, but it was Piastri who took the final podium spot by opportunistically squeezing past his team-mate with Sargeant also scything through.
“It’s really good to be back on the podium,” said Piastri. “It was a very interesting race. I didn’t get the best of starts and had a really good battle with Alex. As the race progressed I managed to close up to the leaders and fought my way up to the podium places.
“There were no team orders in that battle with Alex. It was really hard, but very fair racing. Obviously we’re in the same team so if we had come together it wouldn’t have been good, but there’s a lot of respect between us as team-mates.
“I thought once I closed up to the pack at the front that the podium was on. I don’t quite know how I actually got into third place to be completely honest.
“I almost threw it away coming out of complex on the last lap which made the last corner a bit exciting, but I managed to hold on.”
ROUND 9: CAROLINE WINS AGAIN TO MAKE HISTORY WITH BRITISH F4 RACE WEEKEND GRAND SLAM
Three from three at Thruxton for Carlin’s Caroline.
Sargeant takes podium to secure Carlin one-two.
York makes it a hat-trick of Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins.
Jamie Caroline entered the record books by winning the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Thruxton to make it three wins from three this weekend and seven for the season. The Carlin racer becoming the first driver in the history of British F4 to take a hat-trick of victories in one weekend. In doing so he extends his advantage at the top of the standings to 86 points from TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri.
As had been the case in the first race of the day, Caroline wasted no time on the opening lap dispatching Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Alex Quinn (TRS Arden). Finding himself with clear air ahead he escaped the clutches of the chasing pack, setting fastest lap on the way to a historic win.
“I came close to winning all three races in a weekend at the first two meetings of the season and I thought Thruxton might be my best chance of pulling it off,” explained Caroline. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and the team.”
“It seems like everyone is a little bit hesitant on the first two laps. I’m not sure why, but maybe this weekend will act as lesson for them that they can push a lot harder.
“Having fresher tyres for this race compared to the earlier race made such a difference. Not so much in terms of pace, but in terms of comfort and the margin with which I could push.
“The car felt unreal all race. It was on rails which meant I could lap so consistently, break the tow and pull away from the chasing pack.
“I wanted to get the hat-trick of wins for Billy Monger. To be the first person to do it in British F4 is very cool, but it was Billy who said to me ahead of the weekend that I had to make it happen so I’m over the moon I’ve done it for him, as well as the team”.
Logan Sargeant made it a one-two for Trevor Carlin’s outfit, opportunistically seizing the runner-up spot having carried more momentum onto the start-finish straight to pass Quinn and York who were duelling it out at Club. The latter coming out on top to take third place and a clean-sweep of Ford F4 Challenge Cup class wins.
“We’ve been knocking on the door of a result like this for a while,” said Sargeant. “Thruxton is quite a unique track and if you can break the slipstream like we did it makes life a lot easier.
“I went from fourth to second on the first lap at the final chicane because Quinn and York had a bit of tangle.
“I set about building the gap from there and stayed in second for the rest of the race. I saw York in my mirrors and I was struggling with grip, but I kept pushing to stay ahead.
“Carlin are preparing a mega car every weekend so it’s all about making sure I do the right job to reach the top step. I’ll be doing lots of work in the gym and simulator to try to be one step higher next time.”
“There were some really close battles in that race,” commented York. “It’s been a really good weekend with pole position. I would have liked to have converted that into a win, but I’ll take this podium.
“We’ve got Oulton Park next on the calendar where I hope to get that first win. I’ll work as hard as I can with Andy Priaulx Sports Management to take the steps necessary to make that happen.
“The move I pulled off on Quinn brought a big smile to my face and it’s been nice to get more Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins under my belt this weekend.”
Quinn fell out of contention with a spin at Club due to clattering the kerbs in his bid to pass team-mate Piastri.
Meanwhile Double R’s Karl Massaad was flying in a similar fashion to his exploits in the opening race of the weekend, climbing from eighth on the grid to fourth in the space of four laps.
The Lebanese karting champion was soon all over the gearbox of York. He briefly snatched third only for York to hit back, unsettling Massaad and leaving him susceptible to Piastri and team-mate Lundqvist who passed him in quick succession. In a frenetic fight for fourth, Lundqvist battled past Piastri who then succumbed to Massaad.
Patrik Pasma brought home another strong points haul in seventh, while Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Harry Webb (Richardson Racing) continued their weekend-long duel in the points. The pair were incredibly evenly matched yet again; Sharp just getting the better of Webb by 0.308s with Daniel Cao within touching distance of them in tenth.
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads to Oulton Park in Cheshire on 19-21 May for the next rounds of the season.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 8 Thruxton 7 May 2017
16 laps / 37.69 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 05.985s / 112.52mph
2 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +3.880s
3 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +5.405s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +5.601s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.683s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +7.217s
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +7.641s
8 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +8.204s
9 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +13.487s
10 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +13.705s etc.
Fastest lap: Lundqvist 1m 14.167s / 114.35mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 York; 2 Webb
Provisional results Round 9 Thruxton 7 May 2017
14 laps / 32.98 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 17m 29.231s / 113.17mph
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +5.494s
3 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +6.243s
4 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +9.973s
5 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +12.391s
6 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +12.996s
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.193s
8 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +20.195s
9 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +20.503s
10 Daniel CAO / CHN / Double R +20.791s etc.
Fastest lap: Caroline 1m 14.302s / 114.15mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 York; 2 Webb
Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 185 points; 2 Piastri 99; 3 York 78.5; 4 Sargeant 77; 5 Pasma 75; 6 Lundqvist 70.5; 7 Quinn 66; 8 Simmons 63.5; 9 Monger 44; 10 Massaad 30 etc.
Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 York 184.5 points; 2 Webb 141; 3 Monger 100; 4 Ericsson 34.5