Loake charges to lights-to-flag victory at Brands GP
JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake made a lightning getaway and scored a comfortable victory in the opening ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Brands Hatch today [8 October].
Loake, starting on outright pole position for the first time in his single seater career, made a strong getaway, and adeptly retained the lead over Gray on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
From there, he gradually stretched his lead over Carlin racer Gray, eventually taking the chequered flag 2.8 seconds clear to score his third win of the season.
“Obviously, that’s the sort of domination we would have wanted from the start of the year!” laughed Loake. “But we executed everything as planned, and how I knew I could, as well.
“There were a couple of hairy moments, I won’t lie, when pushing for the fastest lap. Overall, I’m really happy and hope to carry on this weekend how we’ve started it.”
“I had a good start and matched Joseph, but he’s always been good off the line,” explains Gray, who picks up an impressive 15th podium finish of the season.
“He was just ridiculously quick today. I’m happy overall with my performance and what I did. I was saving tyres towards the end, not really pushing, just cruising. I had a gap in front and a gap behind, did what I had to, got some points on the board and it’s just securing second in the championship now.”
Daniel Guinchard (Phinsys by Argenti) finished third, crucially a place ahead ahead of Ugo Ugochukwu (Carlin) in fourth, a result that thins the gap between the pair in the Rookie Cup title race to just 19 points, with 40 on offer across Sunday’s double header of ITV4-televised action.
Both Guinchard and Ugochukwu moved up the order off the line as Virtuosi Racing’s Edward Pearson bogged down, then enjoying a race-long battle for the final step on the podium. Pearson got going in sixth spot, moving up to fifth ahead of Aiden Neate (Argenti) after Louis Sharp (Carlin) was forced to pull off track with a mechanical issue.
“It was a good start, a clean start, and I got up to third off the line,” recalls Guinchard. “Ugo kept me under pressure, but I managed to stay in front of him, made no mistakes and overall, I’m really happy with the result.”
The combined efforts of Gray and Ugochukwu have also ensured that Carlin wrap up a fifth British F4 Competitors’ Cup title.
Georgi Dimitrov and Noah Lisle ensured all three JHR Developments cars would score points with seventh and ninth, the pair separated by Virtuosi Racing’s Michael Shin. Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) hounded Lisle for the majority of the race, but an opportunity to improve upon tenth spot never presented itself.
Oliver Stewart (Hitech) just missed out on points after a battling drive, the Scot leading home a brilliant three-way scrap with James Higgins (Fortec) and Jack Sherwood (Chris Dittmann Racing).
Marcos Flack took 14th in the other Fortec challenger, with Hitech duo Eduardo Coseteng and Daniel Mavlyutov, Argenti’s Isaac Barashi and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Jaden Pariat completing the finishers.
Sunday features another double dose of ROKiT British F4 action to round out the 2022 season, with lights out at 10:00 and 15:15 (UK time). Both races will be shown on ITV4, with the second live.
To view the full race result, click here.