02 Oct York secures second win of the season while Ericsson takes the CC Title
Monday 2nd Oct – High off the success of Silverstone, Fortec Motorsports ascended on the renowned track of Brands Hatch for the final round of the British Formula 4 Championship. With everything to play for in the Challenge Cup, and #TeamFortec eager to step back onto the podium, the 4.21km track was sure to hold a thrilling finale.
Heavy rain fell Friday morning to put a damper on the drivers first experience around the GP track. With 3 red flags during the session York, Ericsson and Hoggard found it difficult to get into a rhythm and all hopes were pinned onto the afternoon test. Fortunately, the rain clouds disappeared after lunch and the afternoon test was far more productive. After double podiums at Rockingham, Oliver York managed to set the 7th quickest time with a 1:27:204 with Swedish teammate Hampus Ericsson right behind in P8. After missing the test the previous week, Johnathan Hoggard had to settle for P13 respectively.
The rain held off for most of Saturday allowing the young drivers to push to the limit and use every inch of the track during qualifying. After setting a purple first sector on a flying lap, York had a snap of oversteer entering the fast hawthorns bend and was sent into the wall causing a red flag, having to settle for P8. Ericsson was able to put 5 cars between himself and the next Challenge cup hopeful in P6 with Hoggard in P15.
After a slightly disappointing race 1, the team headed to the grid determined to take a step onto the prestigious British F4 podium. As the lights went out it was York who made one of the best starts of the season as he soared out of his box promoting himself to first before the first corner. The 16 year-old from Surrey got his head down and pulled an impressive gap from the chasing pack. Hampus Ericsson was unfortunately seeing his chance of winning the challenge cup slip away as he was forced back to 13th with Johnathan Hoggard right behind after avoiding a racing incident. The 2017 British F4 Champion Jamie Caroline managed to make his way up to P2 and was closing the gap to York in the final stages. After throwing everything he had at the leader Caroline couldn’t find a way past resulting in Oliver York crossing the line to take his second win of the championship. Ericsson was giving his all to overtake Allen for P12 and take a step onto the Challenge Cup podium, but with questionable defensive driving from Allen and a track famous for being narrow and difficult to overtake, the young swede had to settle for P13 with Hoggard right on his gearbox in P14.
After a good night sleep, the Daventry based squad arrived at the track determined to secure the Challenge Cup Championship. In order to do so, Hampus who was 9 points behind had to win the CC class with Webb having to finish 3rd or below. With rain holding out it was sure to be a thrilling finale. Lights out and Hoggard made another sensational start to jump 3 positions and slot into P13. Ericsson was a man on a mission and tucked into P7 with teammate York right behind in P8. With his eyes on the prize Hampus continued to drive out of his skin by overtaking Piastri at druids and Caroline 2 corners later at surtees, then managing to pull an 8 second gap between himself and the 2017 champion. Hoggard kept fighting and progressed to 12th with York pulling off a daring outside overtake around druids. After a Simmons and Sargeant lost control of their 1.6 eco boost engines Ericsson was promoted to third with York in P7 and Hoggard P11. A few laps later Ericsson took the flag to take the third step on the podium as well as becoming the 2017 Challenge Cup Champion.
A fantastic way to end the season for #Teamfortec as we now concentrate on next year.