|ROUND 24: HOGGARD DOUBLES UP IN KNOCKHILL FINALE
- Fortec driver adds second victory of the weekend
- Pasma makes it three podiums out of three
- Simmons outscores points leader Jewiss to reduce championship gap
Johnathan Hoggard bounced back from the disappointment of race two to secure a second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost victory of the weekend in the final race at Knockhill.
The Fortec driver had been forced to retire from the opening race of Sunday after an incident on the first lap left him with damaged suspension, but he started the Scottish finale from pole by virtue of his second quickest time in qualifying.
In conditions that were arguably even more difficult than those encountered in race two, Hoggard was able to maintain his position at the front when the lights went out ahead of Patrik Pasma (Arden) and wouldn’t be headed despite two safety car periods that backed up the field.
It means Hoggard now has five wins for the season; the joint best on the grid.
“Race two didn’t go to plan with the incident on the opening lap, so it’s nice to bounce back with another win,” he said. “I struggled a bit at the start as I didn’t know the lines to take and what speed to carry into the corners, but I soon got my head down and pulled away.
“I think the championship is beyond us at this stage of the season, but it’s great to come away from the weekend with 50 points on the board and I’ll keep pushing hard through the final two rounds.”
Behind Hoggard, Pasma was able to maintain his strong recent form as he made it three podium finishes from the weekend with second spot.
Unable to quite match his rival ahead, the Finn was able to ease away from the battle behind for third place to secure more silverware from the weekend.
“It’s a shame not to get a win but three podiums is still good,” he said. “Rockingham and Knockhill are my two favourite circuits and we’ve picked up some strong results from them.”
The fight for third would prove to be a frenetic one, with points leader Kiern Jewiss (Double R) holding the place in the early stages ahead of title rival Ayrton Simmons (JHR).
After slight contact between the pair exiting the hairpin on the sixth lap, Jewiss then ran slightly wide at the chicane on the next lap which allowing Simmons to get a run into Clarks, where he slipped through into third spot – a position he would hold to the finish to take points out of Jewiss in the title race.
“To get up to P3 and be ahead of Kiern is important for the championship,” he said. “The car was really good in the early laps although we did pick up a bit of damage with the contact mid-way through.
“To finish on the podium despite that is great and we’ve cut the lead at the top a bit more. We have to keep doing what we are doing and chip away at Kiern’s advantage.”
Behind Simmons, Dennis Hauger (Arden) took fourth spot and top rookie honours after also finding a way ahead of Jewiss to complete a strong comeback from a trip across the gravel on lap one.
The Norwegian had been forced to take avoiding action at turn three to avoid team-mates Seb Priaulx and Jack Doohan after they came together and suffered spins, which resulted in the first safety car to allow Priaulx’s car to be pushed back onto the circuit. Hauger now heads the rookie standings.
Jewiss was left to finish the race in fifth spot and retains the points lead at the end of the weekend.
“In that last race I think we had the best car by far but I had an issue with visor and couldn’t see properly,” he said. “It was like driving in fog and I had to follow the rain lights ahead; it was pretty impossible to see.
“It’s a real shame for the team because they gave me a great car and the end result isn’t what they deserved.”
After his lap one spin, Doohan ended up with sixth place having set the fastest lap on his recovery through the field, with Paavo Tonteri (Double R) rounding out the rookie podium in seventh place.
Josh Skelton (JHR), Jamie Sharp (Sharp) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR) rounded out the top ten, with Priaulx finishing a lap down in eleventh.
Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) was the only non-finisher after his car ground to a halt on the exit of the hairpin, causing a brief second safety car period whilst it was recovered from the circuit.