MOTORSPORT: Double delight for Hoggard
Weston Hills teenager Johnathan Hoggard celebrated two race wins in the F4 British Championship at Donington Park.
He was flawless from start to finish to convert pole into a maiden victory in round four.
Having taken his first pole position in the series just hours earlier, Hoggard followed up with a sublime lights-to-flag win.
A clean getaway saw him escape the clutches of the chasing pack into turn one and he quickly set about building a margin over second-placed Sebastian Priaulx (Arden).
A safety car to enable the recovery of Kiern Jewiss’ stricken racer following contact further down the field on lap seven saw Hoggard’s two-second lead wiped out.
However, he continued to not put a foot wrong, mastering the restart to put daylight between himself and Priaulx and take the chequered flag several laps later.
“It feels great to get pole and the win in the same day,” said Hoggard. “I’m over the moon with the result.
“Brands Hatch was a bit of a heartbreak really, finishing first on the road, but losing out on the win due to a time
penalty for a false start.
“It was tricky out there today. I had to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes but push at the same time to try to build a gap.
We’ve definitely shown how good we can be. Hopefully there are many more weekends like this to come.
“The safety car restart made things harder, bringing everyone closer to me, but I managed to pull a little bit of a gap again and hold it.
“Getting this first win is definitely a weight off my shoulders and hopefully there will be a lot more wins to come.”
Fortec Motorsports team owner Richard Dutton added: “Brands Hatch was disappointing because Johnathan went off the track in qualifying which meant he was down the order and on the back foot – even though he won a race on the road, but lost out due to a penalty.
“It was very frustrating so it’s nice that Johnathan has been able to win the first race this weekend and I’m sure there will be many more.
“He has progressed a lot over the winter. He has come on leaps and bounds and he has been quick everywhere he’s been.
“As long as he can qualify like he did this morning, then the race weekends should be a lot easier for him.”
Hoggard finished fifth in round five ahead of Priaulx with a move at Redgate on the final lap as Jewiss took victory, despite starting from the last row of the grid.
Less than 24 hours after taking his first single-seater victory, Hoggard was back on the top step of the podium after another flawless drive in round six.
Starting from second on the grid, Hoggard made a better getaway than poleman Patrik Pasma (Arden) and flew around the outside of the Finn into turn one to lead the way on the opening lap.
There was plenty of drama behind with championship leader Ayrton Simmons (JHR Developments), Hampus Ericsson (Fortec Motorsports), Jack Doohan (Arden) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport) tripping over each other at Craner Curves.
All four drivers took to the grass but all were able to re-join the race safely.
More action followed moments later as Sebastian Alvarez (Double R Racing) and Manuel Sulaiman (JHR Developments) came together at the Roberts chicane.
Meanwhile Lucca Allen’s race was halted at the same corner.
The safety car was then deployed to enable the stricken cars to be removed, with the racing getting under way again on lap seven.
Hoggard did well to keep Pasma at bay at the restart and, as the race progressed, was in a league of his own as he pulled away from the chasing pack, crossing the finish line with a winning margin of 11.575s.
“Getting the lead off the line and building that gap as soon as possible was key,” explained Hoggard.
“I didn’t get the best of restarts after the safety car, but still managed to defend well and then set about building a gap.
“It would have been nice to win all three races this weekend – but I’ll take two wins after what happened at Brands Hatch.
“I’m over the moon with the result. I cannot thank the team enough. They’ve done a great job all weekend. Wet or dry, we’ve had the pace.
“We’ve definitely shown how good we can be.
“Hopefully there are many more weekends like this to come.
“I’m looking forward to Thruxton in a few weeks. Preparation will be crucial so we can qualify well and get more good results.”
Hoggard is fourth in the championship standings.