Sharp claims Pole – Sharp and Smith win one apiece
Rodin Carlin’s Louis Sharp claimed his first Omologato pole of the season having narrowly missed out at Donington Park due to the timing of a red flag on his final flying lap. This time he clocked his pole-setting time with three laps remaining, securing double-pole in the process. The session was another typical British F4 qualifying session, with 16 of the field clocking times within just one-second of the pole time. James Higgins (Fortec Motorsport) set the second fastest time to join Sharp on the front row with Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Will Macintyre on row two alongside Josh Irfan (Rodin Carlin) who claimed fourth overall and has the highest start of the rookies.
When Sharp grabbed the holeshot from his pole position, the win never looked in doubt, further cemented with the Motul Fastest Lap of the first race. Higgins did his best to challenge but once Sharp was ahead he extended his lead lap after lap, crossing the line with a 3.788 second gap to the Fortec Motorsport driver. Macintyre in turn pressured Higgins for second but each attempt failed and he wisely held station for the points rather than risk his championship position, and thus retained a 15 point lead at the top of the standings. Irfan converted fourth on the grid to fourth place in race one, also taking the top rookie points.
Race two was the full reverse grid battle which saw JHR’s Sonny Smith make an enterprising start and drive round Isaac Barashi (Phinsys by Argenti) and Kai Daryanani (Virtuosi Racing) on the opening lap. Two laps into the race a safety car emerged while Douwe Dedecker’s car was recovered from Tower Bend following an incident which shuffled the podium contenders, with Daryanani now in second and CDR’s Jack Sherwood in third. Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Gabriel Stilp then moved up to third following the lap-six restart and Barashi benefitting from a gravel excursion by Sherwood to claim fourth.
On lap eight, with six minutes of the race remaining, Stilp set the Motul Fastest Lap of the race and overtook Daryanani round the outside at Clervaux for second place, Barashi making it into podium contention at the same corner on the following lap.
Stilp closed the gap to challenge Smith however the JHR driver prevailed with a 0.359 second margin at the flag. Stilp had taken his second overall podium finish and a delighted Isaac Barashi completed the podium, securing his first British F4 championship points and first championship podium.
Further down the order of this reverse grid race, Will Macintyre could only claim one point to Sharp’s eight points, reducing Macintyre’s championship lead to eight points from a revitalised Sharp.