29 JULY, 2017 – TRS Arden’s prodigious pace at Snetterton in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost saw the Banbury outfit lock out the front row in qualifying for the first time in the series.
Oscar Piastri converted pole into a faultless win, with team-mate Ayrton Simmons ensuring a sublime one-two finish after a masterful display of defensive driving.
All four of the team’s drivers finished inside the top seven making Round 16 of the season the squad’s most successful British F4 race, capped off with Olli Caldwell taking to the top step in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup.
In Round 17 championship leader Jamie Caroline returned to winning ways and broke another record with his ninth victory of the campaign for Carlin. The most recorded by a driver in a British F4 season; going one better than 2015 champion Lando Norris.
ROUND 16: PURE PERFECTION FROM PIASTRI AND SIMMONS TO BRING HOME TRS ARDEN ONE-TWO
Piastri records second win of season from pole.
Simmons triumphs in thrilling battle for second with Lundqvist and Sargeant.
Caldwell takes maiden Ford F4 Challenge Cup victory.
Oscar Piastri led home a superb one-two for TRS Arden ahead of Ayrton Simmons in Round 16 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Snetterton.
Piastri executed a faultless race from pole. An excellent getaway saw him lead the field into turn one and he gradually built up a comfortable gap to the chasing pack, as team-mate Simmons performed a flawless defence of second place from Double R Raicng’s Linus Lundqvist and Carlin’s Logan Sargeant.
Said Piastri: “I got a good start. Ayrton got a good one too so I had to block him a bit in turn one to keep him at bay, but from then on I could see he was defending hard from Lundqvist and Sargeant which took the pressure off a bit.
“I focused on managing the tyres and bringing home the win. I still pushed quite hard because I didn’t want the guys behind to catch up, but I made sure I’ve got plenty of life in the tyres for the remaining races this weekend.
“We’ve had this kind of pace all season, but we haven’t quite had the outright pace in qualifying and then converted it in the race. So to get pole today and convert it is a great feeling and hopefully we’ll be able to do that a few more times.”
Lap after lap Simmons positioned his car expertly into Riches, holding the inside line and then slowed down ever so slightly through the middle of the corner to upset the momentum of the cars behind.
“My tyres overheated slightly because I was pushing a bit too hard to catch Oscar and that meant I had less grip as I tried to push,” explained Simmons.
“I had to defend from the guys behind who had optimum temperatures so I had to drive a bit slower than usual for two laps to try to cool the tyres down. Towards the end I could push again which I did and I actually managed to pull a bit of a gap in the last couple of laps.
“I had to defend so well to get this second place. I knew that by slowing down in the middle of Riches the guys behind would have to back off and therefore lose momentum. I used that to my advantage.
“The team has been working so hard all year so to get this one-two is fantastic for the team.”
Lundqvist secured the final podium spot, getting the better of Sargeant as the two drivers swapped positions during the race while they put Simmons under pressure.
The decisive move for third came when Sargeant was pinned to the outside as Simmons defended second. Lundqvist seized his opportunity to scythe down the inside of Sargeant. The three drivers providing a thrilling display of wheel-to-wheel action throughout for spectators.
Said Lundqvist: “We were a little bit off the pace in qualifying, but we made a big improvement. It was good to see that we had the pace to fight for second place.
“I’m not sure if I had got past Simmons I would have caught Oscar, but we’ll keep working hard and see if we can get the win in the remaining races this weekend.
“At one point I got stuck in fifth gear down the back straight and that allowed Sargeant to get past me. That meant I had to get my head down and start chasing him and Simmons who were locked in a real battle.
“I took my opportunity when Sargeant was on the outside and Simmons was on the inside. I went to the inside behind Simmons and snuck past Sargeant. Unfortunately Simmons was a bit too good at defending and quick towards the end for me to get second.
“Nevertheless, I’m happy with this podium and I think we’re in good shape for the second half of the season.”
Alex Quinn and Oliver York profited from Olli Caldwell dropping a wheel on the dirt at turn one to climb up to fifth and sixth respectively, while the latter did enough to stay ahead of championship leader Jamie Caroline to claim his best result of his fledgling single-seater career.
Seventh for Caldwell also ensured he was the highest placed Ford F4 Challenge Cup runner and therefore claimed his first win in the class in only his third race.
“It feels really good to get my first Ford F4 Challenge Cup win,” commented Caldwell. “I made a slight mistake in the race which put me a little bit adrift of the top four. I dropped a wheel at turn one which meant Quinn could get a tow and York was with him so they capitalised.
“As the race progressed I felt more comfortable and was really pleased that I had the pace of experienced guys like Quinn and Caroline, and at times was quicker than them.
“My overall aim is to get on the podium and given the way things are going combined with how well the team is working I think that’s definitely possible.”
Caroline will take some consolation in the fact that eighth earns him a front row start in the reverse grid race, in a weekend that has so far proved below par compared to his record breaking winning exploits before the summer break.
JHR Devleopments’ Manuel Sulaiman will line up on pole for the reverse grid race, gaining two places in the opening exchanges to score his first points since the season opening weekend at Brand Hatch.
Meanwhile Karl Massaad completed the top 10 ahead of Patrik Pasma and the Challenge Cup duo of Hampus Ericsson and Lucca Allen. The latter making his British F4 debut for Falcon Motorsport and bringing home Challenge Cup silverware.
ROUND 17: CAROLINE MAKES MORE HISTORY WITH RECORD BREAKING NINTH BRITISH F4 WIN OF SEASON
Caroline bounces back to win reverse grid race.
