Record-breaker Dunne completes Thruxton brace
Alex Dunne set a new record for most victories in a single season after triumphing from pole position in the final ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend (27-28 August) at Thruxton.
The Hitech GP racer weathered early pressure from the Carlin duo of Ugo Ugochukwu and Louis Sharp to stretch out a narrow 0.3-second lead in the opening laps of the 2.4-mile Hampshire circuit.
Ugochukwu looked marginally quicker, and snatched the Motul Fastest Lap from Dunne before the safety car was scrambled at half distance to allow recovery of Noah Lisle’s JHR Developments challenger, who had made contact with the barriers on the exit of the Club chicane after contact with Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech).
As on Saturday, Dunne expertly managed the restart with two minutes left on the clock and kept Ugochukwu at arm’s length, taking the chequered flag half a second clear of the McLaren junior driver.
Significantly for the Irish teenager, that marked an 11th win of the 2022 campaign, and set a new record for most victories in a single season, eclipsing the previous record of 10 shared by past champions Zane Maloney and Jamie Caroline.
It also moved him 106 points clear at the championship summit, with chief rival Ollie Gray (Carlin) non-scoring in 12th, and completed a hat-trick of wins for Hitech GP at Thruxton this weekend.
“To break the record is pretty incredible,” admitted Dunne after the podium celebrations. “And to extend the championship lead, I think we have a 106-point lead now.
“I think I’ve just got to go out there [to Silverstone] and do what I’m doing every weekend – try to put it on pole, and then win the races.”
“It was a good race, we actually got a good start but I didn’t have the inside for turn three,” explains Ugochukwu, second to Dunne at Thruxton for the fourth time this campaign.
“I settled into P2 and then it looked like I was closing in a bit, but the safety car came out and took away most of the race, unfortunately.
“But after the restart we were looking quite good. I’m a little bit disappointed, because I think we had the pace to win today.”
Sharp kept a watching brief on Dunne and Ugochukwu’s skirmish for the lead without quite being able to buy into the battle, but rounded out the podium in third.
“I think it’s been a good weekend,” the Kiwi racer summarised. “Two podiums, so I can’t complain too much. I’m pretty happy with the weekend as a whole.
“I think there’s still a bit more time we need to find compared to Ugo and Alex, I think we could have been a little bit quicker, but I’m pretty happy.”
Joseph Loake (JHR) was once again involved in a thrilling battle with Phinsys by Argenti pairing Daniel Guinchard and Aiden Neate, but this time the Macclesfield racer came out ahead.
Guinchard led the trio for much of the shortened 15-minute contest, capitalising at Club on the opening lap as Loake and Neate held one another up to clear both cars and seize fourth. At the restart, Loake responded, sending a bold dive to the inside of Guinchard at the complex to secure the position.
Guinchard rounded out the top five ahead of team-mate Neate, with their team-mate Adam Fitzgerald enjoying another solid run to eighth behind JHR’s Georgi Dimitrov. Race two winner Oliver Stewart (Hitech) and Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) completed the top ten, the latter recovering after going wide at Club on the first lap.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Jack Sherwood secured a weekend-best 11th ahead of Gray, with Michael Shin (Virtuosi), Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech) and Divy Nandan (Chris Dittmann Racing) completing the finishers. Lisle retired as a result of crash damage, with Coseteng also sidelined by the earlier incident.
After a three-week break, ROKiT British F4 heads next to Silverstone over the weekend of 23-25 September 2022.
Results remain provisional, click here to view.