Noah Ping secured his first Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) series win at Road America in Race 3 on Sunday afternoon. In commanding fashion, Ping led the field from lights out to the checkered flag in the No. 65 Velocity Racing Development (VRD) Ligier JS F4. To make the race even more special, Ping was able to share the podium with his VRD teammates Matt Christensen (No. 45 VRD Ligier JS F4) and Nicholas Rivers (No. 24 VRD Ligier JS F4), as it was a clean sweep for the Atlanta-based team.
With Ping out front for the entire 20-minute race, the real action was behind him.
Cars were gridded based on their fastest lap of the previous race, so despite winning the first two races of the weekend, Christensen lined up fifth for Race 3. He instantly found himself in a fierce battle with Alex Berg (No. 08 Doran-Kroll Competition Ligier JS F4) and David Burketh (No. 8 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F4). Solidly hitting his marks, he was able to overtake both drivers to lock in the third position. From there, Christensen set his sights on teammate Rivers.
Rivers was fourth at lights out, but a solid start and meticulous first lap catapulted him to the second position. He raced unchallenged until near the halfway point as Christensen closed the gap, setting fastest lap and besting his teammates lap by nearly one second. Christensen kept the pressure on high and was able to move past Rivers on lap 5. From there, the three VRD drivers ran single file to the finish.
When the checkered flag waved, VRD completed the podium sweep with Ping, Christensen and Rivers, respectively. Lochie Hughes (No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil/ Pelican Ligier JS F4) was fourth and Bryson Morris (No. 38 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport) was fifth to round out the top five.
“It’s a really great feeling to be here in F4 on [top go the podium],” said Ping after the race. “There’s nothing quite like it. Shout out to the VRD guys; obviously our cars were pretty quick here to go one, two, three. Congrats to my teammates; it’s a big accomplishment for us.”
F4 U.S.’s next event will be the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour, where they will complete Rounds 7-9 at the Lexington, Ohio circuit, June 23-26. Tickets for the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour are available now at SpeedTour.net. The event will be live streamed at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.
TJ Speed Motorsports claimed all three podium positions for the first time this Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda season to extend their lead in the team championship standings.
Continuing his show of dominance from pole position, Raoul Hyman, driver of the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3, pulled away from the rest of the grid immediately from lights out.
“I’m really happy, and to have all the guys up here — everyone was working really hard on Nick [Persing’s] car right until we had to go,” Hyman said as he took his place at the top of the podium. “We finally put a smile on Tim’s [Neff, team owner] face. I’m really happy with that. I’d like to thank the boys; they’ve done a great job. Honestly, they have really put together three amazing packages.”
Dylan Tavella (No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) fought and maintained the second position until a mistake on lap six ran him wide, opening the door for Jason Alder, (No. 77 Drive for Diabetes Awareness / HAKUN / TJ Speed Motorsports Ligier JS F3) to move up to second. Right behind in third, Nick Persing (No. 29 of the OPI Commercial Builders Ligier JS F3) fought his way through the pack from the seventh position into the final podium spot while setting multiple fastest laps on his Hankook tires.
The battle for third continued throughout the race as Tavella recovered to apply pressure to Persing. As the race clock ticked down, Tavella was starting to close the gap between himself and Persing. Going into the final lap, the gap between Persing in third and Tavella in forth was down to half a second. Ultimately, Persing defended his position against Tavella and claimed the final podium position to complete the TJ Speed Motorsports sweep.
FR Americas’ next event will be the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour, where they will complete Rounds 7-9 at the Lexington, Ohio circuit, June 23-26. Tickets for the Mid-Ohio SpeedTour are available now at SpeedTour.net. The event will also be available for live stream at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.