Round 20 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost saw a new addition to the winners’ club in the form of Fortec Motorsports’ Oliver York who claimed a popular maiden victory at Knockhill.
Fortec Motorsports had plenty more to celebrate after an impressive defensive drive from Hampus Ericsson to star on the podium in Round 20 and secure another Ford F4 Challenge Cup win.
The final race of the weekend was dominated by TRS Arden who shone with a sublime performance which saw it score its best race result in the series and the team’s first 1-2-3 finish. Oscar Piastri led home team-mates Alex Quinn and Ayrton Simmons on a historic day for the Banbury outfit.
Harry Webb took Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours in Round 21 and with it propelled himself into the lead of the Challenge Cup standings for Richardson Racing.
ROUND 20: MAIDEN BRITISH F4 WIN FOR OLIVER YORK AT KNOCKHILL
Fortec Motrosports’ Oliver York takes first single-seater win of career.
Team-mate Ericsson holds on to third and Ford F4 Challenge Cup win after thrilling display of defensive driving.
Sargeant scores another podium finish.
Title contenders Piastri and Lundqvist collide, as Caroline extends advantage.
Oliver York took his maiden win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Knockhill in Round 20 of the season and brought home Fortec Motorsports’ first win of the campaign. Carlin’s Logan Sargeant chased down York in second, while Hampus Ericsson provided fans with a thrilling display of defensive driving to hold on to the final podium place and claim another Ford F4 Challenge Cup victory for Fortec Motorsports.
Starting alongside poleman Ericsson, Andy Priaulx Sports Management star York wasted no time in finding a way past his team-mate. Despite make an excellent getaway, Ericsson was immediately under pressure after turn one. York didn’t need any invitation when the first overtaking opportunity presented itself, scything up the inside of Ericsson to take the lead.
It immediately put Ericsson into the clutches of Sargeant and as the two jostled for second, York set about trying to break away from the field.
Sargeant eventually made a move stick on lap nine after a Safety Car period and despite the American recording the fastest lap on the final tour of the 1.27-mile Fife track, York had enough in hand to masterfully take the first single-seater win of his career.
“It’s a big relief to get this first win,” said race winner York. “It’s been a long season and we’ve finally done it. I’ve worked so hard to achieve this.”
“My game plan was to get past Hampus early on and that’s exactly what I did. I saw Hampus get a bad run out of the chicane and I knew that was my chance to strike.
“From then on I tried to pull away. Hampus is good at defending so that helped me create a gap.
“It’s fantastic for the team that Hampus got third and really pleasing to see that today we had the speed to win because yesterday that didn’t quite look to be the case.
“The team have done a great job. The car has improved all weekend and we’ve really honed the setup.”
“It was another good race for us, bringing home plenty of championship points with my rivals behind me,” commented Sargeant.
“It took me a little longer than I would have liked to pass Hampus which gave Oliver the chance to get away.
“The move on Hampus was tight, but fair. I sent it up his inside and he was mature enough to give me just enough room.
“We got fastest lap and we clearly had the speed out there, so next time hopefully we can go one better.
“It’s great to be consistently on the podium and now we need to take that final step to win. We’re pushing hard and we’ll get there.”
The excitement for Ericsson was from over after being passed by Sargeant. The Swede immediately had to contend with Alex Quinn, Ayrton Simmons and Jamie Caroline. The latter having been on the back foot after running wide and off the track on the exit of Taylor’s Hairpin on the opening lap which cost him several places.
Ericsson refused to buckle under the pressure, doggedly keeping Quinn at bay, with Caroline and Simmons looming to pick up the pieces while swapping positions repeatedly in the closing stages.
“It feels so good to be on the podium and get another Ford F4 Challenge Cup win. Oliver was so fast too so it’s a fantastic result for the team.
“I got a great start, but Oliver found a way through. Before the race we discussed with the team our plan for the race and we agreed not to fight each other hard to maximise the chances of a strong result for Fortec.
