BIRMINGHAM, U.K. - Champions were crowned at Brands Hatch as the curtain came down on the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost season.
After Kiern Jewiss (Double R) secured an unassailable lead in the overall standings following the opening race of the weekend on Saturday, the final two races of the campaign on Sunday saw Jack Doohan (Arden) wrap up the Rookie Cup crown at the end of a year-long battle with team-mate Dennis Hauger.
The Red Bull Junior pair had also entered the final day of racing embroiled in a battle for third place in the overall standings behind Jewiss and Ayrton Simmons (JHR), but a seaso-high eighth win of the year for Johnathan Hoggard in the 30th and final race of the year allowed him to secure a top three championship finish.
“It’s been another very good season for us in British F4,” Ford Performance Europe senior manager Gerard Quinn said. “The quality we have seen on the grid has been fantastic and the fact we’ve had rookie drivers fighting for outright wins and for the championship title is testament to the strength of the field.
“As our new title winner, Kiern has applied himself well to the championship and has ticked all the boxes in terms of his race preparation and how he has worked with his team throughout the year. He’s a deserving champion at the end of the season.”
The 2019 season will burst into life back at Brands Hatch in April.
Round 29: Champion Jewiss Celebrates with Race Two Win at Brands Hatch
Kiern Jewiss celebrated his title success in fine style with a sixth win of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season in the second race of the Brands Hatch season finale.
Double R driver Jewiss had taken an unassailable lead in the standings with a top six finish in race one on Saturday, which earned him a place on pole for race two under the reverse grid regulations.
Lining up alongside the man he has battled all season for the title, JHR’s Ayrton Simmons, Jewiss made the perfect start when the lights went out and was untroubled out front for the entire 14 lap race; taking the flag nearly two seconds clear of the chasing pack.
“After yesterday, I sat on the grid with a smile on my face and no pressure on my shoulders for the first time,” he said. “It was an enjoyable race and it might be the final time that the ‘Green Arrow’ crosses the line first as I think we’ll struggle in the dirty air in race three. However, I’ll do my best to end the season with another strong result.”
In what would prove to be a quiet affair at the sharp end of the grid, the podium positions would ultimately be decided at the start.
A slow getaway for Simmons saw him lose out off the line with Patrik Pasma (Arden) jumping up into second spot and Johnathan Hoggard (Fortec) into third.
Unable to keep pace with Jewiss out front, Pasma was able to defend the position from Hoggard throughout to cement his place in the top six in the championship standings.
A ninth podium of the season for Hoggard meanwhile brings him within 15 points of the top three in the championship going into the season final at 16:00.
“I hope we can get into the top three,” he said. “I’ll be starting race three from pole with the other two guys further down the order so I have a chance of taking it. I didn’t take any real risks in that race and was focused on the points when it became clear I couldn’t get ahead of Patrik.”
Having finished on the podium in race one, Paavo Tonteri (Double R) took fourth spot having battled ahead of Simmons heading onto the Grand Prix for the first time, with the Finn securing his second Rookie Cup victory of the weekend and eighth of the season.
Simmons would ultimately end the race in fifth spot, just ahead of race one winner Sebastian Priaulx who was unable to make his way through the field from his starting position.
The two Rookie Cup contenders, Arden pair Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan, would again end the race together on the results sheets although it was a race of mixed fortunes for the pair.
Hauger would run ahead of Doohan throughout and kept Priaulx honest in the fight for a top six finish before eventually crossing the line in seventh, with Doohan forced to fight back from a brief trip off track to take eighth.
Doohan now takes a nine point lead into the season finale, although it is Hauger who is seven points clear in the fight for third overall.
“I had a mis-shift on lap two into turn seven and ran wide so I lost ground to Dennis,” Doohan said. “The race was over from there really in terms of the result but we found something overnight and the balance in the car was a bit better than yesterday. We have to work for race three if we want to get third in the standings and I’ll do my best to beat Dennis for the Rookie Cup.”
“I’m going to be pushing as hard as I can in the final race,” Hauger added. “That’s all I can do and I just have to hope it’s enough.”
Outside the top eighth, Lucca Allen had run strongly throughout the race for Fortec but a late penalty for exceeding track limits meant he dropped behind Manuel Sulaiman (JHR) in the end results to complete the points finishes, with Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) holding off race long pressure from Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) for eleventh.
Josh Skelton (JHR) was the only driver not to make the finish, retiring after an early race pit stop.
Round 30: Hoggard Secures Season Finale as Doohan Takes Rookie Cup
Johnathan Hoggard brought the curtain down on the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season with an eighth victory of the year that earned him a place on the end of year podium.
The Fortec driver has started the race from pole and led from start-to-finish for a win that vaulted him from fifth in the standings to third overall ahead of the two drivers who were busy dicing for the Rookie Cup title.
In the end, that battle was decided in favour of Jack Doohan ahead of Arden team-mate Dennis Hauger, with the Australian securing the crown by 15 points.
The race itself would prove to be a straightforward outing for Hoggard at the head of the field once he had got away safely off the line.
Building a slender lead over Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) following an early safety car period to recover Sebastian Alvarez’s Double R car from the gravel after an off at Hawthorns, Hoggard was able to keep his rival at bay despite Priaulx ending the race as the fastest man on track.
It means Hoggard ends the season with more wins than any other driver, with a run of six victories across the final four meetings of the year helping him to achieve his aim of a top three championship finish.
“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I came into the weekend looking to end the year with the most wins but as the races have gone on, third in the championship has become more of a goal.
“In the last race it’s great to have got the win and secured third in the standings from the two Red Bull guys. It’s the perfect end to the season and whilst it would have been nice to have these kind of results all year, it’s nice to end it on a high.”
A second podium finish of the weekend for Priaulx was enough to see him secure seventh in the overall standings ahead of Paavo Tonteri (Double R), the driver he had gone into the final meeting level on points with.
A strong weekend for the Finn saw him also take to the podium on two occasions as he finished the season finale in third overall to pick up three Rookie Cup wins out of three.
“In terms of the Rookie Cup, we got everything we could from this weekend,” he said. “There wasn’t much action in the final race from my point of view but it’s good to end it with another podium finish.”
Behind the podium finishers, championship runner-up Ayrton Simmons took fourth spot for JHR ahead of Arden’s Patrik Pasma, with the pair both moving ahead of newly crowned champion Kiern Jewiss (Double R) on the eighth lap when he had a moment at Graham Hill Bend.
Jewiss would round out the top six ahead of Red Bull Junior driver Doohan, who wrapped up the Rookie Cup with seventh overall.
Doohan had gone into the season finale with a slender lead over team-mate Hauger but when the Norwegian dropped to the back of the field after a trip through the Paddock Hill gravel following contact with Manuel Sulaiman, Doohan was able to secure the points he needed to wrap up the crown.
“We haven’t had the strongest weekend but have done what we needed to do to win the Rookie Cup,” he said. “We made progress across the weekend after a tough start to improve the car but it’s good to end up as rookie champion.
“It’s been a tough season with Dennis and Paavo at the front of the rookies as we have all been scoring good points and it was hard to make up from any DNFs. It’s great that I’ve ended up on top.”
Behind Doohan, the points were completed by Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport), Sulaiman and Josh Skelton (JHR), with Hauger bringing the curtain down on his campaign just outside the points in eleventh after his earlier drama.
Aside from Alvarez, Lucca Allen retired late on having looked well set to score points in his Fortec-run car.