Lochie Hughes won all three United States Formula 4 races at New Jersey Motorsports Park on the road, but a penalty for jumping the start took away race one victory.
The Jay Howard Driver Development driver started the weekend by taking pole, beating Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport’s Ryan Shehan to top spot by 0.135 seconds, then held him off by the even slimmer margin of 0.038s in race one.
Hughes had led the field away on the rolling start and was chased by Shehan and his team-mate Bryson Morris, while no one else had an answer to their pace. Shehan made multiple attempts at a pass for the lead but couldn’t make it happen, then with a few laps to go the race was stopped.
Noah Ping and Gabriel Fonseca had been fourth and fifth but collided, with the clean-up job of their incident requiring a full course yellow period and then red flags. On the rolling restart was where Hughes committed his offence, as he was deemed to have accelerated too early and was handed a five-second penalty that dropped him down to sixth due to the field being bunched up again for the restarted race.
Shehan inherited victory, with Morris and Louka St-Jeam (JHDD) less than a second behind him at the finish.
Hughes had his redemption in race two, where he was hounded through the first half by Morris. But once Morris had to switch his attention to Shehan, who had risen to third from sixth on the grid, Hughes was able to pull away by 3.169s.
Race three was another close encounter, with Hughes holding off Shehan by 0.914s for his fourth win of the season (that had not been taken away).
Morris finished third, and is 14 points behind Hughes ahead of the summer break and the last two rounds of the year.
Race 1 (21 laps)
1 Ryan Shehan Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport 30m53.412s
2 Bryson Morris Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +0.609s
3 Louka St-Jean JHDD +0.803s
4 Alex Berg Doran-Kroll Competition +2.100s
5 Earl Tucker JHDD +2.796s
6 Lochie Hughes JHDD +4.962s
7 Arturo Flores Gonella Racing +7.084s
8 Matt Christensen Velocity Racing Development +7.566s
9 Lucas Fecury Kiwi Motorsport +7.637s
10 Seth Brown JHDD +7.856s
Pole: Hughes, 1m23.247s
Fastest lap: Hughes, 1m24.975s
Race 2 (22 laps)
1 Hughes 30m58.773s
2 Morris +3.169s
3 Shehan +3.750s
4 Berg +6.903s
5 Noah Ping Velocity Racing Development +13.122s
6 Gabriel Fonseca Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +20.640s
7 St-Jean +23.560s
8 Flores +38.377s
9 Christensen +39.226s
10 Carl Bennett Gonella Racing +49.258s
FL: Hughes, 1m22.979s
Race 3 (19 laps)
1 Hughes 30m28.503s
2 Shehan +0.914s
3 Morris +2.455s
4 Ping +8.764s
5 Berg +9.638s
6 Christensen +15.585s
7 Brown +15.785s
8 Oliver Westling Jensen Global Advisors +22.970s
9 Bennett +24.044s
10 Madison Aust Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +25.213s
FL: Brown, 1m25.507s
1 Hughes 188 2 Morris 174 3 Ping 139 4 Shehan 130 5 Christensen 119 6 Berg 109 7 Nicholas Rivers 68 8 Flores 51 9 Fonseca 48 10 St-Jean 41