Chris Dittmann Racing clinches first F4 British title as Jonsson takes Rookie honours

Chris Dittmann Racing added to its impressive history with its first title in the F4 British Championship in just its second season in the series, as Gustav Jonsson clinched the Rookie Cup on a memorable weekend (October 6-8) at Brands Hatch.

With good performance during Friday’s practice sessions, both drivers felt confident heading into qualifying. However, a late red flag, with five minutes on the clock, disrupted both drivers’ final runs and Gustav finished tenth quickest with Jack 15th.

In the opening contest Gustav was quick off the line, doing well to avoid a stalled Freddie Slater ahead, gaining five spots on the opening lap, while Jack went up the inside of Mika Abrahams into Westfield, before the Safety Car was called.

Once that incident was cleared, the race resumed with 11 minutes remaining and Jack took ninth from James Higgins on the outside of the high-speed Hawthorns. The teenager closed in on Noah Lisle but would have to settle for ninth at the flag, while Gustav finished fifth and took another Rookie victory in the process.

Jack had a good opening lap of the reverse grid race two, gaining two spots to run third, before the Safety Car was called and, on the restart, he quickly dispatched Isaac Barashi to take second, crossing the line less than a second off the win. Gustav was unlucky to run wide on the opening lap after being squeezed, falling to 17th, but he fought back to 14th and fourth of the Rookies, and with that result, clinched the Rookie Cup with a race to spare.

The final race of the season took place under glorious autumn sunshine, with Gustav holding tenth, while Jack battled with Lisle. Both drivers then found themselves caught in the dirty air, close to the cars ahead but unable to find a way past, with Jack suffering track limits penalties totalling 15 seconds and falling down the order.

Gustav and the team’s success with the Rookie Cup title – plus Jack’s constant improvements – caps a strong campaign, with five overall podiums, 11 Rookie wins, and 13 further Rookie podiums, underlining the outfit’s commitment to developing talented young drivers. The team will be back on track over the next two weekends, taking part in the final races of the GB3 Championship at Zandvoort and Donington Park.

Gustav Jonsson, #23

G1 – 7, R1 – 5 (Rookie: 1)
G2 – 10, R2 – 14 (R: 4)
G3 – 10, R3 – 10 (R: 2)

Championship: 11 (133 points)
Rookie Championship: 1 (489 points)

“We had very good speed in the test sessions on Friday, so it gave us some confidence going into qualifying. Tenth quickest was okay but I think we could probably have done a bit more.

“Going into the races, we knew that the goal was to win the Rookie Cup Championship. The first lap was quite good, and I saw that [Gabriel] Stilp had dropped down, so I was trying to keep calm and not make any mistakes.

“In race two, I was squeezed a little bit by Stilp and dropped back to almost last, but I managed to drive my way back through and secured the Championship. It was a huge relief to have taken the title in race two rather than wait until the end of the day. It meant I could just have fun with race three.

“It feels amazing to be Rookie Cup Champion. Coming into the season, we had so little testing compared to everyone else before the first round. I didn’t expect to be so high up in the rookies, but Chris, Josh our driver coach, and everyone in the team has done a mega job to give me the package and help me develop as quick as we possibly could. It’s been a mega season, and I can’t thank everyone enough who has helped me get to this point.”

Jack Sherwood, #78

G1 – 15, R1 – 9
G2 – 5, R2 – 2
G3 – 14, R3 – 18

Championship: 15 (89 points)

“We never really got in the window with the tyres for qualifying and we had a few laps blocked, so it was quite frustrating after some decent pace in practice.
“Race one was quite strong, I made a few good moves and got up to ninth. After a busy first couple of laps, I settled into the rhythm of things until the end of the race.

“Our pace was good in race two. We were pushing forward but then the safety car kind of hindered us a bit. If not for that, I think we could have won it. It was a bit disappointing because we had the speed to be there and we deserved a win, but it was still a great result.

“Race three was a bit tricky. I was struggling for pace, then picking up the track limits penalties at the end wasn’t ideal. All in all, it was a decent weekend, our pace was really strong, and it was great to be back on the podium.

“All season long we’ve kept pushing and never gave up which is the main thing. I’ve really enjoyed the season, so a big thank you to the team for their continued effort and support, and everyone else who has helped me along the way.”

About the author: Chloe