Neate marks birthday celebrations with maiden pole position
Phinsys by Argenti’s Aiden Neate marked his 16th birthday with a maiden Omologato Pole Position in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA after a dramatic qualifying session at Croft this morning (25 June).
Neate’s blistering 1:17.178-second, lap recording-setting time around the 2.1-mile North Yorkshire circuit made the headlines, but it was also a session that could have significant bearing on the championship battle. Points leader Alex Dunne could only manage ninth, and his chief rivals Ugo Ugochukwu and Ollie Gray (both Carlin) claimed second and third behind Neate.
The Hitech GP racer seemed to struggle for pace on his first run and looked like he may have to settle for 11th after problems for JHR’s Georgi Dimitrov brought out the red flags with just three minutes remaining. The session, however, did restart, and Dunne was able to bump himself slightly further up the order and, crucially, get on the front row for the reverse grid contest later today.
Ugochukwu and Gray, who traded places on the former’s final flying effort, will no doubt be looking to take full advantage of Dunne’s absence up front in the first and third races and start to erode some of the 68-point arrears to the Irishman in the standings.
Daniel Guinchard kept the Carlin pairing honest and will start fourth, the Mercedes-AMG junior still riding the crest of a wave after his maiden victory at Oulton Park last time out. Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech GP) was another to improve in the three-minute flurry at the end of the session, and takes fifth.
Carlin’s Louis Sharp continued his momentum with a solid sixth, and still only 0.3 seconds off pole. Joseph Loake (JHR Developments) battled his way to seventh spot, the Brit leading Oliver Stewart, now a regular fixture in the top ten, Dunne and Dimitrov.
Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) just missed out on tenth, and reverse grid pole, by 0.049 seconds, and the Irishman will start 11th. Noah Lisle (JHR) was next, with Edward Pearson leading Virtuosi Racing team-mate Michael Shin in 13th and 14th respectively.
Leeds-based racer Joel Pearson was 15th in the sole Chris Dittmann Racing challenger, ahead of Hitech GP’s Daniel Mavlyutov.
Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series returns to action for the first of three races at Croft this weekend at 13:45 (BST) later this afternoon, before the partially reverse grid contest at 17:15. Sunday features one further, ITV4-televised race at 13:50.
To view the full session result, click here.