Neate resists Carlin pressure to win Croft opener
Aiden Neate soaked up race-long pressure from Carlin’s trio to take a second victory of the season in the opening ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Croft.
Starting up front after marking his 16th birthday with a maiden Omologato Pole Position earlier in the day, Neate (Phinsys by Argenti) made no mistake from the start to lead Ugo Ugochukwu, Oliver Gray and a fast-starting Louis Sharp on the first run through Clervaux.
The lead gap hovered around 0.6 seconds for the majority of the 20-minute contest but, despite setting the Motul Fastest Lap and several half-attempts on the brakes into Tower, a real opportunity for Ugochukwu to force the issue never materialised.
The pair took the chequered flag just 0.4s apart, with Gray surviving a last corner lunge at the hairpin from Sharp to take the final spot on the podium. Championship leader Alex Dunne (Hitech) improved from ninth to seventh, minimising the damage to his points lead. He now heads up Ugochukwu by 58 points.
Daniel Guinchard (Argenti) rounded out the top five, the Mercedes-AMG junior recovering from a slow getaway to re-pass Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech) at the hairpin. He kept pace with the leading quartet until the latter stages, but was nonetheless a comfortable fifth.
Behind Coseteng and the aforementioned Dunne in eighth was Joseph Loake. The JHR racer went on the offensive in the opening laps, and came within a whisker of passing Dunne for seventh, but fell back as the race wore on.
Oliver Stewart enjoyed a steady run to ninth spot, and third on the Rookie Cup rostrum behind Ugochukwu and Guinchard, with Georgi Dimitrov rounding out the top ten. Dimitrov will start the reverse grid contest at 17:15 (BST) later today from pole position.
Adam Fitzgerald was 11th, with Michael Shin (Virtuosi) behind emerging ahead of a thrilling battle with JHR’s Noah Lisle, the pair taking the flag 0.6 seconds apart for 12th and 13th. Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) led namesake Joel (Chris Dittmann Racing) in 14th and 15th, with Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech) completing the 16 runners.
To view the race result, click here.