York equals best result of season in second, as Quinn completes podium.
Caldwell makes it two wins from two in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup at Snetterton.
Championship leader Jamie Caroline returned to winning ways in Round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Snetterton. In doing so the Carlin ace set a new record for most wins in a British F4 season; his tally of nine one better than that of 2015 champion Lando Norris.
Starting alongside poleman Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments), Caroline made a trademark lightning getaway to jump the Mexican off the line. The Pirtek Racing backed rising star promptly set about building a gap to Oliver York who had passed Sulaiman later on the opening lap. The latter spinning moments later which promoted Quinn up to third, who had already climbed a place from his fifth place grid slot.
While York and Quinn duelled for second place they began to eat into Caroline’s lead before the safety car was deployed on lap five. This was due to Karl Massaad’s Double R-prepared racer leaking fluid onto the track following contact with York’s team-mate Hampus Ericsson. The Swede would later be excluded from the race for causing avoidable contact with Massaad.
Caroline nailed the restart to put him sufficiently clear of York and proceeded to record the fastest lap on the penultimate tour of the Norfolk circuit before taking the chequered flag.
“I thought this race was my best chance to get a win this weekend and I did it,” said Caroline. “I capitalised on a good start, stayed calm out front, looked after the tyres and handled the safety car restart well, keeping the engine cool to go even faster at the end of the race.
“It’s been way too long since the last win at Oulton Park. To go a whole race weekend without a win at Croft was tough. I’ve been missing the top step more than I thought I would so to get a win again is great.
“In race one I just tried to keep out of trouble and bring home points and get a good grid position for the reverse grid race. I’m happy with that decision, especially after this race! I used my head in the first race and it has worked out.
“I take every weekend as it comes. I’ve had eight wins this season before this weekend so when you do have a bad day you know you’re still good enough.
“I think I didn’t put things together well on Friday or in qualifying and then we made some changes going into the races. I also raised my game to get the result we wanted this afternoon.”
“Qualifying wasn’t great for us,” said York. “We were P5 on Friday, but changed something overnight and it didn’t pay off so we ended up further back than we should have been.
“The reverse grid helped us and we’ve scored some valuable points for the championship. I got a good start, getting up to P2 on the first lap. I didn’t quite get close enough to Jamie to make a move.
“If the safety car hadn’t come out I might have been able to do something as I was closing in on him up until that point.
“When it came to Quinn, he was faster than me in the first part of the lap and I was faster through the second part of the lap and I was able to do enough to hold onto second.”
Commented Quinn: “The car felt so good in that race so big thanks to the team. It gave me the opportunity to really pressure York, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite get past him.
“I’m still very happy with the result. I think we got the maximum having started fifth. We start fifth again tomorrow so hopefully we can move up a few places again.
“I knew my best opportunity would be the opening laps and I managed to out-brake Olli to go around the outside of him into fourth. Sulaiman than spun ahead of me which gave me third and from then on I was pressuring York.”
Having been passed by team-mate Quinn in the opening exchanges Caldwell then had to contend with Linus Lundqvist (Double R) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin) who both found a way past him before the safety car period.
Simmons and Piastri followed suit to get ahead of their team-mate, finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Spectators were treated to some spellbinding formation flying in the final laps as Simmons, Piastri and Caldwell jockeyed for position. Caldwell still doing more than enough to comfortably take his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win, just hours after his first triumph in the class.
Up ahead Sargeant gained revenge on Lundqvist by making a move stick for fourth in the closing stages, after just missing out on the podium to the Swede in the opening race.
Patrik Pasma and Lucas Alecco Roy completed the top 10 ensuring that all Carlin runners finished in the points, Roy doing brilliantly to pick his way through the field from 16th on the grid.
Elsewhere, Fortec Motorsports’ Hoggard just missed out on his first points score in 11th having fought his way up through the field from 17th, ahead of Sulaiman who worked his way back up the order following his spin.
The final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend is scheduled for 1450 tomorrow and will be broadcast live on ITV4. Piastri will start from pole and will hope to replicate his race one performance. Meanwhile Sargeant will start alongside him and bid for his maiden British F4 win.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 16 Snetterton 29 July 2017
11 laps / 32.65 miles
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 20m 46.622s / 94.30mph
2 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +4.230s
3 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +5.060s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +6.996s
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +7.996s
6 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +8.061s
7 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +8.307s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +8.928s
9 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +18.595s
10 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +18.826s etc.
Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 1m 51.997s / 95.43mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Ericsson; 3 Allen
Provisional results Round 17 Snetterton 29 July 2017
10 laps / 29.68 miles
1 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 20m 50.451s / 85.47mph
2 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec +1.056s
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +1.436s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +3.631s
5 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +3.923s
6 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +6.363s
7 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +8.595s
8 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +9.427s
9 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +9.793s
10 Lucas Alecco ROY / GER / Carlin +11.109s etc.
Fastest lap: Jamie Caroline 1m 52.575s / 94.94mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Caldwell; 2 Allen
Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 267 points; 2 Piastri 201.5; 3 Lundqvist 177.5; 4 Quinn 164; 5 Sargeant 158; 6 York 124.5; 7 Pasma 110.5; 8 Simmons 107.5; 9 Webb 52; 10 Massaad 47 etc.
Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 York 279.5 points; 2 Webb 239.5; 3 Ericsson 115.5; 4 Monger 100; 5 Caldwell 74; 6 Allen 30