The 11th June 2017 was a big day for Olli Caldwell. Not only was it his 15th Birthday but it was also his debut race in single seaters in the shape of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA –
powered by Ford EcoBoost.
Despite having to start dead last in both races Olli did himself proud with a 10th place in his very first race which made him the youngest points scorer in history adding to his similar records from the Ginetta Junior Championship.
Being 14-years-old on the Saturday Olli was not allowed to take part in qualifying or race one, but would go off the back of the grid for both races two and three on the Sunday.
Before all the racing on though, on Sunday morning the birthday celebrations got underway with the British F4 team and Olli’s TRS Arden team presenting him with a birthday cake. It was a pleasant surprise for Olli with the ITV4 crew also there to cover the event for the BTCC programme.
On top of that Olli’s competition winners Shirley and Tony Tomkinson were there to enjoy a day’s racing with Speedworks Hospitality courtesy of Olli Caldwell Racing. Shirley won the tickets via a competition Olli ran on his Facebook page (Olli Caldwell Racing) so be sure to look out for more over the duration of the season.
Olli was also giving out some free copies of Autosport magazine along with posters of Olli’s double page spread in their latest addition which were handed out to the crowd attending Croft over the weekend.
Now to the racing!
Olli’s first race was one he had been looking forward to for a very long time and despite such a big build up Olli was determined to put no pressure on himself. This approach clearly worked with Olli putting in a fantastic performance. Given he had not been on track Saturday he dialed himself for a couple of laps before he started to make some places and set some impressive lap times along the way!
Starting 17th and last place Olli eventually finished in 10th place after just 11 laps and was just 0.2 seconds away from a Challenge Cup podium! His pace was also impressive too, setting a time of 1:22.297 Olli was just 0.2 seconds off the fastest Challenge Cup lap and half a second off the fastest overall lap time! Impressive considering this was now round 14.
With a point now on the board for 10th place after his first race the plan was to try and do the same in his second race! Similar to race one Olli also found himself fighting for 2nd in the Challenge Cup class with Harry Webb and Hampus Ericsson. Olli showed quicker pace than them both but with only 11 laps of racing experience under
his belt he was struggling to find a way past the pair in a formula that is sometimes difficult to overtake in.
That said Olli still did make places throughout the race to get himself up from 17th to 12th but didn’t quite enough time to get the last two. If only he had been old
enough to qualify on Saturday…
Overall it was a fantastic weekend for Olli both on and off track. Another record broken, his first points on the board, brilliant overtakes, impressive pace and lots of lessons learnt for the next round at Snetterton.
“Croft was an awesome weekend for me. It was great to finally get to race after 3/4 months of waiting. I managed
to grab my first points in race one and nearly doing the same in race 2. I'm excited to see what we can do when we are able to qualify next round! I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone at TRS Arden for their support and efforts over the weekend as well as the British F4 Team. Also to all my friends and family for the support and messages over the weekend!”
The next event on the calendar will be Snetterton on the 29th/30th July.