AUSTIN, TX – With the 2023 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) season officially complete, Patrick Woods-Toth was crowned the Driver Champion, while Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport was celebrated as the Team Champion at the annual F4 U.S. Awards Celebration on Saturday evening. Bacon Zelenka was presented the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award, and Landan Matriano Lim was awarded the Omologato Perfectly Timed Pass Award.
F4 U.S. Driver Champion
The stars had to align just right for Patrick Woods-Toth (No. 27 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) to arrive on the F4 U.S. scene this season. While he was an accomplished karter with four-consecutive national championships, 12 months ago, Woods-Toth had never driven a racecar. A nomination from Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship (MRFKC) led to an opportunity for Woods-Toth to attend the Radford Racing School F4 U.S. Scholarship Award School, and one thing led to another. After the two-day scholarship school, MRFKC sponsored a third “lapping day” for Woods-Toth, which gave him even more experience in the Ligier JS F4. From there, he tested with Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport, and ultimately earned an opportunity to compete in the first round of the 2023 F4 U.S. season. Leaving the weekend with three podiums and only two points behind the points leader, Wood-Toth and his team were able to put together the funding to finish out the year.
By the time the final checkered flag waved at the season finale, Woods-Toth was tied with Augie Soto-Schirripa (No. 24 International Motorsport Ligier JS F4) for the most wins in 2023 with four victories (Round 4 – Road America, Round 6 – Road America, Round 9 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Round 18 – Circuit of The Americas), and led the series with 14 podiums throughout the 18 contested rounds.
“I’d like to start off by thanking the series, the series partners and all the competitors,” said Woods-Toth while accepting his trophy. “This really is a world-class series, and I feel very thankful and lucky to have taken part in it. Scott [Goodyear, F4 U.S. Race Director] has really done an amazing job. He keeps everything together and makes sure that we have a fair and competitive racing environment. Coming into this season, I didn’t even know that I was going to be racing cars. So, to be up here with this trophy and this amazing accomplishment is unbelievable—it’s been a roller coaster, to say the least. Thanks to Ron Fellows and Lynda Fellows, I got to do my first race. And you know, I thought that was going to be it, but Orlando came on with Carlo Fidani and he let us carry on with the whole season. The whole team has just been working so hard between all the races and every event to get a great result. To be standing here is surreal. I don’t have many things to say. Just thank you to everyone; this is an amazing accomplishment for all of us.”
As the 2023 Driver’s Champion, Woods-Toth has secured a scholarship to compete in the 2024 FR Americas season. Valued at $215,000, the prize package includes an engine lease, a chassis lease from Ligier Automotive, two sets of tires per event from Hankook Motorsports, and entry fees from Parella Motorsports Holdings, as well as $25,000 from HPD. Other prizes include a Bell Athlete contract, a carbon Bell helmet, a custom OMP racing suit, a bespoke Omologato timepiece, Haas F1 Team guest experience at the Miami Grand Prix, and an invitation to the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the conclusion of the season. In addition, Woods-Toth also earned FIA Super License Points to assist in his journey on the Road to F1.
F4 U.S. Team Championship
Fielding cars for both the F4 U.S. Driver Champion, Woods-Toth, and Driver Vice Champion, Titus Sherlock (No. 31 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4), among several others, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport won their fifth F4 U.S. Team Championship. Averaging 6.3 F4 U.S. entries per race, the Dallas-based organization has been leading the team standings since the very first checkered flag of the season at NOLA Motorsports Park. Throughout 2023, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport drivers have accumulated seven wins, 26 podiums and 67 top-10 finishes. The award was accepted by team co-owners Garry Orton, Teena Larsen and Gill Kaszuba.
“This was a big deal,” said Teena Larsen, co-owner of Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport as they accepted the team championship trophy. “It was a great season, but we are here because of the team. Gill [Kaszuba, co-owner], thank you for stepping up and managing the F4 side. We had so many drivers—I love all of you. Thank you so much for making history for us. Patrick [Wood-Toth], Jesse [Lacey], Titus [Sherlock], Alex [Benavitz], Hannah [Greenemeier], Jett [Bowling]—thank you. It was such a great season, and honestly, it was really teamwork. We could not do this without all of you.”
“All of the mechanics and the crew and the team just did an absolutely sensational job,” said Garry Orton, co-owner of Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport. “It just couldn’t happen without you. It’s so important to Teena, Gill and I that you know that. You work so hard, you put up with me—not too often, but I’m a grumpy bugger sometimes. I really appreciate it and thank you very much. To all of the drivers, thank you so much.”
“It wasn’t easy,” added Gill Kaszuba, co-owner of Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport. “This was a team effort. If we didn’t have the guys that we have, or the engineering, or the driver development side of things, things could have turned out differently. [Winning] means a lot to me. To see these kids do as good as they do, and we know that they’re going to go on and do great things—it’s very satisfying.”
Most Improved Driver
Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Bacon Racing Ligier JS F4) was awarded with the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award. Selected by Ligier Automotive North America, Zelenka received not only a trophy, but also a $5,000 credit from Ligier.
“This year, we were kind of an inch deep in an ocean, but now I can confidently say we’re a foot deep in the ocean,” said Zelenka, reflecting on his season. “Overall, I’m very happy with our season and the progress we made—I’m excited to build on the knowledge we gained. It’s amazing to be chosen the most improved driver. It gives me a lot of confidence, and it reassures me that my efforts aren’t going unnoticed. My improvement doesn’t stop here, and it will never stop. I love the challenge!”
Omologato Perfectly Timed Pass Award
A new award in 2023, the Omologato Perfectly Timed Pass Award recognized the driver who picked up the most positions from their starting position to their finishing position throughout the course of the 18-race season. Landan Matriano Lim (No. 2 JENSEN Ligier JS F4) was recognized as the award’s winner with 64 passes this year.
“Racing is full of highs and lows, and I am so thrilled to finish on a high,” said Matriano Lim. “We didn’t get the results we expected in the standings, but I believe this award validates my capability as a driver. When presenting the award, John [Fippin, the event emcee] said, ‘This driver made 64 successful passes.’ I was absolutely shocked and thought, ‘That guy is insane! 64?!’ Then I heard my name, and well, as a racing driver, you do have to be a little insane. This Omologato watch is the only trophy I can wear every day that reminds me of such an outstanding achievement in my career.”