An imperious performance from Jake Hughes has seen him take victory in the opening race at Donington Park, in the process sealing the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 Championship.
The Lanan Racing ace led the twelve-lap encounter from start-to-finish, breaking away from Matthew Graham early on and controlling proceedings throughout, stretching his advantage to 2.15 seconds as he crossed the line with arms aloft.
“It’s too crazy to even think about it,” exclaimed Hughes, the inaugural BRDC F4 champion. “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.
“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.”
Hughes headed into the race knowing that if he won, and chief title rivals Seb Morris or Jack Barlow failed to finish second, he would be champion.
Morris was the only one of the pairing in with a realistic chance during the race, starting from fourth. A feisty first few laps saw the Hillspeed driver battle his way up to third, but try as he might, he was unable to catch Graham.
As Graham took a comfortable second, Morris was left defending third from Charlie Robertson in the latter stages, with the 2011 Ginetta Junior champion just fending off his 2011 compatriot at the flag.
James Greenway briefly ran third at the start, but eventually slipped back to fifth at the finish, the privateer comfortably leading home James Fletcher, Gustavo Lima and Struan Moore, with Jake Dalton ninth after battling his way back through the field, having dropped to eighteenth on the opening lap.
Matt Mason started the race third, however early contact bent a wishbone on his MGR Motorsport-prepared racer, the reigning InterSteps runner-up eventually retiring after a trip through the pits.
Barlow meanwhile had a frustrating race from thirteenth on the grid, ending where he started.
2013 BRDC F4 Championship round fifteen 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
*The championship honour remains provisional until the appeal from Seb Morris’ Snetterton disqualification is heard.