“I then had Sargeant attacking me which was tough. I did my best to keep him behind, but he was faster.
“Then I had to defend from the top guys in the championship with Quinn, Simmons and Caroline behind me. It was really intense, but a lot of fun. I worked so hard to get on the podium.”
Linus Lundqvist’s luckless weekend continued, despite yet another fine opening lap which saw him make up two places from eighth to get past title rivals Caroline and Oscar Piastri.
Contact with Piastri on the exit of Taylor’s Hairpin saw Lundqvist spin out of the race on lap six, Piastri suffer front wing damage and the deployment of the Safety Car.
The latter did well to nurse his car to the finish, being subject to an exhilarating two-pronged attack from Caroline and Richardson Racing’s Harry Webb who dived either side of the Aussie to climb up to sixth and seventh.
Lucca Allen was another casualty on lap six. Contact with JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman resulting in a trip to the barrier for the Falcon Motorsport driver having been running in 14th, while Sulaiman just missed out on a point score later in the race finishing in 11th.
ROUND 21: PIASTRI LEADS TRS ARDEN 1-2-3 AT KNOCKHILL
TRS Arden dominant in final race of weekend.
Piastri takes fifth win of season to keep pressure on Caroline in championship.
Quinn and Simmons star on podium.
Harry Webb takes control of Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings with win.
TRS Arden wrapped up the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost weekend at Knockhill in style with an emphatic 1-2-3 finish. Oscar Piastri took his fifth win of the campaign from Alex Quinn and Ayrton Simmons.
Piastri, Quinn and Simmons were untouchable out front trading fastest lap times for the duration. Their respective quickest laps of the race covered by a mere 0.022s.
It was a dominant display from the TRS Arden trio who controlled proceedings from the outset, with Piastri and Quinn getting away brilliantly off the line and Simmons jumping Jamie Caroline to move immediately into third.
From then on the only threat was from Carlin’s Logan Sargeant who Simmons kept at bay, acting as rear gunner for Piastri and Quinn ahead, particularly after a Safety Car period six laps into the race.
“I hope to keep having this winning feeling,” said a beaming Piastri. “I got a good start but Alex’s was a bit better. After that I think I had just a little bit more pace than the rest of the field.
“I saw that Jamie was in fifth and that took the pressure off a little, but also motivated me to score as many points as I could to take as much out of his lead in the standings as possible.
“It’s great to get a 1-2-3 for the team. Ayrton was fastest in testing on Wednesday, Alex was fastest on Friday in free practice and then I put it on pole on Saturday. It’s amazing really and fantastic to deliver a result like this. To get a 1-2-3 and put it all together when it really matters is something very special.”
“It’s awesome to be a part of this historic result,” added Quinn. “Oscar and I both got good starts and tried to break away.
“The tyres weren’t completely in at the beginning because we ran new ones, not scrubbed, which made it a little bit challenging. Nevertheless, the three of us managed to get away out front.
“I’ve got to say a massive thanks to Total Rail Solutions and Arden because they have been able to provide us as drivers with this incredible opportunity to succeed.
“I felt like I was a little bit quicker and closing slightly on Oscar before the Safety Car, but I’m happy with second and the points, especially on a weekend that probably wasn’t my best. It’s nice to end it on a high.”
“To get a 1-2-3 finish in British F4 is such a hard thing to achieve,” explained Simmons. “It doesn’t happen very often because the series is so competitive.
“We all had the exact same pace. Arden do an amazing job to bring in the right drivers who will click as a team and perform individually as well.
“I kept my head down in the race after jumping past Jamie at the start. I tried to catch and pass Alex, but it was really tricky to follow him through the high speed corners, plus I had to manage my race carefully because Sargeant was behind me.”
Like Simmons, Sargeant capitalised upon team-mate Caroline’s slow start to take fourth and kept the TRS Arden runners under pressure for the duration.
