Leading the points to chase entering the final F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda event, it was all on the table this past week at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for Jay Howard Driver Development driver Lochie Hughes. Leading the five-driver contingent into Austin, Texas, Hughes emerged as the 2022 F4 Champion as he added another two race wins to his resume. The F4 Championship was another title to the impressive JHDD resume in which they scored both the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship (2020) and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires (2021) in the past two seasons.
It was championship leader Lochie Hughes who led the JHDD program on Wednesday afternoon qualifying as a solid lap saw him end the session second, a mere .047 away from that elusive pole position. Looking to fight for the race win and valuable points, Hughes would start race one from the front row. Al Morey, Michael Boyiadzis, Seth Brown, and Earl Tucker would begin their quest for race results deeper in the field but all four looked forward to the opportunity to drive forward once wheel-to-wheel racing began.
It was Hughes again who led the JHDD quintet in race one, but he was unable to maintain his starting position and ended the first wheel-to-wheel action in fourth. Ahead of one championship hopeful but behind another, Hughes would look to rebound in race two to make sure he could battle for the title. Al Morey was able to gain more experience as he finished the complete race distance just ahead of Tucker, and Boyiadzis.
The Jay Howard Driver Development brand returned to the top step of the podium in race two as Lochie Hughes garnered twenty-five points, the race win, and a chance to race for the series title on Friday. Claiming the win by nearly one second, Hughes added to both his and his team’s results resume. Earl Tucker scored his best result of the weekend with a solid drive to fourteenth while Al Morey crossed the line sixteenth just ahead of Michael Boyiadzis. Following the two events on Thursday, a wrath of penalties was applied that affected the race results. In the end, Hughes results and points he attained were enough to award him the F4 Championship.
“It was good to get Lochie back on the top step of the podium and give him the title,” expressed Jay Howard. “He and the team have worked so hard all year long to accomplish this goal, so it is kudos to them. Tomorrow Lochie will race with the #1 on his car signifying that he is the Champion.”
Returning to the track Friday and with the race deemed a wet weather race by the stewards, Hughes put on another stellar drive to score his second win of the weekend, an exclamation point on the 2022 season. Showing speed to earn the second fastest lap of the race, Hughes took the win by one second in his newly numbered Jay Howard Driver Development machine. Seth Brown closed his 2022 season with one of his best results of the year in the eleventh position while Earl Tucker followed suit in P15. Michael Boyiadzis and Albert Morey gained some wet weather experience in the eighteenth and final round but managed to complete the full race distance.
Howard continued, “We will take a few days to settle down and then get right back into our program as 2023 is just around the corner. Winning our third title in three different series in as many seasons is an accomplishment for our team and all the hard work they put it.”
Stay tuned for more details coming soon for Jay Howard Driver Development.
For more information on Jay Howard’s Driver Development program, follow them on social media by searching ‘Jay Howard Driver Development’ or contact Jay Howard via e-mail at Jay@JayHoward.com or visit him online at www.JayHoward.com.
Photo by: Gavin Baker Photography