British F4
June 10, 2017

Podium for Piastri in the rain at Croft

Sixth visit to the podium for young Australian

Oscar Piastri converted a front row grid slot into a second place finish at a soaking wet Croft in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, while Alex Quinn and Ayrton Simmons brought home more valuable points for TRS Arden.

Oscar delivered on his Friday testing promise to be one of only three drivers to record a sub-1m 31s lap in a rain hit qualifying session. In the race the Aussie came under significant pressure from the fast-starting Logan Sargeant in third, but did well to to keep his fellow F4 UAE graduate at bay by boldly running around the outside of him to hold onto second where he stayed for the duration.

It was Oscar’s sixth trip to the podium this season. The most of any driver, with the exception of championship leader Jamie Caroline. However, Oscar’s second place finish has reduced Caroline’s lead at the top of the standings.

Alex and Ayrton ensured all TRS Arden cars finished well inside the points. Quinn found himself locked in a battle with Caroline and Harry Webb. The latter getting the better of Alex at the safety car restart, after the safety car had been deployed due to a stricken car at Tower.

A miss-shift gave Caroline the chance to overtake several laps later, but Alex responded well. He kept both Caroline and Webb under pressure which resulted in a mistake from Webb at the chicane. His trip through the grass costing him momentum. Quinn pounced immediately, breezing past down the straight to take fifth.

Ayrton seized the opportunity too by pulling off what was arguably the move of the race around the outside of Webb at Tower. This came following a mini-comeback earlier on after Ayrton had lost several places at the start.

Sixth for Ayrton brought with it the added bonus of the reverse grid pole for tomorrow’s live-televised race on ITV4 at 13:22, when he will hope to replicate his reverse grid win at Brands Hatch earlier in the season. Alex will start alongside making it a TRS Arden front-row lockout, while Oscar lines up two rows further back in fifth.

In the final race of the weekend at 17:40 it’s an all red second row with Oscar and Alex starting third and fourth, and Ayrton in seventh. Meanwhile Olli Caldwell makes his eagerly anticipated competitive debut, celebrating his 15th birthday by becoming the youngest driver to race in British F4.

Oscar Piastri: “I think Logan got the best start out of the three of us at the front. I tried to go down the inside, but there wasn’t much room so I braved it around the outside and that’s how I managed to stay in second place after the opening exchanges. Logan stayed close to my tail for the rest of the race, but I was pleased with my performance to be able to keep him behind because he’s been one of the quickest guys this weekend. The aim is a top three finish in every race, claiming podiums and points consistently to help me in the championship fight.”
Alex Quinn: “My start was ok. Although I didn’t gain any places, I didn’t lose any either. My restart after the safety car was disappointing. I was a little too cautious with all the water being kicked up in the air from the cars ahead and that’s how Webb got by. Although Caroline got past me later on our pace was good and I managed to keep up with him. I think we’ll do better tomorrow. There are things we can look at and work on overnight. Ayrton and I start from the front row and that gives us a great opportunity to get a fantastic result for the team.”
Ayrton Simmons: “I didn’t get the best of starts and actually dropped three places, but I worked my up the order again. It was a relatively relaxed race after the first five laps or so. After the safety car not much happened. The car definitely felt better after qualifying. I was really happy with my move around the outside of Webb. He left me just enough room which was fair from him. We were racing with a lot of respect out there which was great and then I managed to pull a gap afterwards which was really positive. I’m really looking forward to starting on pole tomorrow and hopefully repeating what I achieved at Brands.”
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