Neate takes breakthrough win in reverse grid thriller
Aiden Neate surged from the fourth row of the grid to victory in a thrilling reverse grid ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race at Thruxton.
Although pole-sitter Noah Lisle (JHR Developments) led for the majority of the 20-minute contest, he came under fire from the Phinsys by Argenti racer and his team-mate Daniel Guinchard in the closing laps.
Guinchard, then ahead, was first to make his move with a sublime pass around the outside at Campbell. That put Lisle off line, allowing Neate to follow him through into second spot on the road through the second part of the Complex.
Guinchard looked to have the race under control, but had to catch a slide at the Club chicane two laps from home and Neate duly snuck through to claim his first victory by 0.258 seconds ahead of the Mercedes-AMG junior and Lisle.
“I’m over the moon to get the win,” beamed Neate. “It was a bit of a shaky start, in all honesty, I went down to eighth but managed to get back through and pick them off, one by one. We had a really good speed. We need to carry this on now after a difficult start to the year.”
“I’m pleased,” said a pragmatic Guinchard in defeat. “The win was on the table, but it’s onwards and upwards from here. The result also shows that the team have done a superb job, a first podium for me and a first win for Aiden, so it’s fantastic.”
Chief title protagonists Ollie Gray (Carlin) and Dunne were inseparable throughout the race, battling their way through the field to fourth and fifth respectively. It would be Gray that emerged ahead after an intense battle, including a position swap apiece and a split-second moment across the grass for Dunne whilst the pair ran side-by-side.
Gray’s Carlin team-mate Ugochukwu kept a watching brief on their scrap and took sixth, with Georgi Dimitrov and Joseph Loake (both JHR) seventh and eighth respectively after slipping down the order in the closing stages of the race.
Sharp made it all three cars in the top ten for Trevor Carlin’s team with ninth, the top ten completed by Chris Dittmann Racing’s Joel Pearson after another battling drive from the Leeds-based teenager.
Adam Fitzgerald was just a few tenths further back in 11th spot, with Daniel Mavlyutov next in 12th. Michael Shin (Virtuosi) survived an excursion onto the grass exiting Seagrave to bring his car home in 13th, with Oliver Stewart the final finisher in 14th after a spin exiting Club. Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) and Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech) were the two retirees, the latter after contact pitched him into a half-spin at the complex on the opening lap.
The weekend concludes with Round 9 at 16:30 (BST) later this afternoon, live on ITV4.
To view the full race result, click here.