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Champion! Hughes claims F4 title with imperious Donington drive

Saturday, September 28 2013

Jake Hughes is the provisional BRDC F4 Champion after a brilliant lights to flag win in the first race at Donington Park.

Starting from pole, Hughes was virtually unchallenged at the front, making a good start and then controlled proceedings to stretch his lead to 2.15s by the chequered flag. Seb Morris' third place wasn't quite enough to take the title to the final day.

Charlie Robertson took fourth for HHC Motorsport, and set the fastest lap of the race in the process, and was very close to Morris at the flag. James Greenway ran as high as third initially, before slipping back to fifth, finishing ahead of James Fletcher (KBS), Gustavo Lima (HHC), Struan Moore (Hillspeed), Jake Dalton (Lanan) and Raoul Hyman (HHC).

Hughes had a lead of 0.7s at the end of lap one, which he extended to 1.5s on lap two. The gap was over two seconds by the end of lap four, and as high as 2.6 seconds before Hughes backed off slightly for the final few laps.

Crossing the line, Hughes punched the air with delight as his Lanan Racing team displayed a pitboard reading 'F4 Champ.'

Behind him, Morris drove a feisty first few laps, and forced his way up to third on lap two with a brilliant three-wide move on James Greenway into the final hairpin. From there he looked to close the gap to the second place he desperately needed, but was unable to make up the ground and was forced to spend the final laps defending from Robertson.

Including dropped scores, Hughes now holds a 61 point lead in the championship, with just 60 remaining after this race.

The championship honour remains provisional until the appeal from Seb Morris' Snetterton disqualification is heard.

"It's too crazy to even think about it" Hughes exclaimed afterwards. "It's still provisional but coming across the start finish line to see 'F4 Champ' on the pit board was absolutely unbelievable. There are still two races to go but it's been a long season and Lanan Racing have been absolutely fantastic with me. They haven't put a foot wrong all year so I want to say a massive thanks for them. Also a massive thanks to Jonathan Palmer and the BRDC for setting up such a brilliant championship."

"I could see the positions in my mirrors, and I knew I had Matty [Graham] behind and I knew that if it stayed like that I was the provisional champion. To be honest I was a little bit nervous in the last three laps but my lap times didn't drop off much and I managed to keep it on the black stuff and bring it home. Seeing the team cheering me over the line was brilliant.

"I plan to have some fun tomorrow! If I can I'd like to still win and if I score more points than Seb over the two races tomorrow then we know for sure anyway. But I can afford now to have a little bit of a relax tonight and go out and enjoy the races tomorrow."

BRDC F4 Championship, race one result:

1. Jake Hughes, Lanan Racing, 12 laps
2. Matty Graham, Sean Walkinshaw Racing, +2.154s
3. Seb Morris, Hillspeed, +4.306s
4. Charlie Robertson, HHC Motorsport, +5.029s
5. James Greenway, Frank T Greenway Racing, +8.678s
6. James Fletcher, Team KBS, +12.833s
7. Gustavo Lima, HHC Motorsport, +14.025s
8. Struan Moore, Hillspeed, +16.926s
9. Jake Dalton, Lanan Racing, +17.922s
10. Raoul Hyman, HHC Motorsport, +19.430s