|ROUND 26: DOOHAN BATTLES TO RACE TWO WIN AS JEWISS EXTENDS ADVANTAGE
Jack Doohan produced a fine performance in the second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Silverstone to pick up his third win of the 2018 campaign.
Arden’s Australian racer led the majority of the race to pick up maximum points ahead of team-mate Patrik Pasma, whilst the battle for third spot would be decided in the most dramatic of fashions on the run to the line.
The race had kicked off with Ayrton Simmons (JHR) on pole position but he would lose places on the run to Becketts for the first time as the fast-starting Arden car of Dennis Hauger went side-by-side for the lead.
That allowed both Doohan and Pasma to slip up the inside, with the pair banging wheels as they entered the Wellington Straight before Doohan got ahead into the lead.
An early Safety Car period to recover the cars of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) and Lucca Allen (Fortec) from the gravel at Copse at an incident on lap two prevented Doohan from trying to pull away, but the perfect restart when the race resumed allowed the Red Bull Junior to break away.
From that point onwards, Doohan was unchallenged to take victory nearly three seconds ahead of Pasma as Arden wrapped up a 1-2 finish.
“The conditions were a bit cooler today and I managed the warm-up procedure well and got my tyres working well,” Doohan said. “We found some more pace overnight which was good and it’s great to win.
“The opening lap was a bit dramatic with Patrik and we banged wheels on the exit of Becketts but it was a fair battle and we came out of it running first and second which is good for the team.
“The restart was key for me as I knew I had to time it right to break the tow. Luckily I managed to do that and I’m going to keep taking things race-by-race and see where we end up when we get to Brands Hatch.”
Whilst Pasma’s run to second was a somewhat lonely affair, the same certainly couldn’t be said of what would prove to be a titanic battle for third place.
Simmons had slotted back into third on the opening lap with Hauger giving chase, with the two drivers then battling throughout the race when the action resumed in a bid to secure the final place on the podium.
Despite the best efforts of Hauger, Simmons was making his car as wide as possible in a bid to retain the position, being forced to defend hard into Becketts on lap 18 when Hauger got alongside on the exit of Copse.
The battle would rage until the final lap but the pair hadn’t factored in the possibility of being joined in the fight for third by championship leader Kiern Jewiss (Double R), who had spent the entire race stuck behind the Fortec run car of race one winner Johnathan Hoggard.
Entering the final lap, Jewiss managed to sweep round the outside of Hoggard into Copse and then set about chasing down the pair ahead, closing in as the pair went into Brooklands with Simmons being forced wide as Hauger tried to go up the inside.
Into the following right-hander at Luffield, Simmons had the inside lead to try and keep third from Hauger but Jewiss was able to slip his car inside both to leave the trio running side-by-side on the run to the line.
Jewiss would cross the line just 0.006s ahead of Simmons to steal third spot and extend his lead in the standings to 44 points, with Hauger just 0.084s further back in fifth.
“I was glad to get ahead of Johnathan with a good move round the outside at turn one and I could see the two ahead had been battling hard,” Jewiss said. “They ran wide out of turn two and I got a run into turn four and then ran wide trying to attack each other.
“When then ran wide, I don’t think Ayrton knew I was there and I got the car up the inside and we ran side-by-side. They tried to squeeze me a bit and we were all racing hard and I came away with third.
“I knew I’d got it when I crossed the line and with Ayrton having started on pole, I expected to lose points. Hopefully we can now extend the lead a bit further in race three.”
Behind the battle for third spot, Hoggard crossed the line in sixth spot, with Manuel Sulaiman taking a solid seventh spot for JHR.
The fight for eighth would be one of the main talking points of the race, with Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), Paavo Tonteri (Double R), Seb Priaulx (Arden) and Josh Skelton (JHR) spending much of the race fighting for the position.
Sharp had moved up to eighth having avoided the drama of the opening laps but was left to defend hard to keep Tonteri at bay after the restart before the Finn was forced to retire at the end for the twelfth lap, which left Priaulx and Skelton to put pressure on Sharp for the position.
It looked like Sharp would hold on until two laps from the end when the pressure finally told and Priaulx managed to get ahead, with Skelton then following him through to take ninth – having been forced to pit early on for a new nose after contact with Alvarez that triggered the lap two incident.
Christian Lester completed the finishers in eleventh spot on what was his debut in the series – with hard work from the Rosso Verde/Scorpio team seeing his car repaired in order to take the start after an incident in qualifying.