Caroline’s slow start stemmed from a mechanical problem which he was forced to manage for the entire race while fending off Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist who had climbed two places on the opening lap. The duo provided an enthralling battle for spectators, as two of the F4 British Championship’s heavyweights duked it out around the 1.27-mile Fife track lap after lap for fifth place.
Patrik Pasma got in on the act too, bringing home his best result of the weekend and valuable points behind the pair in seventh.
Harry Webb triumphed in the battle for Ford F4 Challenge Cup honours and with it rose to the top of the Class standings for the first time this season. The Richardson Racing ace’s fourth win in the Class propelling him ahead of Oliver York, having trailed him by 14 points heading into the race.
Webb had to work hard for it though, fighting his way from outside the top 10 to eighth and kept Challenge Cup rival Olli Caldwell behind him in an exciting duel. Meanwhile Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson followed them home to take the final step on the Class rostrum and complete the top 10.
“It’s great to take the lead in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup, we’ve been working towards this all season,” said Webb. “I got a good start and picked up some places. Others had some problems and that helped up a bit.
“I was really pleased to be able to keep Caldwell at bay and take the Challenge Cup win. My tyres were pretty worn in that race and he got quite close for several laps, but I managed to respond and stretch out a small gap to give me some breathing space.
“Taking the lead in the Challenge Cup standings is really important and I hope I stay on top. Winning it would earn me free entry into the championship next year and hopefully if we can get the sponsorship in place I can come back for a second year and fight for the title.
“It’s an even better feeling to come out on top this weekend with my sponsors here. I know everyone says it, but I really wouldn’t be on the grid without them. So big thanks Loco Energy Drink, Walero, EACS, The Helmet Company and Rock Oil.”
Ericsson’s Fortec Motorsports team-mates, York and Johnathan Hoggard, endured frustrating races. York suffered a spin early on and later had contact with JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman which put paid to his chances of following up his maiden win with a points haul. Hoggard once again encountered front wing damage on a luckless weekend when his pace in testing and qualifying promised so much.
The contact between York and Sulaiman saw the latter miss out on a hard earned top 10 finish. The Mexican’s car was stranded on the entry to Taylor’s Hairpin, causing the race to be red flagged and with it the chequer with just seconds of the 20 minute race remaining.
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is back in action in a fortnight’s time (26/27 August) when the title battle will resume at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Provisional results Round 20 Knockhill 13 August 2017
22 laps / 27.87 miles
1 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 20m 27.563s / 81.74mph
2 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +0.800s
3 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +9.397s
4 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +9.746s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +10.345s
6 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +11.562s
7 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +11.760s
8 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden +13.492s
9 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R +14.073s
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +14.444s etc.
Fastest lap: Logan Sargeant 49.957s / 91.30mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Ericsson; 2 Webb; 3 Caldwell
Provisional results Round 21 Knockhill 13 August 2017
21 laps / 26.60 miles
1 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 18m 21.962s / 86.92mph
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden +1.334s
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +2.216s
4 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin +3.268s
5 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin +5.224s
6 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R +6.531s
7 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin +10.291s etc.
8 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson +17.263s
9 Olli CALDWELL / GBR / Arden +17.617s
10 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec +19.963s etc.
Fastest lap: Oscar Piastri 50.014s / 91.19mph
Ford F4 Challenge Cup: 1 Webb; 2 Caldwell; 3 Ericsson; 4 Allen
Provisional championship standings
1 Caroline 334 points; 2 Piastri 288.5; 3 Sargeant 234; 4 Quinn 216; 5 Lundqvist 204.5; =6 York 169.5; =6 Simmons 169.5; 8 Pasma 117.5; 9 Webb 68; 10 Massaad 64 etc.
Provisional Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings
1 Webb 315.5 points; 2 York 304.5; 3 Ericsson 175.5; 4 Caldwell 143; 5 Monger 100; 6 Allen 72