Formula Regional Americas and Formula 4 US Kick off 2022 Season at NOLA Motorsports Park | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula Regional Americas and Formula 4 US Kick off 2022 Season at NOLA Motorsports Park

13.04.22

Mac Clark Wins at NOLA Motorsports Park in his FR Americas Series Debut, Raoul Hyman Secures his first FR Americas Win and Dylan Tavella Wins in Race 3.

Lochie Hughes Wins in First-Career F4 U.S. Start, Bryson Morris Secures his Second-Career F4 U.S. Win at NOLA Motorsports Park and Nicholas Rivers Earns his First-Career F4 U.S. Victory in Race 3.

Formula Regional Americas

Mac Clark Wins at NOLA Motorsports Park in his FR Americas Series Debut

Mac Clark made his Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) debut at NOLA Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon, and he did it in winning fashion. The 18-year-old Canadian took the lead in his No. 25 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F3 on the first lap, and led all the way to the checkered flag in a race that stayed green from start to finish.

Raoul Hyman was also making his FR Americas series’ debut in the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited, Solomon Capital Enterprises, Oaklands, Kinross Ligier JS F3 for TJ Speed Motorsports, qualified in the pole position, but it was Clark who was quick off the line. Clark overtook Hyman before they reached the first turn and never looked back.

The remainder of the top five, Dylan Tavella (No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3), Nico Christodoulou (No. 22 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F3), and Jason Alder (No. 77 TJ Speed Motorsports Ligier JS F3) held their respective position all the way from lights to checkers.

“It feels amazing,” said Clark as he climbed out the car. “To come to the championship and win the first race with a brand new team—and me being a rookie in the series—I just want to give so many thanks to Future Star. Mr. and Mrs. McAlister, thank you so much for believing in me. I didn’t know who was going to be fast all race. I actually made a really good jump off the line like we’ve been practicing, and from there it was just keeping my head down and hitting my marks.”

Raoul Hyman Secures his first FR Americas Win at NOLA Motorsports Park

Raoul Hyman recorded his first win in the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) on Sunday morning at NOLA Motorsports Park. The 25-year-old South African driver got a successful jump as the lights went out for Race 2, and went on to lead lights to checkers in his No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3 for TJ Speed Motorsports.

“It was a great start,” said Hyman as he climbed out the car. “After yesterday I was pretty annoyed that my start let me down because I thought we had great pace in the race. I was quite happy with the start. I was challenged into Turn 1, but it was under control. So that was good. From there it was just managing. You can see that my lap times kind of fluctuated quite a bit, so after I built a gap, I was on the radio with my engineer, Tim, and we just managed it from there on in. It was a good race all-in-all. I’m happy we were able to manage it and come away with our first victory of the series.”

Dylan Tavella (No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) started the race fourth also got an excellent jump on the start to overtake both third-place Nick Persing (No. 29 OPI Commercial Builders  / TJ Speed Motorsports Ligier JS F3) and second-place Mac Clark (No. 25 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F3). When the checkered flag waved, Tavella was scored second, followed by Clark in third, Persing in fourth and Ryan Yardley (No. 78 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) in fifth.

Dylan Tavella Wins in FR Americas’ Race 3 at NOLA Motorsports Park

Dylan Tavella, driver of the No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Ligier JS F3 led the field to the checkered flag for Formula Regional Americas Championship powered by Honda (FR Americas) Race 3 at NOLA Motorsports Park. After finishing third and second, respectively, in the first two races of the season, Tavella finally climbed atop the podium in the weekend’s final race.

Rolling off in the third position, Tavella pushed his brakes and Hankook Tires to the limit, making a charge to the front in the opening laps. First racing Nico Christodoulou in the No. 22 VRD Racing Ligier JS F3 for second, and then setting on after Hyman in the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3.

“It was pretty crazy the first couple laps battling with Raoul [Hyman] and [Nico] Christodoulou,” said Tavella, walking us through the battle. “Going into [Turn] 1, me and [Raoul] rode fairly deep—both well past our braking zone—but we still made it stick. I went around on the outside, I had to put a couple wheels in the dirt, and then we just charged all the way into [Turn] 2, three wide. Then, I had to out brake both of them and that was kinda sketchy.”

By lap 2, Tavella was scored in first and never looked back while pacing the field.

Meanwhile, Jason Alder started the race second in his No. 77 Drive for Diabetes Awareness / HAKUN Ligier JS F3 for TJ Speed Motorsports, but he dropped back to fifth as the race got underway. With a steady pace, he continued to improve his position and moved into second—a position he held until the checkered flag—by Lap 18.

