September 30, 2017
Qualifying for the final three races of the British F4 Championship saw Alex Quinn set the 3rd fastest time of the session, which was marred by a red flag with 5 minutes to go after Oliver York pitched his car into the gravel. This meant most of the grid were unable to improve on their earlier times due to the tyre warm up required for optimal performances. Simmons qualified his TRS Arden machine in 5th position, with Piastri just behind in 6th position and Olli Caldwell in 12th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend.
All three TRS Arden cars made a strong start, with Quinn challenging for 2nd at Paddock Hill bend – this was until championship leader Jamie Caroline locked a wheel, clipping the back of Quinn’s car and pitching them both into the gravel. Quinn’s race was over there and then as the safety car was deployed.
Simmons had moved up into 3rd position, with Piastri just behind in 4th – the latter needing to take at least 18 points out of Caroline’s lead in the opening race of weekend to keep the title fight alive.
As the race wore on, Simmons maintained pressure on the leading duo of Linus Lundqvist and Logan Sargeant. While Piastri remained in pursuit, but unable to challenge for the positions needed for his title push. At the chequered flag, Simmons took 3rd position on podium, with Piastri finishing just behind in 4th – meaning sadly his challenge for the title was over, with only 50 points on offer in the remaining races. Caldwell become leading Challenge Cup runner, after rival Hampus Ericsson came off worse in an overtaking attempt on Karl Massaad. Caldwell moved into 9th position, which he held into the line - taking his fourth win in the Class this season.
Race two saw Piastri make a good start and maintain 4th position, just ahead of teammate Simmons. Caldwell made a good start as well to hold his 9th place position, whilst Quinn began to make progress from his back of the grid, 19th place start after his race one non-finish.
A red flag was shown on lap two after a crash involving three drivers – requiring a race stoppage, re-grid and restart. On the second start, Piastri and Simmons were vaulted by the quick starting Caroline. The two TRS Arden teammates held formation for the majority of the race in 5th and 6th respectively.
As the race wore on, JHR Developments Manuel Sulaiman was doggedly holding onto 3rd position – with Logan Sargeant, Piastri and Simmons in hot pursuit, looking for a way past. Caldwell had moved himself into this train of cars as well, showing a great turn of speed to move himself up into 7th position – whilst teammate Quinn was making progress through the field to move himself into the top ten with some textbook overtaking.
Sulaiman just held the podium finish to the end of the race - Piastri crossed the line 5th ahead of his two teammates Simmons and Caldwell. The latter took his second Ford F4 Challenge Cup win in succession after one of his strongest races of the season. Quinn recovered to 9th at the flag, making up 10 positions on where he started the race from to complete a quartet of TRS Arden’s scoring points in race two of the weekend.
Olli Caldwell “Being able to hold Lundqvist back, a driver who has fought at the front all year is a great result for me. It felt like we were slightly quicker too so that makes me really happy.My restart after the red flag was really good and I got Karl Massaad off the line which is important because it put another driver between myself and the rest of the Challenge Cup runners.
Caldwell just missed out on 3rd place in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup standings, just two and a half points off his rivals, despite doing one race less than the drivers he was racing.
TRS Arden finished the season as Vice-Champions in the Team’s Championship as well as a result of the hard work by all their drivers.
Attention for Caldwell now heads to the Italian F4 Championship, where he will return to action for Mucke Motorsport at Monza on the 21-22 October.