- Doohan and Hauger capitalise in tricky conditions to take one-two finish.
- Tonteri leaves it late to snatch third, ensuring series’ first all-rookie overall podium.
29 JULY, 2018 – History was made at Snetterton in round 18 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost as three rookies locked out the overall podium spots for the first time in the series. Jack Doohan led an Arden and Red Bull Junior Team one-two with Dennis Hauger second, while Double R Racing’s Paavo Tonteri picked up third on the last lap.
A damp Snetterton circuit set the scene for an eventful finale to the meeting as the field elected to race on slick tyres. Ford’s rising stars acquitted themselves well around the three-mile Norfolk circuit, however the tricky conditions played a pivotal role in proceedings.
Patrik Pasma (Arden) and Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec Motorsports) were forced to relinquish their leads at different stages of the race as a result of running on the damp part of the circuit. Pasma on lap three and Hoggard on lap six.
Hoggard and Doohan both picked up a pair of places on the opening lap from fourth and fifth respectively, as poleman Pasma fended off Kiern Jewiss (Double R Racing) and Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments). Jewiss ultimately shuffled down several places and Simmons losing one position.
The race-winning move took place on lap six as a wider line through Riches on the damp part of the track opened the door for Doohan to pass Hoggard on the inside, and moments later at the same corner Hauger squeezed past Simmons in a similar fashion.
Tonteri wasted no time in dispatching Simmons on the following lap at Nelson. Elsewhere Hauger pulled off an identical move to his team-mate to pass Hoggard at Riches, while Tonteri left it late to scythe up the inside of Hoggard on the final lap to take the final podium spot, leaving Hoggard in fourth ahead of Ayrton Simmons.
“I tried to get the best start possible, but I knew that starting on the outside meant it wouldn’t be as good other drivers,” explained race winner Doohan.
“I was watching everyone go off the track when they were in front. Patrik and Johnathan got caught out at turn one which cost them during the race and I didn’t want to make the same mistake.
“I just focused on staying cool, sticking to my marks and not letting the nerves get to me, as I made my way up the order.
“I’m not thinking about the championship at the moment. I’m just taking each race as it comes and hopefully everything else will take care of itself.”
Added Hauger: “Overall it’s been a pretty good weekend. We won race one, which was a great race in which we brought home plenty of points.
“For race two we started towards the back, but did well to get up to sixth. Then to end the weekend by starting sixth and finishing second in this race was good, especially considering the difficult track conditions.”
Commented Tonteri: “It sounds obvious, but the key to that race was to go as fast as possible without going off track and I think I did that very well.
“In the early stages quite a few moves were made when drivers were forced wide onto wet parts of the track. I worked that out and used it to my advantage.”
Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson was in the mix for the podium for much of the race, but contact with Simmons and a later off saw the Swede retire from the race.
Although he finished eighth on the road, Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) was demoted to ninth because of a 10-second time penalty for an out of position start. It promoted Fortec Motorsports’ Lucca Allen up to eighth, equalling his best result of the season as he finished behind the Arden pair of Pasma and Sebastian Priaulx. The latter doing well to remain in the running after contact with Sulaiman. Meanwhile, Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) was back in the points, 24 hours after bagging a top-10 finish in round 16.
Despite starting on the front row and getting away well, damage to his front wing in the opening exchanges left Jewiss gradually falling through the order as he put up a spirited rear-guard action in his Double R-prepared racer. He was forced to pit for a new nosecone in the closing stages, ultimately scuppering his chances of salvaging some hard-earned points and seeing his championship lead reduced to 29 points.
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost resumes in two weeks at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 11/12 August.