After the success of Snetterton Olli made his way to Knockhill with raised expectations on a track he finds one of the most enjoyable on the British F4 calendar. Although he’ll be a round down on his competitors Olli has refused to take his eyes off the Challenge Cup title and in the process of picking up three podiums took some overall championship points too.
It’s a well known fact that overtaking around Knockhill is difficult in every category, in particular F4. The 1.2 mile circuit can be quite an easy one to defend on and the lack of long straights makes it hard to get a strong tow on the driver ahead. With all of this in mind qualifying on Saturday morning was crucial.
After a positive test in tricky conditions Olli was fairly confident heading into it and that showed as he finished 12th and 10th in both sessions. The 10th place was particularly impressive as it made Olli comfortably the fastest driver in the Challenge Cup class.
For the first race on Saturday Olli would go off 12th place and as expected the race was a fairly processional one. Olli held position on the opening lap and from there never had the opportunity to pass until lap 15 where a chaotic lap saw Olli move up to 9th place! With Olli 3rd in the Challenge Cup class he set his sights on moving forward further, but with only six laps remaining he would run out of time and settled for a 9th place finish and Challenge Cup podium.
Sunday would see races two and three and take place and race two almost produced a very similar result. Olli was running in a strong 10th place with another Challenge Cup podium almost guaranteed before being pushed back to 15th in one lap. Fellow competitor, Jonathan Hoggard, made contact with Olli at the chicane which saw damage to the rear of the car making it extremely difficult to drive around a twisty Knockhill circuit. The momentum lost in the incident saw Olli lose a further position and with just six laps remaining he did a fine job to recover to 13th place and take another Challenge Cup podium despite the damage!
The third and final race of the weekend saw Olli fall just short of a Challenge Cup victory after a battle with Harry Webb. Starting 10th place Olli first had to get past Manuel Sulaiman. After six laps of chasing him down Olli waited for three laps before making his move on the Mexican driver which put him into 9th as he set off after Harry Webb.
After the overtake the gap stood at 1.7 seconds, but consistent lap times saw Olli catch Webb in just six laps leaving him a further seven to try and make the move. In the process of the chase Olli had also matched his quickest lap time of the weekend with a 50.6 second time. However, when it came to passing Webb an opportunity never really presented itself which would allow a safe overtake with Webb also driving defensively. So it would be 2nd place and 9th overall and another triple podium making it six out of six in the last two rounds.
Olli Caldwell: I really enjoyed my weekend at Knockhil. It's an awesome track to drive in the F4 car and there were good finishes for me and particularly the team. I hope to carry it on to Rockingham!"
As Olli touched on the Arden team took a very famous podium lock out with all four drivers making the podium in race three proving what a strong force the team is!
The next round of the championship will take place at Rockingham next weekend.