Caroline takes hat-trick
Carlin driver Jamie Caroline completed a hat-trick of wins at Thruxton, becoming the first driver in the history of the F4 British Championship to win all three races in a single weekend. In race three team mate Logan Sargeant made it a Carlin 1-2 with his first podium in the series.
For the final race of the weekend, Caroline lined up third, just ahead of team mate Sargeant. When the race got underway, Caroline made his third strong start of the weekend, immediately passing Oliver York (Fortec) off the line and pole sitter Alex Quinn (Arden) a few corners later. From then on the 18-year-old set about building a gap to the gaggle of cars behind. Rookie Sargeant was on a mission as well, the young American was fighting hard to make up places. After holding fourth at the start, Sargeant passed the squabbling duo of York and Quinn to follow his team mate and move up into second place.
At the front, Caroline was controlling the pace, on course to take his seventh win of the season. Sargeant was running a strong second, looking under little pressure from York. At the chequered flag, a delighted Caroline made it three from three and set the fastest lap of the race. Sargeant took his first F4 British podium.
“I’ve come close before to pulling off three wins in a weekend and I thought Thruxton might be my best opportunity. Billy Monger told me I had to take all three wins this weekend, so this is for him“, Caroline said, “Thanks to the team for giving me a great car. I felt very comfortable and confident behind the wheel. A lot of drivers seemed to be quite hesitant on the opening laps this weekend and I was able to take advantage of it. I’m not sure why, but maybe this weekend will act as lesson for them that they can push a lot harder. I had fresh tyres for the final race of the weekend so it made it easier to pull a gap. It feels great to take three wins and make history. I’m over the moon I’ve done it for Billy, as well as the team.”
In Saturday race one, Caroline initially lost out at the start, falling back to seventh, but in an amazing show of speed powered around the outside of those ahead to not only clinch the lead of the race but pull a brilliant gap as drivers behind him scrambled for position. Caroline controlled the gap to Quinn well to take his fifth victory of the season. Double R racing driver Karl Massaad finished third.
Caroline won also Sunday race two. Pole man Sargeant made a good start off the line, but swamped by a fighting pack including Linus Lundqvist (Double R) and Ayrton Simmons (Arden), lost out as Caroline swept around from sixth to somehow take the lead. In a race that saw almost constant changes for positions, Caroline began a race long fight with Lundqvist for the lead, the duo swapping places several times before Simmons distracted the Double R driver long enough to allow Caroline to finally pull away. Sargeant meanwhile was also kept busy behind the wheel of his F4 car, fighting between sixth and third throughout, fighting hard with Lundqvist, Simmons, Quinn and Oscar Piastri (Arden). The fight for the final podium position continued to the chequered flag, with Sargeant facing some aggressive driving on his way to fourth place. Caroline meanwhile had taken the chequered flag 3.8 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, making it his sixth win of the season.
The British F4 drivers will be back out in action from the 20-21 May at Oulton Park.
Provisional championship standings
1. Caroline 185 points; 2. Piastri 99; 3. York 78.5; 4. Sargeant 77; 5. Pasma 75; 6. Lundqvist 70.5; 7. Quinn 66; 8. Simmons 63.5; 9. Monger 44; 10. Massaad 30.