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Linus Lundqvist staged a powerful comeback in the penultimate round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Silverstone, making up a full 22 places to make amends for a lacklustre qualifying outcome.

A four-time winner in British F4 so far during his rookie season, Lundqvist again proved on frontrunning form at Silverstone by topping Friday free practice – taking high hopes into the subsequent qualifying session on Saturday morning.

Once there, however, things did not pan out according to plan for the Double R Racing Swede. Contact with the barriers, coupled with a questionable tyre choice on a drying track, meant Lundqvist wound up an uncharacteristic 15th on the grid for the first of the weekend’s three races – and a lowly 18th for Race 3.

“Qualifying was a complete disaster,” said Lundqvist. “It was looking so well on Friday and the car felt near perfect, and I’m sure we would have had that kind of pace in qualy as well. I damaged the car by hitting the barrier, though, and with the benefit of hindsight I think we probably should have gone out on slicks from the start. It really hurts to know we messed up and lost that opportunity, but I mainly have myself to blame.”

Lundqvist, however, would not give up that easily. Powering back up the field, the 2016 Scandinavian single-seater champion hauled himself from 15th to sixth in the opening race, and then bettered that score further still in Race 3 – going from 18th to fifth in an entertaining display of overtaking prowess.

In total, Lundqvist made up no fewer than 22 positions across the two races, while adding further championship points for ninth in Race 2.

“I’m glad I managed to repair some of the damage of qualifying, and hopefully at least it was a good show,” concluded Lundqvist. “I’ve learned a lot here at Silverstone and I think it’s important to work on your race craft as well, and I certainly did this weekend! Still, I’m disappointed to not even take a podium away from here on a weekend when we really should have won races. We had the pace for it, as demonstrated on Friday. I just have to do a better job next time, grow with this experience and keep it all together.”

Linus Lundqvist remains fifth overall in the F4 British Championship standings, with just one final round to go at Brands Hatch two weeks from now.

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In 1999, Sepang International Circuit, Southeast Asia’s most impressive purpose-built F1 facility, hosted the first Malaysian F1 Grand Prix.

For almost two decades, the race has been at the pinnacle of motorsport in the country, and ignited a myriad of motorsport-related industries, rejuvenating sectors of the economy and attracting major international investment.

For the region’s motorsport community, the Formula 4 South East Asia (SEA) Championship – certified by the FIA, is the Grand Prix’s most exciting legacy, providing a professional, prestigious and comprehensive launch pad for young talent.

The series is organised and run by promoters Asian Autosport Action which has, since 1996 under the banner of Meritus GP, helped nurture seven talented drivers on their way to success, including former F1 drivers Rio Haryanto of Indonesia, India’s Narain Karthikeyan and Takuma Sato, who this year became the first-ever Japanese driver to win the Indy 500.

Many others, including Malaysians Jazeman Jaafar, Daniel Woodroof and Afiq Ikhwan Yazid, got their start with entry-level championships such as the AsiaCup, which is now upgraded to the Formula 4 SEA Championship.

While F4 SEA offers young motorsport athletes a unique opportunity, the championship’s organisers have far wider goals.

Malaysia’s investment in F1 generated massive interest from the younger generation eager to explore opportunities in motor racing and are now pursuing motorsport-related careers such as automotive and mechanical engineering, race car dynamics and analytics, sports journalism, event management and education. For the past 20 years, the team behind Formula 4 SEA has been training and developing Malaysians and building an Asian autosport ecosystem to create and employ a highly-skilled workforce and promote entrepreneurism.

In the wake of Formula 1, this sporting ecosystem continues to grow, commencing with the Formula 4 SEA Championship – the first FIA step to F1 in South East Asia - which educates local and regional race drivers as well as a support crew of technicians, engineers, administrative staff, PR and television producers, photographers and a host of professionals who have chosen to specialize in this high-tech global industry.

The final Malaysian F1 Grand Prix will be held at the end of September, where the F4 SEA Championship drivers will share track time with their F1 heroes.

Carrying the legacy of the Malaysian Grand Prix into the future, the F4 SEA Championship is already on pole position to produce the region’s next F1 star. For South East Asia’s young talent, the race is just beginning.

Malaysian Prime Minister Y.A.B. Dato Sri Mohd Najib said: "The Formula1 World Championship is a great podium to promote Malaysian engineering skills and our talented sportsmen such as Nazim Azman and Isyraf Danish. I look forward to celebrating the success of our FIA Formula 4 SEA Championship at Sepang on the 1st October.”

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Half a point. That’s all Carlin’s Jamie Caroline needs to have extended his championship lead of 74.5 points by at the conclusion of this weekend to be crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion at Silverstone, the home of the British Motor Racing.

It sounds easy, but five other drivers could steal the crown. Chief amongst those are Oscar Piastri (TRS Arden) and Logan Sargeant (Carlin). The two had vastly differing fortunes three weeks ago at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

Piastri, who had finished every race this season in the points, saw his run halted with two non-finishes and a solitary point for his efforts.

Sargeant has clawed his way into contention, scoring more points than any other driver since the summer break, finishing no lower than fifth and claiming his maiden victory last time out.

If official testing at Silverstone a week ago is anything to go by, we’re in for a titanic battle between the title protagonists. Caroline set the pace, but Piastri was his closest challenger and a mere 0.082s adrift. The rivals were the only men to lap below the 57 second mark.

Alex Quinn (TRS Arden) and Linus Lundqvist (Double R Racing) were the other victors at Rockingham, taking their second and fourth wins of the campaign respectively. Elsewhere, Fortec’s Oliver York followed up his maiden win at Knockhill with a brace of podiums. The trio will need to bring home big points to stand a chance of fighting for the title.

Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and Patrik Pasma (Carlin) also starred on the podium several weeks ago, the latter coming tantalisingly close to his first British F4 win having led from pole.

Double R’s Karl Massaad was brought back down to earth following his podium exploits north of the border by scoring only two points.

Hampus Ericsson took a hat-trick of Ford F4 Challenge Cup wins at Rockingham. The Fortec driver will want to do the same at Silverstone in a bid to move to the top of the Class standings. Standing in his way this weekend will be TRS Arden’s Olli Caldwell and Falcon Motorsport’s Lucca Allen.

In the overall standings, Caldwell is defending a slender 2.5 point lead from fellow Young Racing Driver Academy product Jamie Sharp. The Sharp Motorsport racer put in an inspired performance at the Speedway to climb five places and into a points-paying position.

Manuel Sulaimán (JHR Developments) and Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) made welcome appearances in the points, meanwhile Sam Smelt and GW Motorsport maintained their top 10 form.

Fortec’s Johnathan Hoggard returns after a brief pause in his campaign, while Harry Dyson will aim to join the top 10 party for JHR Developments on his Ford EcoBoost-powered debut.

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CAMS has continued its support of the category, with up to eight scholarships available each year until at least 2020.

The CAMS Foundation Rising Star program will also remain in place for 2018, with $50,000 per scholarship available for up to four drivers.

CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca said there had been a string of recent developments in the category with interest at an all-time high.

“There is a real buzz about Formula 4 at the moment and there are a lot of young drivers who are keen to be part of this Championship,” Arocca said.

“The feedback from our existing teams is that they have an unprecedented level of interest and enquiries from potential drivers who are very excited by the opportunities Formula 4 provides.”

CAMS can also confirm the 2018 calendar will feature seven rounds across six events, including four rounds at Supercars events, a double round at a Shannons Nationals event and the possibility of a round in New Zealand.

Teams, drivers and sponsors will also now have the option to purchase cars outright, or maintaining a sustainable lease model if they prefer.

“We’re making sure there is longevity for Formula 4 teams, which will ultimately allow more drivers to take part in the category, with the continuing goal of helping develop the next stars of Australian motor sport,” Arocca said.

Since its introduction into Australia in 2015, numerous Formula 4 drivers have progressed through the motor sport ranks, including Will Brown (Dunlop Super2 Series), Brenton Grove and Jordan Love (Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge), Thomas Randle (Formula Renault Eurocup, British LMP3, Toyota Racing Series) and Zane Goddard and Luis Leeds (Formula Renault Eurocup) to name just a few.

“We are really excited about what lies ahead as we look to develop the next wave of junior drivers,” Arocca added.

“CAMS has been committed to supporting an internationally relevant single seater category from day one.

“The success of the CAMS Jayco Formula 4 program in nurturing drivers for both the international and national stage is evident with more young Australian drivers competing overseas than at any stage in our recent history.

“With more Formula 4 drivers around the world achieving success in everything from F3 to F1, the future is very clear.”

The next Formula 4 Test Day will be held at Winton Raceway on 26 September. This day will allow those interested in joining the Championship a chance to test the cars.

Anyone interested in taking part in the test day should contact David Corrigan, CAMS Operations Manager

 

         

 

 

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