Lindenhurst, New York (August 17, 2016) – After earning podium results during the inaugural Formula 4 U.S event, the Group-A Racing team was looking for more of the same and hopefully to improve during the second weekend. During the break the team added a second driver with Group-A Racing Development Driver Jackie Ding from China, joining Montreal’s Raphael Forcier.
During practice the team earned mixed results. They were testing different things, with Group-A Racing keeping cars towards the top of the time sheets.
In race one, the clouds opened up with heavy rain during the pace lap. Series officials elected to bring everybody in to change to rain tires, with the race being the first time everybody has seen wet weather in these cars. Once the race started, sadly Raphael Forcier got hit from behind on the opening lap, doing excessive damage to the left rear of the car ending his race. Jackie Ding, on his debut race put in a very good performance crossing the finish line in 3rd position. Unfortunately, officials deemed he passed under yellow for 3rd and was demoted to 4th after the race.
In race two, Jackie started on the outside of the front row. On lap 7 he grabbed the lead from Skylar Robinson with a fantastic pass around the outside of turn 2. The top 5 cars were battling it out trying to take the lead from Ding. Jackie kept putting in consistent laps not giving them a way around for 15 laps. Unfortunately just when it seemed Jackie was going to win, Robinson got past on the last lap, with Jackie having to settle for 2nd.
Race three saw Jackie starting 5th and Raphael 9th. Jackie had a gearbox issue causing him to fall back on the standing start to 12th, while Forcier got a good start moving up to 7th. By lap 3 Forcier found his way past for 6th and his sights set on Goodyear for 5th. Jackie started his hard charge back to the front passing cars essentially every lap. By lap 8 he had caught himself up to his team mate for 6th until he made a mistake going into turn one, spinning and getting stuck in the gravel, ending his race. On the restart Raphael got caught in a three wide battle, getting hit from behind, yet again causing suspension damage to end his race early as well.
Post Event Quotes:
Jackie Ding – Driver #86 Huawei Telecommunications Formula 4 Car
“I think this weekend we did a stellar job as a team, fighting back in the races and showing our spirit as well as speed and potential. If it weren’t for my driving errors, podiums in all three races, if not victories, would’ve been easily within reach. I will turn this disappointment into motivation for NJMP and definitely come back even stronger. We will never be content with being a ‘contender’. We want to be the ‘winner’. ”
Raphael Forcier – Driver #62 Parizeau Pawulski Deslandes Architechs Formula 4 Car
“It was a rough weekend for me as we definitely had the pace to battle for top spots but couldn’t show it in the results. If we put that aside, I am extremely happy with the team’s work on the car. I will take all the learning from this weekend and make up my loss in points in the next event.”
Jonathan Scarallo – Group-A Racing Team Manager
“This event has been one of the most up and down weekends I can remember in a while. With the speed being there, but with Raphael getting taken out a few times with Raphael is very heart breaking, and with Jackie coming so close to winning in race two, that was quite the emotional roller coaster as well. But I am happy with how everybody performed, fixing the cars with short turn around times, having fast setups to put the drivers in position to win etc.. New Jersey can’t come soon enough to go at it again!”