TRS ARDEN AND SIMMONS STAR IN BRITISH F4 AT BRANDS HATCH
Following a double podium in the opening round of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford thanks to Alex Quinn and Oscar Piastri, TRS Arden wrapped up the weekend with a race win and a further two podiums.
Ayrton Simmons claimed a flawless maiden victory from pole position in the second race of the weekend. A lightning start saw Simmons comfortably lead into turn one and he never looked back. Calm and composed out front, the 15-year-old racer from Epping didn’t put a foot wrong.
Simmons, a product of the Young Racing Driver Academy, managed his tyre wear expertly and it paid dividends by allowing him to gradually pull away from the chasing pack in the latter stages.
Having finished sixth and seventh respectively in race two, Piastri and Quinn led the TRS Arden charge in race three. They pursued eventual race winner Jamie Caroline for the duration, Piastri and Quinn lapping faster than the rest of the field in the latter half of proceedings on their way to second and third. Quinn recorded fastest lap, just as he did in race one.
Simmons followed up his win with a storming opening lap which saw him climb two places up to fifth to add to an excellent points haul and earn him joint second in the championship standings with Piastri. Quinn sits just two points behind his team-mates in fifth.
Yves Baltas bounced back having had to retire from race two. The American ran comfortably inside the top 10 for much of the race only to see his first points score slip through his grasp due to contact with another car and did well to salvage 13th.
Ayrton Simmons: “To finally get this British F4 win is absolutely amazing. It’s the greatest moment of my racing career so far. I didn’t have the ideal start to the weekend, but we turned it around. All I had to do was pull a gap and stay in control of the race. I was quite surprised with how good my start was. It’s probably the best start I have ever made. Everything just fell into place. I did a lot of work with the team to perfect the start procedure. When I was out front I knew I had to drive consistently. I had to be controlled, but quick. I cannot thank the team enough. They’ve done a brilliant job.”
Oscar Piastri: “I’m happy to walk away with second place and more points for the championship. I found it a little easier to keep Alex behind me in the third race because I learnt a few things having had to defend from him throughout race two. It’s been a great start to the season. I think this weekend showed that our pre-season pace was true and at Donington Park in two weeks hopefully we can go one step higher.
Alex Quinn: “We had really good pace. I think if I had overtaken Oscar I could have challenged Jamie for the win. TRS Arden have done a great job. I know we’ll be really strong at Donington and I’m looking forward to it. I’m feeling really confident and to bring home all these points is so important for the championship because as we have seen in previous seasons consistency is key.
Yves Baltas: “I’m leaving Brands Hatch with my head held high because my pace was really good in the final race and the car felt great. It was a shame to have had that contact right before the end which undid all my hard work, but I have learnt so much and can use this experience to be stronger in future races.”
Garry Horner, Arden Motorsport CEO and team principal: “Ayrton’s win was fantastic. We’ve put a lot of effort into Ayrton’s development so we’re really pleased with the result. I knew if he made a good start the race was his for the taking. He didn’t crack under the pressure in the final round of the season last year when fighting for the podium and I knew he wouldn’t here. I’m so pleased for him and it will give him a lot of confidence. It’s been a great weekend for the team. Hopefully this is the beginning of a very good season.”
Ben Bloomfield, TRS Arden team manager: “Five podiums is a great way to start the championship. It’s one of our best weekends to date. I’m really pleased with Oscar on his European racing debut in the most competitive F4 championship. He’s shown that he can withstand pressure, especially with someone seasoned like Alex Quinn behind him. Yves has got the pace in the races and he can really overtake. He just needs to improve in qualifying which I have no doubt he will. It’s fantastic for us to see Ayrton on the top step of the podium. It’s what we hoped to achieve last year, but it didn’t quite happen. His win today was hugely emotional for the team and his family.”