|ROUND 9: SUPER ROOKIE JACK DOOHAN SCORES MAIDEN BRITISH F4 WIN
- Doohan and Arden bounce back from race two heartbreak to win in style.
- Victory sees Doohan win £5,000 Ford Super Rookie Award.
- Simmons finishes second to regain championship lead.
Jack Doohan and Arden bounced back brilliantly to win round nine of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton. It was a masterful performance just hours after victory in round eight slipped through Doohan’s fingers on the final lap.
Starting second on the grid, Doohan – son of five-time 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan – got the better of poleman Dennis Hauger on the exit of Club chicane at the end of lap five. Once out in front the Red Bull Junior Team driver pulled away with aplomb, looking absolutely flawless out front on the way to the chequered flag.
Doohan had even more reason to celebrate thanks to winning the Ford Super Rookie Award which sees him leave Thruxton with £5,000 in prize money as the first Rookie class driver to win a race overall this season.
“Race two was so disappointing for us,” said Doohan. “We should have won that race too, but we bounced back, did a similar job to race two and got away from the pack.
“I tried to do the best I could every lap. Just pushing to the maximum, going as fast as possible to escape down the road.
“I knew I had the pace, so I was calm about making my move for the lead and pulled it off at the right time.
“I’m really happy with this result. To have my team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver Dennis Hauger on the podium with me means it’s a great end to the weekend for us.
“This win is just the start. Anything is possible. We’ve got to keep pushing so we can try to win the title.
“It’s really special to win the Ford Super Rookie Award as well. I’m delighted to come away with such a lucrative prize which I can put towards my racing.”
Behind Doohan it was far from calm on track as a host of drivers jostled for second place. Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) came out on top in an epic battle with Arden’s Hauger and Patrik Pasma, as well as Double R Racing’s Kiern Jewiss. The quartet swapped positions on countless occasions and thrilled the bumper trackside crowd.
Simmons’ second place means he has regained the lead in the standings from the weekend’s double winner Jewiss. The pair separated by just five points heading into the Oulton Park meeting in three weeks.
“I’m happy with this result and to leave here still leading the championship,” said Simmons. “I think Jack deserved the win after what happened to him in the previous race.
“I had to settle for second because he was miles ahead. It was such an intense race and I’m exhausted.
“I feel like I deserve a holiday after that race. It was a lot of fun out there though. Every time we come here it’s always about battling everywhere, every lap. It’s so exciting.
“I thought I got to the front of the pack too early, but I didn’t want to give up the position and had a really intense 10 minutes of defensive driving.”
Added third place man Hauger: “We should have had a win in race one. We deserved it. Then in the second race this weekend the pace wasn’t quite there because we were on the back foot as a result of repairing the car from the off in race one.
“I cannot be disappointed with the final race though. It was such a huge fight to get on the podium. It was really close racing up against drivers with a lot more experience than me at a track where it’s really tough.
“I come away from here having learnt so much and I need to now take what I have learnt this weekend to Oulton Park.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky so far this season. We should have had at least two wins already, but hopefully the luck will change for us and results will start to go our away because we’ve certainly got the pace.”
Sebastian Priaulx put in an excellent recovery drive to salvage more points from what has been a frustrating weekend for the Arden driver. Having started the race 11th, he made another excellent getaway and climbed up to sixth place and ahead of Josh Skelton.
JHR Developments driver Skelton was another who caught the eye on track, making plenty of progress from 12th on the grid to finish seventh ahead of Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports) and Paavo Tonteri (Double R Racing).
Despite finishing fifth on the road Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) was relegated to 11th as a result of a 10-second penalty for an out of position start, which meant he just missed out on the final points paying position which went to Fortec Motorsports’ Lucca Allen.
Team-mate Johnathan Hoggard’s race was ruined as a result of damage from contact. It forced him to take to the pits and finish in 13th behind Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and ahead of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing).