|ROUND 6: DOMINANT WIN FOR HOGGARD IN DRAMATIC BRITISH F4 RACE AT DONINGTON PARK
- Fast-starting Hoggard faultless out front on the way to victory.
- Pasma and Jewiss take podium spots after dramatic race.
- Doohan takes third Rookie win to lead chase for Rookie Cup.
Less than 24 hours after taking his first single-seater victory, Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard was back on the top step of the podium after another flawless drive in round six of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Donington Park.
Starting from second on the grid, Hoggard made a better getaway than poleman Patrik Pasma (Arden) and flew around the outside of the Finn into turn one to lead the way on the opening lap.
There was plenty of drama behind with championship leader Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments), Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports), Jack Doohan (Arden) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) tripping over each other at Craner Curves. All four drivers took to the grass, but all were able to re-join the race safely.
More action followed moments later as Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) and Manuel Sulaiman’s (JHR Developments) race came to an end after coming together at the Roberts chicane. Meanwhile Lucca Allen’s race was halted at the same corner.
The Safety Car was deployed to enable the stricken cars to be removed, with the racing getting underway again on lap seven.
Hoggard did well to keep Pasma at bay at the restart and as the race progressed was in a league of his own as he pulled away from the chasing pack, crossing the finish line with a winning margin of 11.575s.
“Getting the lead off the line and building that gap as soon as possible was key,” explained Hoggard.
“I didn’t get the best of restarts after the Safety Car, but still managed to defend well and then set about building a gap.
“It would have been nice to win all three races this weekend, but I’ll take two wins after what happened at Brands Hatch.
“I’m over the moon with the result. I cannot thank the team enough. They’ve done a great job all weekend. Wet or dry we’ve had the pace.
“We’ve definitely shown how good we can be. Hopefully there are many more weekends like this to come.
“I’m looking forward to Thruxton in a few weeks. Preparation will be crucial so we can qualify well and get more good results.”
Kiern Jewiss (Double R Racing) stayed out of trouble on the adrenaline-fuelled opening lap to make his way up to fifth behind Arden’s Dennis Hauger and Sebastian Priaulx.
As Hauger attempted to overtake Pasma on lap seven, Priaulx saw an opportunity to pounce, but in doing so left the door open to Jewiss.
The next target for Jewiss was Hauger who put up a resolute defence, but ultimately succumbed to Jewiss’ attack on lap nine. The Double R racer pulling off a forceful move through the Roberts chicane which saw Hauger skip through the gravel and relegated to 10th.
Jewiss found himself surrounded by Arden runners, with Pasma defending second place robustly and Priaulx and Doohan snapping at his heels.
“That wasn’t the result that we wanted, but I’m pleased to have scored all these points,” said Pasma.
“Although we couldn’t get the win, it’s another podium which means plenty of points at this early stage in the championship.
“We’ve made a lot of progress, especially in terms of qualifying. We’re getting quicker and quicker and that bodes well for the rest of the season.”
Commented Jewiss: “I got another good start and made up a lot of places, although it wasn’t quite as many as the last race.
“I got through the field well, but when I got to Patrik he defended so hard and at times I was on the grass.
“I was in a bit of an Arden sandwich and it was tough, because I was trying to attack and defend at the same time. It was a hard battle, but I held my nerve.
“It’s been another really good weekend with regard to scoring points. The first race didn’t go so well, but the second and third races were brilliant and I put that down to everyone at Double R Racing and Ford for putting together an excellent car and championship.”
Doohan bounced back brilliantly from his opening lap off track excursion to finish fourth after getting the better of Priaulx in the closing stages and almost Jewiss. The Aussie also recorded his third Rookie class win of the season to leave Donington Park leading the chase for the Rookie Cup.
Although Hoggard was clear out front, Pasma’s defence created a grandstand finish as the entire field from second to 10th was covered by just several seconds.
Championship leader Simmons profited most, recovering from the back of the field after his opening lap travails to finish second and salvage valuable points for his championship hopes.
Sharp was another who recovered well to finish in the points, ahead of Josh Skelton (JHR Developments) and Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing), with Ericsson’s race ending two laps from the finish at McLeans.
Following the race Pasma was awarded a five place grid penalty for unsafe manoeuvres and Simmons was awarded a 10 place grid penalty for contact. Both are to be taken at the next available opportunity.