Jamie Caroline secured the British Formula 4 title with two races remaining despite running through the gravel on the opening lap of race one at Brands Hatch.
The Carlin driver?s strong season so far meant rival Oscar Piastri would have to finish inside the top two in race one and hope Caroline could not score a point. So it was almost a gift to Piastri when Caroline and Alex Quinn collided on the opening lap and both were sent into the gravel.
Quinn became stranded, bringing out the safety car and bunching up the field, but Caroline continued at the back of the pack.
When the race restarted, Linus Lundqvist lead pole-sitter Logan Sargeant, Ayrton Simmons, and Piastri. Piastri couldn?t find a way past team-mate Simmons and Simmons eventually began to pull away from the championship contender.
Meanwhile, Caroline was storming through the field. He was running eighth when red flags halted the race. Jamie Sharp had hit the back of Harry Dyson, who had suddenly slowed ahead of him, dropping down the order. With little time left on the clock, the race was brought an end early.
Caroline?s points meant that even if Piastri had found a way into the top two, the title would have been out of reach with only two races remaining.
Having held off Caroline in race one, Manuel Sulaiman took reversed-grid pole for race two, and led the first half of the race before a safety car was called out for a multi-car incident that involved Dyson, Sharp, and Lucas Alecco Roy.
On the restart, a flying start allowed Oliver York to take the race lead, whilst Caroline, who had started eighth, moved up into third. Sulaiman couldn?t keep the champion-elect behind him, and Caroline set about closing in on York, but couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for second.
Sulaiman was left defending against Sargeant and Piastri, who were now fighting for second in the championship. He kept both behind him to take his first podium of the season, whilst Sargeant led Piastri across the line.
Piastri heads into the final race tomorrow with a 10 point advantage over Sargeant in the fight for second.
In the Challenge Cup, Olli Caldwell claimed a pair of wins, whilst Harry Webb finished ahead of title rival Hampus Ericsson in both races and is now nine points ahead in the Cup standings.