British F4 Esports Championship, Round 2: Berryman doubles up to dominate Donington
Stormforce Racing ART’s Peter Berryman dominated proceedings in the second round of the 2023 British F4 Esports Championship at Donington Park, taking over the championship lead from FreeM UK’s Josh Poulain.
The first round of the 2023 British F4 Esports Championship saw a high rate of attrition, with several high-profile drivers – including defending champion Luke McKeown – walking away from Brands Hatch Indy with zero points.
Through the chaos, however, came Gordie Mutch and Remy Gilbert, who took a win apiece, with FreeM UK’s Josh Poulain showing his overtaking nous to claim a pair of third-place finishes and the championship lead.
However, for Round 2 Stormforce Racing ART’s Peter Berryman looked to be the man in form, building on his second-place finish in the previous round to claim a convincing pole position at Donington Park, just ahead of team-mate McKeown.
Peter Berryman stamped his authority all over Race 1, leading from pole and building a gap to the battling trio of Josh Lad, Gordie Mutch and Luke McKeown.
Championship leader Josh Poulain started a disappointing 19th on the grid after misjudging Donington’s National layout chicane, invalidating his personal best qualifying lap. Unperturbed, the FreeM driver scythed his way through the field in the opening stages, quickly getting inside the top 10.
Just past the halfway point, Williams Esports’ Moreno Sirica took too much kerb at the Roberts chicane (a common theme throughout Round 2’s racing) and wobbled into the path of Ted Bradbury, spinning them both out of contention.
Bradbury, who performed admirably in Race 2 at Brands Hatch to climb from 29th to sixth, continued on with damage, but Sirica’s hopes for a points finish were dashed.
With three laps to go, JHR by 29 eSports’ Mutch was on the inside of both McKeown and Lad heading into Roberts, aiming to out-brake his rivals and claim second position. Their battle had been a respectful yet cagey affair, with the tension intensifying as the laps ticked by.
The move was on, but instead of second position the Scotsman found himself back in fourth, with Lad and McKeown slotting into the podium positions as Mutch ran deep after outbraking himself.
Up front, Berryman took an assured victory, with Lad and Mckeown finishing second and third respectively. Further back, Round 1 winner Remy Gilbert bested Josh Poulain for eighth, marking a disappointing race for the erstwhile championship leaders.
At the start of the partially reversed Race 2, Gordie Mutch was in attack mode, pulling off a terrific move to sweep around the outside of SimRace Sweden eSports’ Isak Arvidsson to take the lead on lap one.
However, Mutch was tapped at the chicane by pole-sitter Arvidsson, looping his car in front of the chasing pack. McKeown and Arvidsson took evasive action while Williams’ Josh Lad emerged in the lead. Berryman gave chase after making his way past Caruana at Redgate, with Poulain latching onto the top four battle.
Soon it was a seven-way fight for top honours, which was reduced to five when Josh Poulain tapped Josh Lad into the gravel at McLeans (although on closer inspection the contact looked to be netcode-induced).
It was a tough break for Lad as he was taken out of the lead for the second round in succession despite showing impressive pace. A further incident at McLeans would send Lad to the tail end of the points scoring positions.
The incident left Caruana, Berryman and Gilbert fighting it out for the win, with FreeM’s James Armstrong and Dörr Esports’ Lucas Müller also zeroing in on the battle.
Berryman and Caruana were engaged in an exciting duel for the lead, with Caruana slipstreaming the Northern Irishman towards the Roberts chicane on the final lap. The Kimura Racing driver attempted an outside move, but lost momentum heading towards the line, losing second to Gilbert in the dying moments.
Müller shaded Armstrong for fourth, with the top five separated by less than half a second at the chequered flag.
Practice makes perfect
“In the end I think I timed it right,” commented Berryman on his Race 2 win.
“The last lap or two was pretty stressful but the practice paid off; I positioned my car in the right place and knew I had the upper hand heading toward the finish,” he stated assuredly.
Berryman’s double victory sends him to the top of the championship standings, with Remy Gilbert now chasing in second. The double win – the first in British F4 Esports Championship history – also moves Stormforce Racing ART up to the top of the team standings.
Despite Luke McKeown’s difficult start to the campaign, ART has a mammoth 34-point lead on second-place FreeM UK.
It’s the kind of ominous form the chasing pack will want to address next week around Snetterton’s 300 layout.
UK FF1600 Esports Cup, Round 2
A thrilling head-to-head duel between Adam Tomkins and championship leader Henry Moore went all the way to the last corner on the last lap in the first of Donington’s UK FF1600 Esports Cup races.
Tomkins led on the final lap but pushed too hard into Roberts, allowing Moore a switchback opportunity that he grasped to take the win. Dan Amor, Moore’s main championship rival after Round 1, fell to the rear of the field after early contact, eventually recovering to 13th.
In Race 2, Henry Moore continued his devastating form to quickly climb to the podium positions; fighting it out with Jason Cooper and Siro Zambra on the final lap. With Moore leading to the line, Zambra tagged the rear of Cooper exiting the chicane to claim second on the road, with a stewards investigation looming.
Meanwhile, Moore took his third win from four races to solidify his status as the favourite for the inaugural UK FF1600 Esports Cup.
British F4 Esports Championship, Round 2 Donington Park National Race 1 results
- Peter Berryman, Stormforce Racing ART
- Josh Lad, Williams Esports, +3.441s
- Luke McKeown, Stormforce Racing ART, +4.062s
- Gordie Mutch, JHR by 29 eSports, +4.654s
- Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing, +5.071s
British F4 Esports Championship, Round 2 Donington Park National Race 2 results
- Peter Berryman, Stormforce Racing ART
- Remy Gilbert, GUILD Racing, + 0.151s
- Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing, + 0.193s
- Lucas Müller, Dörr Esports, + 0.257s
- James Armstrong, FreeM UK, + 0.450s
Driver standings after Round 2, 2023British F4 Esports Championship,
- Peter Berryman, Stormforce Racing ART, 71 points
- Remy Gilbert, GUILD Racing, 48 points
- Gordie Mutch, JHR by 29 eSports, 43 points
- Josh Poulain, FreeM UK, 40 points
- Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing, 35 points
- Lucas Müller, Dörr Esports, 31 points
- Josh Lad, Williams Esports, 19 points
- Alexander Davidson, Puresims Esports, 18 points
- Moreno Sirica, Williams Esports, 17 points
- Luke McKeown, Stormforce Racing ART, 14 points
Team standings after Round 2, 2023 British F4 Esports Championship
- Stormforce Racing ART, 85 points
- FreeM UK, 51 points
- GUILD Racing, 48 points
- JHR by 29 eSports, 43 points
- Kimura Racing, 39 points
Calendar: British F4 Esports Championship 2023
Media Day, Silverstone National, 20th September Round 1, Brands Hatch Indy, 27th September Round 2, Donington National, 4th October
- Round 3, Snetterton 300, 11th October
- Round 4, Oulton Park International, 25th October
- Round 5, Silverstone GP, 8th November
- Round 6, Knockhill, 15th November
- Round 7, Donington GP, 22nd November
- Round 8, Brands Hatch GP, 29th November
Images courtesy of Rhys Caryl / RC Sim Photography
This article originally appeared on traxion.gg.