- Piastri triumphs from pole after race-long duel with Sargeant.
- Race shortened following dramatic off for championship leader Caroline.
- Webb doubles up with Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins.
21 MAY, 2017 – TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri recorded a fantastic maiden victory in round 11 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Starting from pole position, the Aussie emerged victorious in the reverse grid race after a thrilling battle with Logan Sargeant (Carlin) who started alongside him on the front row.
The duel was the latest chapter in a rivalry that has spanned throughout their motor racing careers, in the karting ranks and the sister F4 series in the UAE. Both drivers were on the hunt for their first win in the UK’s most competitive junior single-seater championship having already starred on the podium this season.
The leaders were nose to tail as the race progressed, Sargeant trying to fashion a overtake around the 2.2 mile Cheshire circuit. Piastri had to use all his guile to defend his lead, positioning his car perfectly to fend off Sargeant. The two drivers separated by a mere 0.308s when the race was brought to a premature end following a spectacular off for championship leader Jamie Caroline.
“To get this first British F4 win feels really good,” said Piastri. “It would have been nice if it had been full distance and therefore full points, but it still means a lot.
“I think we knew that the pace was definitely there. There were just a couple of things we needed to fall into place. We’ve been up there throughout the season and I was just waiting for my chance to make it onto the top step.
“My initial start was really good and I built up a nice little gap. I pushed a little bit over the limit and made a couple of mistakes which allowed Logan to catch up though. Once he had caught up I just focused on consistently putting my car in the right place to keep him behind.
“The TRS Arden-prepared cars have been really fast this weekend, especially Alex and I. It’s great to get this win for the team. It’s their second of the season and hopefully there are many more to come.”
“Oscar and I both got really good starts off the line so I couldn’t get the jump on him,” explained Sargeant. “He built up a little bit of the gap on the first lap, but then I closed in on him.
“I put him under pressure a couple of times and I committed to one move, but he shut the door and I couldn’t quite get by him. Maybe if the race had gone on a bit longer I could have done it. I think we definitely had the pace to win.
“I want to say a huge thanks to the Carlin boys. They’ve done a mega job. I’m taking things very much race by race, learning as much as I can and trying to always do my best.”
Caroline was on maximum attack having dropped down the field following an off on lap one and then going too deep at Druids. However, his progress was halted after making contact with team-mate Pasma in the braking zone of Old Hall Corner which catapulted Caroline into the tyre barrier in spectacular fashion. The Pirtek Racing backed star walked away from the incident unscathed. Testament to the safety of his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer.
With damage to the tyre barrier the race was halted and declared with seven laps completed; the top 10 drivers receiving half points due to the race not reaching 75 per cent distance.
Despite the contact with Caroline, Pasma recorded his third podium of the season by clinging onto third to bring home valuable points for his championship bid and leave Oulton Park fourth in the standings.
“It’s great to be back on the podium,” said Pasma. “My speed in the dry today wasn’t as good as it was in the wet yesterday, and I think at the next meeting things will be better.
“I’ve had one second place finish and two thirds now this season. I really want my first win and I’m working incredibly hard to achieve it. I know my time will come soon.”
Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb just missed out on a top three finish and a maiden podium in fourth, equalling his best result of the campaign having expertly picked his way through the field from seventh.
Lundqvist did well to salvage a strong points score, losing momentum following contact with Caroline as the latter dived down the inside of the Double R driver.
The Swede finished ahead of TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons who gained the most positions in the race, climbing his way from 13th to sixth thanks to an inspired comeback drive.
Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) had to settle for eighth behind Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports), his race largely thwarted following contact with Caroline. Fastest lap acting as some consolation for the Cornish racer and coming as no surprise given the pace he showed throughout the weekend, having topped Friday testing and finishing second in yesterday’s race.
Daniel Cao (Double R Racing) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) completed the top 10. Both were involved in an entertaining four-way scrap for the final points paying positions which included Quinn and Jacky Liu. Despite just missing out on a point, Liu put in one of his best performances of the season. A sign of the positive steps forward the Chinese racer has taken under the guidance of GW Motorsport team boss Gary Ward.
Following the race the clerk of the course awarded Caroline a ten place grid penalty for driving in a manner not compatible with general safety.
With round 11 having taken place today following its postponement yesterday due to delays in the schedule, round 12 did not take place at Oulton Park. It has been provisionally rescheduled for the Knockhill meeting on Saturday 12 August.
Prior to that there is plenty more Ford EcoBoost-powered action in store as the British F4 title battle heads to Croft in North Yorkshire on 10/11 June.