With the 2022 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) season officially complete, Lochie Hughes was crowned drivers’ champion with Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport awarded the teams’ championship at the annual F4 U.S. Awards Reception. Bryson Morris took home the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award.
“It’s been incredible,” said Hughes of his season. “Winning a championship is what you dream of. We couldn’t have won it in any better style than winning the last two races, and that’s all thanks to the team. When I came over [to America] this season, I knew no one. The team welcomed me like family, and for us to win this championship — I can’t thank them enough. It’s been a great year.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with Lochie,” said Jay Howard, owner of Jay Howard Driver Development. “I couldn’t ask any more from him. He was all-in. His parents aren’t here; he lives by himself. He’s dedicated and it shows every time he goes on track. I really appreciate all the hard work from the whole team this year; it really was a team effort. Lochie’s a well-deserved champion.”
Moving from his native Australia to America, Hughes was tagged by Jay Howard Driver Development to compete in the 2022 F4 U.S. season. After being out of the car for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hughes was announced as one of the JHDD drivers just days before 2022 season began. In his debut season racing in America, Hughes led the F4 U.S. field with six wins on Hankook tires, and tied championship rival Bryson Morris for the most podium finishes of the year with 10 podiums.
As the 2022 drivers’ champion, Hughes has secured a scholarship to compete in the 2023 FR Americas season. Valued at $215,000, the prize package includes an engine lease from Honda Performance Development, a chassis lease from Ligier Automotive, tires from Hankook Motorsports for all official sessions, entry fees and a marketing package from Parella Motorsports Holdings, as well as $25,000 from HPD. Other prizes include a Bell Athlete contract, a carbon Bell helmet, a custom OMP Racing suit, a bespoke Omologato timepiece, Haas F1 Team guest experience at the Miami Grand Prix, and an invitation to the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the conclusion of the season. In addition, the Australian has earned 12 FIA Super License points to assist in his journey on the Road to F1.
Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport took its fourth teams’ championship this season. Averaging 5.5 F4 U.S. entries per race, and with two drivers in the championship hunt through the final event, it was no surprise to see the Dallas-based organization take the team honors. The win, however, didn’t come without its challenges. In fact, the team had to battle back from being ranked second at the season’s halfway point to take the title with its stable of drivers. Throughout the course of 2022, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport drivers secured five wins, seven runner-up finishes and six third-place results, for a total of 18 podiums. The award was accepted by team co-owners Garry Orton, Teena Larsen and Gill Kaszuba.
“That was probably the toughest one to earn in the years that we’ve been doing this,” said Orton at the banquet. “It went down to the last race, which is actually bloody good. It could have easily gone either way, so I’m proud of the team. Just a fantastic result.”
“We have such deserving champions this season,” said Scott Goodyear, race director for F4 U.S. “The battle that our F4 U.S. competitors put on all season was nothing less than impressive. We had remarkable side-by-side racing, clean passing and a tight championship battle. I’m sure Lochie [Hughes] will be an excellent representative of the talent that F4 U.S. develops, and I look forward to seeing where he goes from here.”
Bryson Morris was awarded with the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award. Selected by Ligier Automotive North America, Morris received not only a trophy, but also a $5,000 credit from Ligier.
“It was definitely unexpected, but I’m happy to receive the Most Improved Driver Award,” Morris said at the conclusion of the evening. “Thank you to Ligier for selecting me. It was a good season; we were second at the end, so I’m happy for the recognition and to get whatever help is available.”
F4 U.S. will kick off its 2023 season March 9-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La. Learn more at F4USChampionship.com.
Raoul Hyman crowned FR Americas 2022 drivers champion
With the 2022 Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) season officially in the books, Raoul Hyman was crowned the champion on Friday evening at the year-end FR Americas’ Championship Awards Reception. TJ Speed Motorsports earned its second-consecutive team championship.
“It was an awesome year,” said Hyman. “TJ Speed Motorsports supported me from the start. I’m grateful that we were able to sign with them and have this opportunity in the first place. It was two and a half years that I was out of a car; I didn’t even go to a track. To have the opportunity to come and race — knowing that the scholarship was at the end of the championship if I could do the job — was such a privilege. I’m grateful to be part of the championship and to come away with the scholarship, as well.”
Hyman joined the 2022 FR Americas Championship after thinking his racing career may be over. Selected to the PMH Powering Diversity Scholarship program, Hyman, 26, joined TJ Speed Motorsports to drive the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3 in what has been a storybook season. Drawing on his experience from the BRDC Formula 4 Championship, FIA F3 Championship, GP3 Series, Euroformula Open Championship, Toyota Racing Series, and as the 2018 FIA F3 Asian champion, the Englishman was able to pick up right where he left off after hanging up his helmet nearly two and a half years prior. Throughout the course of the 18-race season, Hyman drove his Hankook tires to 16 podiums, including 11 wins.
In the battle for the teams’ championship, TJ Speed Motorsports went back-to-back after an impressive season with drivers Hyman, Jason Alder (No. 77 Drive for Diabetes Awareness / HAKUN Ligier JS F3) and Nick Persing (No. 29 OPI Commercial Builders Ligier JS F3). With their first podium sweep in the final race of the weekend at Road America, it was clear the group had something special, and then they reinforced it the next time the lights went out at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In 18 rounds this season, TJ Speed Motorsports secured 14 wins, nine runner-up finishes and four third-place results.
“One of the highlights of the year was being a part of the TJ Speed team,” Hyman added. “Everyone just really gets on well; it’s like an extended family. We worked together extremely well. The engineers were brilliant and all of the guys on the team, too — every single one of them works hard. You can see it every day; all of them pitch up and they’re ready to give their best. No one is slacking, they aren’t taking days off; it’s 100% all the time. You can see what it does in the results. There were a few weekends where TJ Speed won all the races and pole positions. They’ve been a cut above, I think. It’s almost sad to be at the end of the championship because we got along so well. I’m grateful to have had time here and to be able to come away with wins as well is an added bonus. It’s been amazing.”
As the 2022 drivers’ champion, Hyman secured a 2023 Super Formula Scholarship from Honda Performance Development and Honda Motor Co. Motorsports Division. Valued at up to $600,000, the scholarship covers a substantial portion of the cost to run a full season, as well as an engine supply to run with a Honda-powered team selected by HM-MS. As a Honda and HPD brand ambassador, Hyman will have the opportunity to participate in Honda-sponsored events such as tours of the Honda Museum at Motegi, Aoyama HQ and Honda Thanks Day. Additional prizes include a Bell Athlete contract, a carbon Bell helmet, a custom OMP Racing Suit, a bespoke Omologato timepiece, Haas F1 Team guest experience at the Miami Grand Prix, and an invitation to the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the conclusion of the season. Last, but not least, Hyman will be awarded 18 FIA Super License points — the most awarded in any North American developmental series.
“It’s been a pleasure to have Raoul in our paddock this season,” said Scott Goodyear, race director for FR Americas. “His level of dedication, preparedness and focus both on and off the track was the reason for his success. He understands how hard a racing driver has to work both on and off the track to succeed in this business. I know this level of dedication will bring him success in the 2023 Super Formula championship.”
The 2023 FR Americas season will kick off March 9-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La. For more information, visit FRAmericas.com.