Michael Costello earned his second-career win in Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda (F4 U.S.) on Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Driving the No. 19 Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4, Costello endured a race filled with changing track conditions to take home the trophy.

After a rain-filled afternoon Friday, qualifying was cancelled and the field lined up by championship point standings to start the race. Patrick Woods-Toth (No. 27 Crosslink-Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) led the way, with everyone on slick Hankook tires. However, a pop-up rain shower during the formation lap led to several offs and forced the field back down pit road as cleanup ensued. Race director Scott Goodyear made the call for a mandatory switch to rain tires for all teams and called for a two-by-two rolling start.

With Woods-Toth on the inside and Jesse Lacey (No. 16 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports Ligier JS F4) on the outside driving down the front stretch, Costello drove through the middle from the third position to enter Turn 1 side by side with Woods-Toth. Costello completed the pass to take over the top spot before they reached the Keyhole. With Woods-Toth in second, Alex Berg (No. 08 MySim.ca / Rohde & Liesenfeld / Easy Drift / Penn Elcom Onl ine / Dae Systems Ligier JS F4) started to apply pressure as they worked through the Keyhole. Running side by side nearly the entire lap, Berg completed the pass as the two drivers worked through the Carousel—just before a pair of offs back in the pack caused a full-course caution.

The race restarted with just over 10 minutes remaining, giving drivers another opportunity to advance their position. Costello and Berg got clean jumps, with Berg temporarily contending for the lead. Woods-Toth, however, fell victim to teammate Lewis Hodgson (No. 30 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) who overtook the third position as they worked down the backstretch. As Hodgson sailed by, a five-car battle broke out for the fourth position, with Woods-Toth racing against Lacey, Frankie Mossman (No. 6 JHDD / CSU One Cure / Lucas Oil / LHP Ligier JS F4), Daniel Cara (No. 10 Tenuta Foppa & Ambrosi Ligier JS F4), and Auggie Soto-Schirripa (No. 24 International Motorsports Ligier JS F4) while they worked through the Esses. Cara came out ahead to inherit the fourth position, while the rest of the group battled it out for fifth. The caution flag waved once again, as both Mossman and Soto-Schirripa were removed from contention.

With just enough time to make two more laps, the field returned to green, giving drivers another chance to advance their position. Costello once again had a perfect jump to take command of the race, while Hodgson was left to fight off competition from Berg and Cara after restarting the race in second. As they took the white flag, Costello led Hodgson, Berg and Cara—in that order. They stayed fairly orderly running through the majority of the lap, but Berg took one last shot at Hodgson as they worked through the Carousel, completing the pass and earning his career-best finish.

As they crossed the line, Costello led, followed by Berg in second and Hodgson in third. Cara finished fourth, with Woods-Toth, who entered the weekend as the championship points leader, in fifth.

“That race was so fun to drive,” said Costello from the podium. “I just knew that if I kept finding grip—especially under the safety car—that I would be able to push it more every lap and get it done. I would definitely do that race again; that was really fun!”

F4 U.S. returns to the track Sunday for race two at 9:00 a.m. ET, followed by race three at 1:55 p.m. ET. Follow the championship on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or use Race Monitor to follow live timing and scoring. This weekend’s races are streaming free at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.

RESULTS