|ROUND 21: PASMA DOUBLES HIS FUN AT THE SPEEDWAY
- Pasma wins again from pole position at Rockingham.
- Priaulx scores fifth podium of season.
- Jewiss snatches final podium spot at last corner after titanic battle with title rival Simmons.
- Skelton takes first Rookie class win.
Having finally taken his maiden win in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost earlier in the weekend, Patrik Pasma was at it again in the final race of the Rockingham Motor Speedway meeting. The Finn leading an Arden one-two finish with Sebastian Priaulx second.
Just as he did in round 19, poleman Pasma led flawlessly from lights-to-flag. Perhaps the only blemish a slight lock-up into Deene hairpin on the opening lap.
The Finn can be forgiven for that though after what has been something of a breakthrough weekend which has seen him marry speed with consistency to enable him to have his most successful weekend in single-seaters. He was devastatingly quick around the 1.94-mile Northamptonshire track at times and is now on the hunt for plenty more silverware in the remaining races this season.
“It’s been a brilliant weekend with two victories,” said Pasma. “I’m so happy. Our pace has been really good since Friday. The team have done a fantastic job so big thanks to them.
“Priaulx was pushing me hard and then the Safety Car came. I managed to get a good restart and build a little gap.
“These results give me a great boost for the rest of the season. We need to work hard before Knockhill which is the next meeting to get even more wins.”
Behind Pasma at the start there was once again plenty of drama as the field charged into Deene hairpin. This time it was Arden’s Red Bull Juniors Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger who came to grief. The pair making contact and curtailing what had been a strong point scoring weekend for both of them.
Following the race, Hauger was handed a five place grid penalty to be taken at the next possible opportunity for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety.
The commotion ahead in the opening exchanges saw Priaulx profit most. After missing out on an excellent result in the preceding race due to contact at the very same corner, it was fitting that fortune favoured the Guernseyman. He duly picked up the pieces as his team-mates came unstuck and chased Pasma home untroubled on the way to second place and an Arden one-two.
“We got a good start and my team-mates tapped each other which meant I could capitalise,” explained Priaulx. “I got P2 on the first lap and that was the key to my race really.
“I had good pace at the start and I felt like I could try to overtake Patrik at some points, but I felt I didn’t quite have enough to pull it off with minimal risk.
“I got fastest lap which was really good and underlines the pace I have got.
“I’m really happy to finish on the podium after an up and down weekend. We got tapped off the circuit in race two which wasn’t our fault so I’m happy to end with a podium.
“We’ve had the pace for a podium all weekend so we deserved this result. We just need to improve a bit in qualifying, but we’ll learn and find a way to adapt.”
After a Safety Car period triggered by the need to retrieve Paavo Tonteri’s stricken Double R-prepared racer on lap five following contact with the wall on the exit of the final corner, there was no shortage of excitement behind the Arden duo.
As the race progressed spectators were treated to a grandstand finish with Ayrton Simmons attempting to fend off championship rival Kiern Jewiss and Johnathan Hoggard. The latter getting passed by Jewiss on lap nine as he attempted to make a move of his own on Simmons. Instead it was Jewiss who had the last laugh, expertly making his way up the order from 12th on the grid and finishing with a flourish.
Having hounded Simmons lap after lap, a better run through the final chicane on the very last lap set Jewiss up with the opportunity to steal third in the dying moments. He did so superbly as he used the momentum from a better exit onto the straight to out-drag Simmons in the run to the finish line. An unquestionably sweet moment for the Double R ace who has now extended his championship lead to 45 points.
“I got a really good start for the first time this weekend after two not very good ones,” explained Jewiss.
“I got a good launch and ran around the outside into turn two, but I found myself in the middle of everything with the two Red Bull Juniors making contact ahead and then people trying to get up my inside as I braked.
“I had to back out so there wasn’t any contact to stay in the race. I then just set about picking my way through the field and the Safety Car definitely helped. It was just a shame it had to come out due to one of the Double R-prepared cars.
“I knew once someone caught Hoggard it would give him something to think about and when that happened that’s when I really started to pressure Simmons.
“I felt that if I could get my nose in there it might be enough to put Ayrton off a bit and that’s what I did coming into the chicane.
“I thought he would shut the door immediately which he didn’t do quite as much as I expected. His tyres were obviously coming to the end of their life so he had a big slide up the banking through the last corner whereas I had a lot of traction and I got him on the run to the line.
“It was a really exciting race and it feels good to be on the podium, as well as have the last laugh in the championship battle this weekend.
“Let’s see what happens at Knockhill. We need to remain focused and try to do what Pasma did this weekend. We need to get on pole, win the first race, have a steady second race and then pick up the win in the third one.
“That’s what we will be aiming for and if we can take the reverse grid race as well to win the Ford Triple Crown Award and the £10,000 that goes with it then even better!”
It was incredibly close over the line with Hoggard just a couple of tenths adrift of Simmons and Josh Skelton only a further three tenths further back having been in mix for the final podium spot.
The JHR Developments driver still had plenty to celebrate though, having claimed his first Rookie class win after coming out on top in a skirmish with Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing). The Mexican lost out after the Safety Car restart following contact, but did well to pick up the final points paying position, behind Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson, Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) and Lucca Allen (Fortec Motorsports).
Elsewhere, a 10 second time penalty for a false start for JHR Developments’ Manuel Sulaiman put him on the back foot for the rest of the race, leaving him finishing in 11th despite coming home eighth on the road.