The F4 British Championship – certified by FIA powered by Ford headed to the high speed Thruxton Circuit in Hamphire, for Round 3 and Races 7-9 of the 2018 Season.
Qualifying saw Red Bull Junior Dennis Hauger come to the fore, setting the fastest time of the session to seal Pole Position with a blistering lap time of 1:13.183s – taking pole by a quarter of a second and smashing the lap record in the process! His second fastest time was also good enough for Pole Position in Race 3. Jack Doohan would start Race 1 and 3 from the front row due to a grid place penalty for Ayrton Simmons in Race 1.
Patrik Pasma would start from 8th in both races, with Sebastian Priaulx starting from 11th in the two races as well due to a troubled qualifying session.
Both Red Bull Junior drivers made an impressive launch at the start but contact between the two sent Doohan into a spin and Hauger to slide allowing Hoggard to take the lead.
Hauger wasted no time in retaking the lead whilst Jewiss managed to keep in the tow of the lead pack. Hoggard made a mistake which allowed Jewiss up to second place.
Meanwhile Red Bull Junior Doohan regained control of his race now in 10th place and started his assault through the pack. It was a storming drive that would see him finish just off the podium in 4th position – taking fastest lap in the process. Teammate Pasma finished just behind in 5th position – claiming the reverse grid pole position for Race 2, with Priaulx enduring a difficult race – where he was hit at the start by Sebastian Alvarez’s Double R car, which knocked him out of contention, finishing the race in 10th.
Hauger remained cool under constant pressure from Jewiss, the two of them in a nail biting battle for supremacy.
With Hauger infront going into the closing stages of the
race Jewiss made a run down the outside into the final chicane on the last lap
which would see the two cars come together sending the Norwegian driver into
the tyre barrier at 220kph.
Jewiss managed to make it around the last corner to take the chequered flag.
Pasma and Doohan both made great starts in the run down to Turn 1, with JHR’s Ayrton Simmons making a move on Doohan around the outside of Turn 3. Doohan battled back immediately though and latched onto the back of Pasma for the lead just before a Safety Car was deployed for an incident at the start.
Pasma led from the restart from Doohan, teammates Priaulx and Hauger had moved up to 7th and 9th respectively. Doohan passed Pasma for the lead at Turn 5 with a bold but brilliant move on the flat-out corner. Priaulx was battling with Alvarez, which allowed Hauger through and into 7th, before once again there was contact from behind Alvarez – spinning Priaulx around and to the back of the field. The next lap around, Simmons was pressuring Pasma into the final chicane, trying to outbreak him around the outside. In a controversial move, Simmons tried to squeeze his car between Pasma’s and the bollards – the two cars colliding - sending Pasma in to the barriers and out of the race. Another Safety Car was deployed with 10 minutes to go to recover Pasma’s stricken car.
On the restart, Priaulx immediately moved up a place to get back into the points, whilst Hauger battled with Hampus Ericsson, getting forced wide in the process and dropping to 8th position. Ericsson continued to defend from a six-car train, before spinning at the chicane to promote Hauger and Priaulx further up the order.
Doohan led from Jewiss by two seconds out from before going into the final lap
– looking set for his first win of the campaign, until unbelievably he began to
A failed exhaust led to his engine going into limp mode resulting in a disappointing 9th at the end of a race that he had dominated. Hauger crossed the line in 6th, just ahead of Priaulx in a dramatic second British F4 race of the weekend.
Hauger started from Pole Position and led from teammate
Doohan into Turn 1, with the two Red Bull Juniors battling hard to be the first
Rookie Driver to win a race outright so far this season.
Hauger was defending hard, with the two almost making contact again at the
chicane, as Doohan looked everywhere for a way past.
Doohan eventually got the better of Hauger, switching back under his teammate
on Lap 5 to assume the lead. From there, Doohan was able to pull a sizeable
advantage as the battle for 2nd position raged on throughout the
Hauger, Simmons and Jewiss, fought relentlessly throughout the race – with some
excellent overtaking moves on show, notably one from Hauger around the outside
of Simmons into the final chicane on Lap 8.
In the end, Hauger finished 3rd, just behind Simmons and just a few tenths of a second ahead of teammate Pasma – who finished in 4th position. Priaulx made a strong recovery drive, moving from 11th on the grid and up to 6th position – just on the tail for the podium battle in what was another hugely entertaining race – a strong final race for Arden at a weekend where they never seemed to get the rub of the green in the races.
After Thruxton, Doohan is the highest placed Arden driver in the standings in 3rd position – he also leads the Rookie Championship. Priaulx is just a single point behind Doohan in 4th position; Hauger is 6th in the points and Pasma sits 8th overall in the championship.
Oulton Park will host Round 4, Races 10-12 on the 9-10 June, for the next round of the 2018 F4 British Championship.