Hyman finished third after starting the race on the pole. Emerging from the car after the race, he found a broken right front wing, which explained his difficulties during the race. 

FR Americas’ next event will be the infamous Road America, May 19-22.

Formula 4 United States

Lochie Hughes Wins in First-Career F4 U.S. Start at the NOLA SpeedTour

Lochie Hughes won the opening race of the 2022 Formula 4 United States Championship presented by Honda (F4 U.S.) season on Saturday afternoon at NOLA Motorsports Park. The Gold Coast, Australia native avoided chaos in the closing laps to secure his first series’ win in his first F4 U.S. race.

Matt Christensen (No. 45 Velocity Racing Development) was in the point position for lights out at NOLA with teammate Noah Ping (No. 65 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) trailing. By lap 3, a battle for third ensued as Bryson Morris (No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport JS F4) and Hughes put the pressure on Ping. Ping dropped to fourth, where he stayed until the caution flag waved on lap 8. Subsequently, the field restarted the event on lap 11 where Ping took the lead with a strong restart, and pushed Christensen back to second, followed by Hughes and Morris.

On lap 13, contact in Turn 5 between the No. 65 of Ping and teammate Christensen in the No. 45 removed both cars from contention. Hughes sailed by on Hankook tires as the caution flag waved and went on to lead the field to a yellow-checkered finish. 

“I’m pretty happy,” exclaimed Hughes as he climbed from the car. “We got a little bit lucky there, but we were catching them. It was a bit of a crazy race—especially that restart going in to [Turn] 1. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Everyone was locking up and almost crashing, but I’m really happy to take the win. I can’t thank the boys at Jay Howard Driving Development enough. Hopefully we can continue this on.” 

Bryson Morris Secures his Second-Career F4 U.S. Win at NOLA Motorsports Park

Bryson Morris, the 17-year-old from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., secured his second career win at NOLA Motorsports Park on Sunday morning in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.). Driving the No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4, Morris overtook the lead with just four laps to go to secure the race win over Matt Christensen in the No. 45 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4.

Lochie Hughes (No. 6 Jay Howard Driving Development Ligier JS F4) started on the pole after winning Race 1, but fell to third as a battle broke out between Morris and Christensen while working lap 2. Christensen secured the lead just before a mid-race red flag, and opened up a nearly three-second lead once the race returned to green. Morris set a steady pace on his Hankook Tires, focusing on hitting his marks, and slowly started to close the gap between drivers. Morris was able to get side-by-side with Christensen coming off of Turn 16 and set up a drag race down the front straightaway as they completed lap 14 and raced toward Turn 1. The Tennessee driver remained calm, focused on his own race and slowly drove away from Christensen. By the time they crossed the line to take the checkered flag, Morris had opened up a 2.923-second advantage.

Noah Ping, driver of the No. 65 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4, steadily climbed through the field to finish third and complete the podium after starting sixth. Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) was fourth. Hughes finished fifth.

“It was a really good race,” said Morris as he climbed from the car. “Matt was really far ahead, and I didn’t think I had him. I was just kinda going in second place. Then, I noticed that I was closing the gap slowly, and eventually I got there. I’m just super happy to take the win.”

Nicholas Rivers Wins at NOLA Motorsports Park, Earning his First-Career F4 U.S. Victory

Nicholas Rivers secured his first career Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) victory in the final race of the weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. Rivers raced with F4 U.S. in 2020, but took a year off before returning to the series for the season opener this weekend in the No. 24 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4.

Rivers rolled off third when the lights went out at NOLA and quickly set his pace, moving into second-place after the completion of the first lap and overtaking the lead by Lap 3. His race didn’t go without challenges though, as he endured two restarts and a late-race charge from teammate Noah Ping in the No. 65 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4.

Rivers held the top position until Lap 11 when Ping passed him. However, Rivers was able to work past Ping while racing through the esses on the final lap, Lap 13, to sail away toward the checkered flag. 

Ping was initially scored second, but dropped to 13th following a stewards decision for causing a collision.

As a result, Lochie Hughes, who initially finished third in his No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development Ligier JS F4, moved to second on the final results. Alex Berg was officially scored as the third-place finisher in his No. 08 Doran-Kroll Competition Ligier JS F4, earning his first podium of the weekend.

Matt Christensen (No. 45 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) entered the race as the points leader, but had a rough race after his car had clutch issues following a red flag. As a result, he had to restart the race from the back of the pack on lap 10. Christensen ultimately worked his way past five cars and back up to the 12th position before the checkered flag waved. While provisional results made it look like Christensen would not earn points for the race, he moved into 10th-place on the final results and earned one point toward the championship.

F4 U.S. will return to the track at the Road America on May 19-22.