AUSTIN, Texas (November 3, 2022) – Noah Ping kept his Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) championship hopes alive with a last-lap pass for the win in Race 1 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).
“I had a good teammate,” said Ping after climbing from the car. “He really won this race. Luckily, I’m back in this championship. I was told Lochie [Hughes] finished sixth, and he needed to finish fifth or worse in every race [to keep me in the battle]. We still have hope. I have a great teammate. He must’ve made a mistake; but still, he’s a great guy. I love ‘em. I want to thank Jacob Loomis and the Velocity Racing Development boys. Our cars are quick here. We’ll go race for Race 2 and Race 3, and see what happens. All we can do is do our best.”
Ping (No. 65 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) started Race 1 of the Mission Foods Austin SpeedTour weekend from the fourth position, but quickly set his sights forward. With his championship rivals all around him, the Buford, Ga. native first picked off Bryson Morris (No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) to take over the third position before they completed the second lap. By lap four, he passed Lochie Hughes (No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / Pelican Ligier JS F4) to overtake second. From there, he set out to chase down Loomis (No. 24 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4). Loomis, making his first F4 U.S. start since 2018, was clear sailing in front of the field after starting from the pole position, but a mistake in Turn 13 on the final lap allowed Ping to sneak by for the win.
After the race, the F4 U.S. Driver’s Points Championship battle was provisionally down to just three contenders, as Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) was eliminated from contention. It appeared as though Ping would be 27 points back, with Hughes and Morris tied for the lead.
However, a series of post-race stewards decisions had big impact, as Morris was ruled to have exceeded track limits and issued a five-second penalty. As a result, he was officially scored sixth and earned only eight points, giving Hughes the points lead.
With the decision, Ethan Barker (No. 12 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F4) was moved into the third position on the official results.
A full run-down of the official results from Race 1 are available, here.