Home News Jimmie Lockhart leads the way in opening US F4 round at NOLA

Jimmie Lockhart leads the way in opening US F4 round at NOLA

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Jimmie Lockhart leaves round one of the United States Formula 4 season at NOLA Motorsports Park as points leader after winning twice.

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Michael Costello, winner of the F4 class in the 2023 YACademy Winter Series, topped qualifying by 0.466 seconds over Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport’s Titus Sherlock.

Gonella Racing’s Carl Bennett qualified third, and dived down the inside of the front-row starters into turn one on the opening lap of race one to take the lead. A few corners later there was a big crash behind involving a group of cars.

Bennett had also already lost the lead after a few corners, with Sherlock ending the lap leading Daniel Cara by 0.097s. Cara, who had started seventh, passed Sherlock for the lead into turn one on lap two and then pulled away.

By lap five his lead had grown 2.589s, and Sherlock had been passed by Frankie Mossman for third, but then it all went downhill for the Brazilian as the pace car was called out and he not only lost his lead gap but actually dropped to sixth after contact and a spin.

He regained one position during the caution period, with others drivers also unusually changing places. Amongst those was Mossman, who passed Bennett for the lead.

Racing resumed on lap nine and Bennett reclaimed the lead straight away. Patrick Woods-Toth came out on top of a three-wide move for second, then ran deep but still managed to stay ahead of Sherlock and Mossman who fought through the next corners.

Mossman lost fourth on the next lap, the last of the race, as Cara ran over the kerbs at turn two and then into the back of him which spun him around. Cara was penalised 20s for causing two collisions.

Woods-Toth and Sherlock meanwhile pressured Bennett, but could not get past the leader before the chequered flag. Costello ended up finishing a lapped 29th.

A penalty for rejoining the track unsafely cost Costello pole for race two, which Lockhart started from the front.

He converted that into victory, although on lap one faced the unusual situation of the race being red flagged then almost immediately being put under a caution period instead following a crash involving Christopher Parrish.

The caution ended by lap four and Lockhart quickly opened a one-second lead over fellow front-row starter Jesse Lacey. Woods-Toth got into fourth, then passed Costello for third at the end of the race after he made a failed attack on Lacey.

Costello started from pole again in race three, and lost the lead to Lockhart on lap two. Lewis Hodgson ran in third, doing so without an engine cover.

Two incidents led to a caution perioud on lap four, and on the restart lap Hodgson passed Costello. That soon led to a train of cars forming behind Hodgson, with Woods-Toth and Costello eventually getting past on lap nine. A crash then meant the race finished behind the pace car, eradicating Lockhart’s lead but not denying him victory.

Results round-up
Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Carl Bennett Gonella Racing 21m23.299s
2 Patrick Woods-Toth Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +0.164s
3 Titus Sherlock Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +0.625s
4 Jesse Lacey Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +0.978s
5 Alex Berg Doran Motorsports Group +5.288s
6 Garrett Dettman Momentum Motorsports +5.815s
7 Michael Boyiadzis JHDD +6.913s
8 Kehai Hauanio New’T Racing +7.263s
9 Tyke Durst Gonella Racing +7.557s
10 Lewis Hodgson Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +9.127s
Pole: Costello, 1m41.917s
FL: Michael Costello, 1m43.272s

Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Jimmie Lockhart Velocity Racing Development 21m24.770s
2 Lacey +2.403s
3 Woods-Toth +2.714s
4 Costello JHDD +2.887s
5 Hodgson +3.650s
6 Frankie Mossman JHDD +5.752s
7 Danial Cara Cara Origin Motorsports +6.097s
8 Sherlock +6.213s
9 Bennett +7.014s
10 Berg +11.233s
FL: Costello, 1m42.311s

Race 3 (12 laps)
1 Lockhart 27m48.484s
2 Costello +1.411s
3 Woods-Toth +1.874s
4 Hodgson +3.119s
5 Mossman +3.745s
6 Berg +6.192s
7 Cara +6.427s
8 Lacey +7.219s
9 Hauanio +7.850s
10 Sherlock +9.049s
FL: Lockhart, 1m43.670s

Championship standings
1 Lockhart 50   2 Woods-Toth 48   3 Lacey 34   4 Costello 30   5 Bennett 27   6 Hodgson 23   7 Sherlock 20   8 Berg 19   9 Mossman 18   10 Cara 12