- Chris Ashby
James Higgins Tallies Trio Of Points Finishes At British F4 Opener
James Higgins enjoyed a solid start to his 2023 ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA season at Donington Park this past weekend (22/23 April) as he charged to a trio of points finishes.
Kicking off his first full-season in the single-seater series with Fortec Motorsport, the second-generation racer claimed a sixth and brace of eighth place finishes to leave the Leicestershire venue sitting sixth in the overall standings.
Having shown encouraging speed throughout Thursday’s official practice sessions, the 17-year-old produced a superlative lap in qualifying on Saturday to net sixth place for the curtain-raiser - however it could have been even better.
Despite contending with traffic in the latter stages, Higgins had been on course to better his time - likely putting him in contention for pole position - before the red flags came out, forcing him to abandon his lap.
Lining up on the third row of the grid for the first of three races around the 1.98-mile National circuit, Higgins endured a character-building season-opener.
Slight movement before the lights turned green saw him get hit with a ten-second time penalty, which dropped him down the order before the red flags came out for a multi-car incident.
Starting in 11th on the restart, the British driver showcased his talents as he produced a number of eye-catching overtakes to fight his way forward; ultimately crossing the line in eighth.
Race two on Sunday - which was staged in damp conditions - saw the Goblin EV and United Rental Systems-backed teenager continue to make his mark as he carved his way up the order to finish in sixth.
In what was a full reverse grid, the former Ginetta Junior Championship ace made up a stunning ten places over the course of a frenetic 20-minute bout to go from 16th to sixth come the chequered flag.
With heavy rain persisting for the weekend’s final contest, Higgins then produced another stellar performance to round off his weekend on a high as he claimed a second eighth place finish.
James Higgins: “On the whole it’s been a solid first weekend of the season. To come away with three points finishes is great and it’s certainly something we can build upon heading into the next couple of events.
“We perhaps should have been higher in qualifying but we got other that disappointment, raced well and got stuck in. The conditions were tough out there and at times it was just about keeping composed and ensuring that we made it to the finish.
“I’ve got to say big thank you to the whole team at Fortec Motorsport because they’ve given me a mega car all weekend. There’s lots of positives to take away and I’m feeling confident as our focus shifts to Brands Hatch in a couple of weeks’ time."
Brands Hatch provides the next stop on the calendar for the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA; with Rounds 4, 5 & 6 taking place on the 6/7 May.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.