Alibhai becomes sixth 2023 British F4 race winner – Dion Gowda takes victory in Round 9
Aqil Alibhai (Virtuosi Racing) became the sixth different winner in the 2023 ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA and the first South African in the current F4 era to stand on the top step.
Alibhai started from seventh on the grid – the order set by a full reverse of the fastest qualifying times. A great start secured three places by the end of the opening lap with Noah Lisle (Rodin Carlin) gaining four places to sit in fourth. A safety car made a single lap appearance with pole-sitter Douwe Dedecker (Virtuosi Racing) leading at the restart but succumbing to Alibhai on lap three, a position the South African held to the flag after 20 minutes of racing. The restart lap was also Lisle’s moment to advance to second, claiming the Motul Fastest lap in his bid to catch Alibhai. Dedecker was in third for a second safety car intervention but on lap four Pat Heuzenroeder (Phinsys by Argenti) pressured for the final podium place and overtook for the trophy and his season-best finish.
Gustav Jonsson (Chris Dittmann Racing) finished eighth overall and took the Rookie Cup win followed by Gabriel Stilp (Hitech Pulse-Eight) in ninth with Matteo De Palo (Phinsys by Argenti) claiming a Rookie podium on his first visit to British F4.
Dion Gowda (Rodin Carlin) converted his pole position to a win in lights-to-flag style with Kanato Le (Hitech Pulse-Eight) and Louis Sharp (Rodin Carlin) converting their second and third grid slots for the same on the podium. Noah Lisle began from tenth, but contact led to a pit stop that put him to the back of the grid. From there he was on a charge which led to him and Gowda vying for the Motul Fastest Lap Award, Lisle being the ultimate time setter with a new lap record of 1:48.072.
Louis Sharp retains the lead in the standings with Dion Gowda closing the gap to six points in second. Local driver Will Macintyre (Hitech Pulse-Eight) from Norwich is now third in the championship.
Gabriel Stilp was the top Rookie this time out and has closed the gap to Rookie Cup leader Gustav Jonsson to five points.
The Pirelli Hardest Charger at Snetterton was Deagen Fairclough (JHR Developments) who finished eighth in the weekend’s only qualifying race, having started from 16th, winning a set of Pirelli P-Zero tyres for testing.
Thruxton hosts the next three rounds of the ROKiT British F4 Championship calendar on 3-4 June at Hampshire’s high speed circuit.