Ollie Gray: “Our momentum can’t be ignored”
Carlin driver Ollie Gray insists the momentum he and the team have built up over recent rounds of the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA has propelled them back into the title fight.
The Williams Racing Driver Academy member has gradually eroded Alex Dunne’s advantage at the championship summit in recent rounds, including a 10-point swing at Knockhill last time out. That leaves the pair separated by 41 points, with 12 races – and hundreds of points – left to race for.
Gray’s consistency has been the key to his title push thus far in 2022 and, despite only taking a sole victory at Croft before the summer break, he has the same tally of podiums as Dunne, with 11 apiece.
That included another brace of trips to the rostrum at Knockhill, a non-score for Dunne after stalling from the front row in race three handing Gray a golden opportunity to force his way back into contention.
“Overall, Knockhill was a strong weekend for us, but I still had the feeling of what could’ve been,” he admits, reflecting on the trip to Fife. “Our pole lap being taken away in qualifying set us back from the get-go, but we scored solid points across the round and closed the gap to the front.
“I’m still very much looking to go for the championship. The momentum that Carlin and I have built up can’t be ignored, my focus is now fully to Snetterton and hopefully we can have a dominant weekend.”
Despite the added pressure as the season ticks towards its conclusion at Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix circuit in October, the 16-year-old insists his approach remains unchanged.
“My mindset will stay the same, try to be as consistent as possible, and hopefully come away with wins, podiums and a bag full of points with the championship lead decreased again.”
“Snetterton is one of my favourite circuits. It’s a long lap so it’s hard to put a lap together in qualifying which I like. It has varied corners and a few overtaking opportunities; I’m looking forward to racing there in the new car!”
Gray also received more good news earlier this week, with the announcement that he has made the 10-strong longlist for the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award, an established prize for the brightest talents in British single seater racing. Argenti’s Aiden Neate has also been nominated.
“Making the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver shortlist is a real honour and I’m very grateful to the panel for nominating me,” says Gray.
“I recognise that the other drivers are all very good but I’m confident and will be making sure I focus on what I can do over the next two months to make that all important shortlist.”
Snetterton, Norfolk hosts Rounds 19, 20 & 21 of ROKiT British F4 on 12-14 August.