Ayrton Simmons Closes The Gap As Johnathan Hoggard Does The Double At Knockhill

//Ayrton Simmons Closes The Gap As Johnathan Hoggard Does The Double At Knockhill

Ayrton Simmons Closes The Gap As Johnathan Hoggard Does The Double At Knockhill

26 AUGUST 2018 – The arrival of rain at Knockhill ensured two action packed races to conclude the latest rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost as the battle for title honours intensified in Scotland.

Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments) secured victory for the fourth time this season in round 23 on Sunday morning and then followed it up with a third place finish in round 24 that allowed him to close the gap to points leader Kiern Jewiss (Double R) to 31 points with six races still to run.

Round 24 itself went the way of Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec), who picked up his second win of the weekend to make up for the disappointment of a retirement in round 23 earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the battle for the Rookie Cup also intensified with Arden’s Dennis Hauger moving ahead of team-mate and fellow Red Bull Junior Team driver Jack Doohan in the standings despite a difficult weekend that saw him forced to battle through the field in each of the three races.

ROUND 23: SIMMONS MASTERS CONDITIONS TO TAKE RACE TWO AT KNOCKHILL

  • Simmons closes gap to Jewiss with fourth win of the year
  • Priaulx and Pasma round out podium places
  • Wet conditions lead to dramatic second race

Ayrton Simmons closed the gap to points leader Kiern Jewiss with victory in the second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Knockhill.

With rain having arrived overnight, challenging conditions greeted the drivers when the race kicked off with Simmons (JHR Developments) able to lead from start-to-finish to wrap up a fourth victory of the campaign having started on pole.

It was a win that allowed Simmons to claw back some ground in the points standings after Jewiss had to settle for a second fourth place finish of the weekend.

“I’m really pleased,” Simmons said. “We weren’t that quick in the wet on Friday so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the team gave me the best car I’ve ever had in the wet and that made life easy for me.

“I had the advantage of the best visibility but it was tricky at times to lead the way as you never know where the grip will be but it was okay once I got into a rhythm. It’s good points in the championship with Kiern having opened up a bit of a gap, and we’ll give it our best to try and outscore him again in race three.”

Simmons was able to retain his place at the head of the field when the lights went out at the start before the safety car was deployed when Josh Skelton (JHR) slid off into the gravel and got beached at Clarks on lap two.

The same lap would also see race one winner Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec) forced out when he lost the rear of his car under braking into the hairpin and slid into Dennis Hauger’s Arden-run machine. It left Hoggard with damaged suspension and meant Hauger had to return to the pits to have a new nose fitted to his car.

Before the race was able to resume, Paavo Tonteri (Double R) was added to the list of retirements when his car ground to a halt on track, with the action finally getting back underway with just under ten minutes of racing left to run.

Simmons made the ideal restart to get the jump on the chasing pack with Seb Priaulx (Arden) attempting to give chase behind, with the fight for third between Jewiss (Double R) and Patrik Pasma (Arden) grabbing the attention of fans watching trackside.

That gave Priaulx some breathing space as he wrapped up second place despite struggling with visibility throughout the race.

“Second is good but I’m a bit disappointed at the same time that we couldn’t challenge for the win,” he said. “I had an issue with my visor steaming up and couldn’t see properly which was unfortunate. Credit to Ayrton though, he drove well.”

The battle for third would ultimately be decided when Jewiss ran slightly wide at Clarks, giving Pasma a run up the inside on the way into the hairpin as the Finn took third spot.

Jack Doohan (Arden) attempted to follow him through but slight contact with Jewiss as he turned into the corner would tip the Australian into a spin that dropped him to the rear of the field.

Whilst Pasma secured the final place on the podium, Jewiss repeated his race one result with fourth despite the best efforts of a recovering Hauger in the closing laps.

The Norwegian driver would close right up to the points leader but then clipped the kerb and lost momentum at the chicane on the final lap, which gave Jewiss some breathing space through the final corner. Fifth for Hauger still allowed him to take rookie honours.

“It’s not what we wanted as we were quick in the wet and wanted to fight for a podium but it isn’t too bad considering I had to pit for a new wing,” he said. “I had to battle my way through the pack and I hope we can have a more straightforward race three.”

Manuel Sulaiman (JHR) took sixth spot after fighting his way ahead of Sebastian Alvarez at the hairpin in the closing laps, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) taking eighth having lost ground when he ran wide through the gravel at the chicane whilst fighting in the pack. Doohan completed the nine finishers following his spin.

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.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 23, Knockhill, 26 August, 2018

1 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 20m 32.093s / 66.63mph
2 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden +5.126s
3 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +7.097s
4 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +10.416s
5 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +10.895s
6 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +16.351s
7 Sebastian ALVAREZ / MEX / Double R +20.828s
8 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +22.874s
9 Jack DOOHAN / AUD / Arden +27.565s

Fastest lap:
Simmons 56.288s / 81.03mph

Rookie Class:
1 Hauger 2 Alvarez 3 Doohan

Provisional results Round 24, Knockhill, 26 August, 2018

1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 20m 18.282s / 74.87mph
2 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden +0.954s
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR +3.625s
4 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden +3.977s
5 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R +5.471s
6 Jack DOOHAN / AUD / Arden +6.077s
7 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R +8.319s
8 Josh SKELTON / GBR / JHR +11.486s
9 Jamie SHARP / GBR / Sharp +14.350s
10 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR +14.652s etc

Fastest lap:
Doohan 56.190s / 81.17mph

Rookie Class:
1 Hauger 2 Doohan 3 Tonteri 4 Skelton

Provisional championship standings
1 Jewiss 353 points; 2 Simmons 322; 3 Hauger 283; 4 Doohan 259; 5 Pasma 239; 6 Hoggard 223; 7 Tonteri 219; 8 Priaulx 214; 9 Skelton 81; 10 Sulaiman 69 etc.

Provisional Rookie Cup standings
1 Hauger 431 points; 2 Doohan 425; 3 Tonteri 369; 4 Skelton 302; 5 Alvarez 227

Full Results

2018-08-26T21:33:09+00:00August 26th, 2018|F4 British Championship|