Jesse Lacey Earns First-Career F4 U.S. Win at VIR

ALTON, Va. (October 8, 2023) – Jesse Lacey ran away from the field to claim his first-career win in Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) competition on Sunday morning at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). After setting the fast lap in Race 2, the Australian paced the field from lights out all the way to the checkered flag.


Notes of Interest:

  • After earning four podiums earlier in the year, Jesse Lacey earned his first-career win in Round 15 of the 2023 championship.
  • Kekai Hauanio earned his second-career podium with a second-place result. A post-race Stewards Decision in yesterday’s Race 2 elevated the 17-year-old to a third-place result in that event.
  • Patrick Woods-Toth extended his championship points lead with his second podium (third place) of the weekend. His closest championship rival, Michael Costello, failed to secure any points this weekend.
  • Three drivers will remain eligible for the 2023 Drivers Championship as the battle moves to the season finale at Circuit of The Americas next month.
  • Jesse Lacey was awarded the Omologato Perfectly Timed Move of the Race after a breakthrough performance at VIR and earning his first-career win.


Lacey (No. 16 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) led the field down the starting grid for the final race of the Andy Scriven Memorial at the VIR SpeedTour weekend. While the 16-year-old had a clean jump, everyone raced side by side for position behind him. Daniel Cará (No. 10 Tenuta Foppa & Ambrosi Ligier JS F4) and yesterday’s winner Augie Soto-Schirripa (No. 24 International Motorsport Ligier JS F4) were battling for second when contact sent them both off track and relegated them back in the field. Meanwhile, points leader Patrick Woods-Toth rolled off the grid in seventh, but had moved into second by the time the field reached the fourth turn.

Lacey had opened up a 3.269-second gap by the completion of the first lap, while Woods-Toth found himself in an intense battle with Michael Costello (No. 19 Jay Howard Driver Development / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4), Alex Berg (No. 08 / Rohde & Liesenfeld / Easy Drift / Penn Elcom Online / Dae Systems Ligier JS F4) and Kekai Hauanio (No. 29 N.E. Where Transport Ligier JS F4). Costello was the first one to make it around Woods-Toth, taking the second position from the Canadian in Turn 3 on the second lap; then, just one lap later, Berg took the third position while entering Turn 1, and Hauanio moved into fourth while racing through Turn 4—all leaving Woods-Toth back in the fifth position. Just like Berg’s pass on Woods-Toth in Turn 1, he looked to make a similar move on Costello the following lap, but the two locked wheels, eliminating both drivers from contention.

As the clock ticked down, Lacey continued to pace the field while Hauanio followed in second after inheriting the position following Berg and Costello’s misfortune, but Woods-Toth was never far behind in third. As the race neared its halfway point, Woods-Toth was finally close enough to make a run at Hauanio’s New’T Racing machine. Making a run on his Hankook tires on the inside as they raced toward Turn 1, the points leader completed the pass. The two continued to race nose to tail until Hauanio had another chance to make a run at Woods-Toth—this time in the Uphill Esses with just seven minutes left on the clock.

Overtaking second, Hauanio was starting to take a look at the leader when a late-race full-course caution slowed his forward progression. When the checkered flag waved, Lacey led the field across the line, followed by Hauanio in second and Woods-Toth in third.


     READ MORE: Race 3 Official Results


“I had a good start,” said Lacey after climbing from the car. “My main goal was just to try to keep the gap and make as few mistakes as possible. It was getting quite close at the end, but I was lucky that I was able to hold them off.”

F4 U.S. will decide its champion next month in the season finale at Circuit of The Americas, November 2-4. Tickets for the event are on sale now at Be sure to follow F4 U.S. on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest news and updates.


Photos by Gavin Baker Photography.