Lochie Hughes, the 2022 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) Drivers Point’s Champion, finished the championship weekend at Circuit of The Americas with a win in race three of the Mission Foods Austin SpeedTour. With his championship confirmed late Saturday evening as the results of races one and two went official, Hughes’ Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) team changed his car number this morning, and the Australian native pulled into victory lane on Hankook tires, driving the No. 1 JHDD / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / Pelican Ligier JS F4.
“That was awesome,” said Hughes after climbing from his car. “We already wrapped up the championship, so I wasn’t worried about that; I was just focused on getting the win. It was tricky conditions. It had been raining all morning, but the track was a lot drier than I thought. We all went out on wets, but the track was dry. I did the best I could, and we pulled away from everyone. All thanks to the team for the great car, and what a great season. I can’t ask for more. (Winning the championship) means a lot. I didn’t race the last two years. I was stuck at home during COVID and didn’t have the budget to go racing. To win the championship is unbelievable.”
With rain showers throughout the morning, the race director declared Friday’s race three a “wet weather race,” so rain tires were mandated for the entire field. Starting from the pole, Hughes immediately took control of the race as soon as the lights went out, but an incident on the backstretch led to an early full-course yellow. A quick cleanup and clean restart allowed the race to remain green once it got restarted. After the restart, Hughes continued to pace the field, keeping Jacob Loomis (No. 24 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) in his rearview mirror. Meanwhile, Andre Castro (No. 8 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F4) had to fight back from the fifth position after falling back from his second-place starting spot.
As the checkered flag waved, Hughes led Loomis, with Castro finishing third.
Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport teammates Gabriel Fonseca (No. 76 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) and Ryan Shehan (teammate in the No. 66) rounded out the top five and helped their team secure the 2022 Team Championship.
After the race, Artie Flores (No. 22 Gonella Racing / Flexi Ligier JS F4) was awarded a bespoke Omologato timepiece as the winner of the Omologato Perfectly Timed Move of the Race for a great weekend and a successful end to the season.
F4 U.S. will kick off its 2023 season March 9-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La. Drivers wanting to learn more about F4 U.S. and how to get involved for the 2023 season should visit F4USChampionship.com.