Kirkwood, Forcier, Dickerson honored at F4 U.S. championship banquet

Kirkwood, Forcier, Dickerson honored at F4 U.S. championship banquet

SCCA / SportsCar Magazine

Kirkwood, Forcier, Dickerson honored at F4 U.S. championship banquet

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Pictured (left to right): Dakota Dickerson, Kyle Kirkwood and Raphael Forcier

A total of $40,000 in prizes was presented to the season point champions of the 2017 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda during the season-end banquet. Sponsors also awarded an additional $7,000 in contingency prizes.

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, Raphael Forcier of Montreal and Dakota Dickerson of San Diego finished the 2017 season highest on the points list.

Kirkwood completed his sophomore season first in points, receiving the $25,000 grand prize and the 2017 F4 U.S. National Championship title. In addition to the cash prize and trophy, Kirkwood received an invitation to the FIA Prize-Giving Ceremony held in Paris in December. The FIA’s annual prize gala invites champions from every major branch of international motorsport to gather together to receive their official FIA awards. Kirkwood will be recognized alongside Formula 1 World Championship titleholders like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

“It feels great to hold the 2017 F4 U.S. national championship title,” Kirkwood said. “Cape Motorsports and I worked extremely hard tows this goal and couldn’t be happier that we achieved it.”

Inaugural F4 U.S. winner Cameron Das took a break from the BRDC British F3 to recognize Kirkwood with the first Cameron Das Pole Position Award Presented by Pro-Sim. Kirkwood collected 10 fast-lap times and eight poles, the most of any F4 U.S. competitor this season. His consistent speed throughout the year earned him the award and the $2,000 end-of-season contingency prize from Pro-Sim. Das still holds the record for most fast laps and poles set in an F4 season, however, Kirkwood ended the 20-race season with nine wins, tying the series record with Das.

“Cameron is obviously an amazing driver and it was very exciting to be chosen for this award from him,” said Kirkwood. “We had an outstanding year with poles and fast laps and I’m sure there are many more to come from the Cape Motorsport crew.”

Honda Performance Development also presented Kirkwood with a plaque for his ongoing brand support and success in a Honda. Kirkwood has piloted Honda-powered karts and cars since he was seven years old.

Forcier placed second in the F4 U.S. points’ race, piloting under rookie-team Indy Motorsport Group. Hailing from Canada, Forcier is the first international driver to earn a national title in F4 U.S.

“Being on the F4 US Championship podium is unbelievable,” said Forcier. “Hard work, determination and passion for what I love doing got me here, along with an amazing effort from my team Indy Motorsport Group and my family.”

Forcier claimed a win and 11 top-five finishes during his second F4 U.S. season. In his F4 U.S. rookie year last season, Forcier placed ninth overall in the season points’ championship.

Dickerson, who was a late season-entry for Kiwi Motorsport, rounded out the championship podium in third. Dickerson only competed in 11 of the 20 racing rounds but still finished 10 rounds in the top-five. His final drive in the last F4 U.S. session at Circuit of the Americas boosted him to the championship podium.

“The F4 U.S field is so competitive,” Dickerson said. “Kiwi Motorsport and I worked hard to build on our speed each round to capture a national title. This was a great ending to my first season in F4.”

Onroak Automotive’s Catherine Crawford presented rookie Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, with the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award and $5,000 for his perseverance throughout the season.

“I was absolutely shocked when Catherine announced my name for most improved driver. We went straight from karts into the F4 U.S. car. The season started out a bit rough but as my team Crosslink Racing and I started to get more familiar with the car, results started to come,” Sherratt said. “We ended the season fifth overall in points with one win and four other podium visits. Our hard work paid off and was recognized by Onroak- that was a great honor.”

Cape Motorsports was awarded the F4 U.S. team championship. The team, composed of drivers Kirkwood, Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, and Steve Bamford of Toronto, and owned by brothers Nicholas and Dominic Cape, visited the podium 15 out of the 20 rounds.

The F4 U.S. Championship team title was determined by the team that scored the highest number of points during the season. Points were assigned based on the results from the top two highest placing cars for each team at each event.

FIA Super License points were awarded to Kirkwood, Forcier, Dickerson, Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, Sherratt, Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, and Timo Reger of Houston.

The FIA Super License is a qualification allowing the license-holder to compete in the Formula One World Championship. The license is issued to drivers who have met the FIA criteria of success in the junior motorsport categories. A competitor must obtain 40 points within a three-year period to apply for a Super License. Das, the points’ champion, received 12 Super License points. Subsequent positions earned between 10 and one point depending on their final placement.

The evening concluded with SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth announcing that F4 U.S. will join Pirelli World Challenge at Virginia International Raceway April 27-29 for its 2018 debut and the 2018 F4 U.S. champion will receive a $100,000 scholarship from Ligier to graduate to SCCA Pro’s newest championship, F3 Americas.

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