02 Oct Hoggard claims 3rd in the Championship in Brands Hatch Finale
2nd October 2018 – 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 weekend started strong for the 17- year-old driver from Spalding who was looking to make it his 3rd consecutive double pole around the 2.433 miles Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. The Fortec squad watched on as Hoggard looked comfortable 3 tenths faster than the fighting pack until Sebastian Priaulx managed to jump Johnathan by 0.06 seconds with minutes remaining to start from the front row. Hoggard would still start from pole in the third race with a second fastest lap time of 1.25.955. Lucca Allen was able to make a strong impression by qualifying just behind both Red Bull backed drivers in P11 respectively.
Race 1 lights flashed out with both Fortec drivers launching off the line approaching Paddock Hill Bend. Hoggard set his sights on applying pressure to the Arden driver in front while Lucca made an impressive move around the outside of Mexican Alverez at Hawthorns, the fastest corner on the track. The young Irish driver battled the low sun to maintain a strong pace and finish in the points in 8th place. Johnathan pulled a gap on Paavo Tonteri behind in P3 and tried to reign in the leading car, bringing the gap down to half a second until taking the chequered flag, stepping onto the 2nd step of the podium a whole 8 seconds ahead of the trailing double R in third.
The Reverse grid race allowed for an exciting round to unfold as Hoggard made a superb start vaulting 2 places from 5th to 3rd before the first corner. Sandwiched between two cars on new tyres, the young Brit had to maintain his pace on scrubbed tyres and make no mistakes. Allen made a strong start and was straight on the pace setting purple’s in the first and third sectors. An entertaining battle followed as Red Bull backed driver Jack Doohan was pushing Lucca hard into the final few laps of the race, crossing the line in 10th. Johnathan withheld the pressure and crossed the line in 3rd, once again scoring valuable points in the championship.
The final race saw Hoggard start pole with all to fight for with just 15 points separating Johnathan and both Red Bull backed drivers for third in the Championship. Hoggard seemed extremely focused on the task in hand and made the perfect start to lead the chasing pack through druids. Lucca had another exciting battle but this time it was Hauger in the Red Bull livery who ran wide at turn 1 reentering the track behind his Irish rival. Lucca drove some exceptional defensive lines to keep Hauger at bay until he was forced to retire with a gearbox issue. An unfortunate end to the season for a driver who has showed great potential and constantly improved throughout the season. Once at the front there was no stopping Hoggard, who lead 174 laps this season, a whole 97 laps more than Simmons. This boosted Johnathan to scoring the second highest laps lead in a single season, just behind 2017 Champion Jamie Caroline. Johnathan kept his nerve and took the chequered flag for the 8th time this year, rewarding him with the most wins this season and taking P3 in the Championship.
“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 became 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.” Hoggard concluded.
Fortec Team Manager Ollie Dutton added “I am so happy for Johnathan clinching P3 in the Championship in the final race. As a driver this year Johnathan has been phenomenal, and his statistics of laps lead and race wins in both wet and dry conditions is very impressive, I look forward to seeing him fighting for the top step of the podium as he steps up to the higher category next year. Lucca has also made me proud, constantly improving and soaking up all knowledge and criticism thrown his way. I’m excited to see how his career unfolds and wish both my boys all the luck in their next endeavors”