Heading to the opening weekend of the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda at NOLA Motorsports Park, VRD Racing’s Jimmie Lockhart was hoping to get some extra testing and log laps needed to prepare for the start of his planned season. Instead, the fastest lap in race one resulted in the pole position for race two and eventual win adding the first open-wheel victory of his career to his results resume and he doubled up on those accolades in race three with his second victory of the day.
After clocking the second-fastest time in two days of testing, Lockhart entered Saturday morning’s qualifying session on a high as he looked to push his #48 VRD Racing entry to the pole position. In his first F4 qualifying session ever, the lone VRD entrant secured the sixth fastest time of the session and lined up for race one from the outside of row three.
It was a disastrous end to a promising first race as the #48 entry of Lockhart failed to make the full race distance. After contact on the opening lap and cars off course, Lockhart was forced to take evasive action going off course and damaging his VRD Racing prepared machine. Headed to pit lane for repairs, a new front wing and minor fixes allowed Lockhart to return to the track as he went on to score the fastest lap of the race. With lap times from race one setting the grid for race two, Lockhart had earned the pole position and inside front row starting spot for Sunday morning’s wheel-to-wheel action.
It was a clean start for Lockhart as he rocketed off the line and had a clean run into the first corner. Maintaining the lead, Lockhart concluded lap one to see the double yellow flag for the incident that happened behind him. Back to green with less than eight minutes to go after a lengthy caution period, Lockhart jumped out to the early lead and with just a few laps left had stretched the gap to almost 1.2 seconds. Losing a little time with three laps remaining, Lockhart put his head down during the final two laps and opened the gap yet again to drive unchallenged to the victory.
“It is great to score the win after just deciding earlier this week to come and race,” expressed Lockhart. “This was planned to be a test for us, but it is always nice to end the weekend with an added win to the resume.”
Back on track late in the day Sunday for the third and final wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend, Lockhart’s lap from race two slotted him into the fourth position on the grid for race three as he would look to repeat his round two performance. A rookie in the sense of experience, Lockhart drove like a seasoned veteran as he was able to work his way from row two to the lead to score his second win on the day and his second win in as many races.
Lockhart added, “What a weekend. That is all I can say. Thank you to Dan, Jacob, Kevin, Sara, and everyone from VRD Racing. Ecstatic to start the year this way and thankful for the opportunity.”
Lockhart will be back in action in less than two weeks’ time as he takes on the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires field at the Sebring International Raceway.
For more information on Jimmie Lockhart, please visit him via his social media pages by searching Jimmie Lockhart Racing.
Photo Credit: RTD Media