PIASTRI AND CAROLINE TAKE SATURDAY HONOURS AT KNOCKHILL
Caroline put in a fine performance to win the postponed Round 12 race carried over from Oulton Park – Photo: Jakob Ebrey
TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri made it win number four of the season in Round 19 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Knockhill from a hard-charging Jamie Caroline and team-mate Ayrton Simmons.
The Aussie managed to reduce the gap to Caroline in the championship to 39.5 points thanks to another excellent drive under pressure. At first from Alex Quinn and then from Caroline.
Piastri made a perfect getaway from pole with fellow front row starter Alex Quinn in hot pursuit.
Behind them fifth place man on the grid Caroline was determined to make amends for a qualifying that didn’t go his way, dispatching with Simmons on the exit of Butcher’s on the opening lap after the TRS Arden racer dipped a wheel on the grass.
Moments later Caroline had team-mate Logan Sargeant in his sights, passing him on the run up to Hislop’s and into Taylor’s Hairpin with Simmons following suit.
The Pirtek Raicng-backed rising star then homed in on Piastri and Quinn, with Ayrton Simmons in tow.
On lap eight Caroline performed a bold lunge down the inside of Quinn at Taylor’s Hairpin to snatch second place, the move taking Quinn by surprise and opening the door for Simmons to overtake as well.
Seconds later at the same corner Oliver York pulled off a move on Fortec Motorsports team-mate Johnathan Hoggard. The two providing spectators with an entertaining intra-team battle.
Further back in the field Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) were locked in a thrilling duel, only for it to end in tears on lap nine which saw the Safety Car deployed and the race neutralised.
A mistake at Taylor’s Hairpin on the Safety Car restart scuppered Caroline’s chances for the win, despite setting fastest lap in the closing stages, and gave Piastri sufficient breathing room to take the chequered flag by a margin of 0.321s. The latter bringing home the win in stylish fashion having had to manage a wounded car in the final two laps after clattering a kerb.
“I had to work really hard for that win,” said Piastri. “Alex was catching me a little bit in the early stages and then I saw Jamie put a move on him. I had a bit of a gap, but the safety car destroyed all that.
"I got a really good restart. On the second-last lap I clipped the sausage kerb at the chicane and something broke at the rear of the car. It meant the last couple of laps were pretty interesting and I just hoped the car wouldn’t let me down. Thankfully it didn’t!
“Jamie managed to catch up quite a bit in those last couple of laps. The lap before I hit the kerb I did my best lap which was only a tenth off of what I did in qualifying so my pace was really good.
“Unfortunately Jamie starts in front of me for the next race, but he did make some mistakes so I think we can take the fight to him.”
Round 12 (from Oulton Park)
Jamie Caroline extended his advantage at the top of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings by winning the rescheduled Round 12 race from Oulton Park at Knockhill. He was followed home by team-mate Logan Sargeant who ensured Carlin recorded their second one-two finish of the campaign.
A lightning getaway from pole saw the Pirtek Racing-backed rising star unchallenged into turn one and proceed to execute a textbook race on the way to his 10th Ford EcoBoost-powered victory of 2017.
With clear air in front of him the 18-year-old unleashed his prodigious pace around the 1.27-mile Fife track, extending his margin over the field at a formidable rate. Not even a Safety Car period for the stricken car of team-mate Patrick Pasma, which wiped out Caroline’s 9.3 second lead on lap 11, could spoil the championship leader’s party.
He mastered the restart and had enough in hand to keep Sargeant at bay, recording the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap.
“We were 9.3 seconds clear before the Safety Car,” said Caroline. “It’s a shame it came out in a way because if it hadn’t it would have made the win even easier. I wanted to get to the 10 second mark to tie in with my 10th victory this season.
“It’s great to get this win though and to get fastest lap too. I got another lightning start. I do a lot of work on reactions in my warm-up and I think that helps a lot.
“I wasn’t too worried when the field closed up because of the Safety Car. I knew I was quicker and consistent so I was confident I could comfortably bring the win home.”
From third on the grid Sargeant put second place man Oscar Piastri under immense pressure from the outset, pulling off an intelligent move on the way to the chicane several laps into the race.
Not for the first time this season the F4 UAE graduates provided a thrilling squabble, although Piastri dropped down the order on lap eight due to a technical gremlin.
“I got off the line well and then I was fighting with Piastri for the first couple of laps,” explained Sargeant. “I managed to get around him and then I tried to chase down Jamie, but he had already built a big gap while we were fighting.
“The Safety Car offered me a bit of hope for the win. I got a good restart, but Jamie was just a little bit quicker. He’s my team-mate so I’ll take a look at the data tonight and see what he’s doing to help me go quicker tomorrow.
“I got up the inside of Piastri heading towards the chicane and that basically put him in a positon where he had to back off because we weren’t going to both make the corner. It was a smart move from me and important for Carlin as it secured us a one-two finish.”