- Fortec driver secures win number four of the year
- Pasma fends off Doohan to secure second spot
- Fourth spot sees Jewiss extend points lead
25 August 2018 – Johnathan Hoggard converted pole position into his fourth victory of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season with a lights-to-flag success in round 22 at Knockhill.
The Fortec driver headed for Scotland buoyed by victory at Rockingham last time out and having come out on top of a frantic battle for pole, he produced a flawless drive at the head of the field to wrap up victory.
Never unduly troubled by the chasing pack behind, Hoggard added a new lap record to his victory for good measure in what could well be the only dry race of the weekend, with rain expected to arrive for races two and three on Sunday.
“I prefer to have a clear road in front of me so I can do my own thing, and was able to manage the gap to the guys behind,” he said. “The car felt good at the start and I got a gap and then they were able to close in towards the end – probably more than I would have liked.
“I got my head down and extended my advantage back out again before the finish and it’s great to win again. It was a long wait from my wins at Donington to Rockingham, but the confidence I got there has carried through to here and I’m looking forward to the challenge of rain tomorrow.”
Hoggard’s winning margin after 25 laps of the tight and twisty Knockhill circuit was just over a second ahead of fellow front-row starter Patrik Pasma, who found himself spending much of the race trying to keep Arden team-mate Jack Doohan at bay.
Their battle gave Hoggard the chance to ease away at the front and whilst Pasma was briefly able to start closing down the gap to the leader, further pressure from Doohan in the closing laps left the Finn to settle for second.
“P2 is decent points for the championship and tomorrow I think there will be more overtaking in the rain,” he said. “I think that will favour me.”
Third spot for Doohan ensured he secured honours amongst the rookie drivers having been unable to find a way ahead of Pasma, although it wasn’t for a lack of effort on behalf of the young Australian.
Although he got to within two-tenths of a second of Pasma on the final lap, he was just too far back to make a move for position and had to contend himself with the bottom step of the podium.
“It wasn’t the result I wanted, but I’m happy with P3 and top rookie,” he said. “The pace was so close between the top three and I tried a few times to get ahead of Pasma but couldn’t make a move stick.
“There were a few times where he had to defend and on the last lap I could see he was looking in his mirrors but it would have been hard to make a move without doing something stupid.”
Behind the top three, points leader Kiern Jewiss secured fourth for Double R, having been unable to keep pace with the trio ahead but with a comfortable advantage over Seb Priaulx (Arden) behind.
That still allowed Jewiss to extend his lead in the championship standings, with closest rival Ayrton Simmons (JHR) taking the flag in sixth spot.
“There was no point in pushing so I chilled out a bit,” Jewiss explained. “The times were so close I wasn’t going to catch the guys ahead and was only going to destroy the tyres. I’m happy that the right people finished in front of me in terms of the points and will look forward to tomorrow where the weather should throw a spanner in the works. We’ve been pretty good in the wet, so we’ll see how we go.”
Outside the top six, Dennis Hauger (Arden) provided much of the action as he looked to fight back from the five place grid penalty he picked up at Rockingham last time out.
From eleventh at the start, he made up two places on the opening lap before battling his way ahead of Paavo Tonteri (Double R) and then managed to get past Manual Sulaiman (JHR) at the hairpin on lap 19 – a move that saw Sulaiman run wide and also allowed Tonteri to get ahead.
“I couldn’t expect more round here as almost impossible to overtake,” Hauger reflected. “I managed to get a few places but it’s hard to follow round here. I’ve got to focus on tomorrow and see how we go there.”
Behind the battling trio, Josh Skelton (JHR) recovered from a mistake on the opening lap that saw him run wide and drop to the back of the field to take tenth, with Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) rounding out the field.
Race two will take place at 1100 on Sunday morning.