Sharp wins chaotic Silverstone opener as title rivals collide
Louis Sharp weathered an action-packed opening ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Silverstone, and was eventually declared the winner after title rivals Ollie Gray and Alex Dunne collided.
Starting back in fourth, Sharp had front row seats for the clash between his Carlin teammate Gray and Dunne on the opening lap at Luffield.
Gray had started on pole and, with a 106-point deficit to Dunne heading into the race, could ill-afford to let the Irishman through. Dunne sent a bold dive to the inside heading into Brooklands, drawing his Hitech GP-run challenger alongside through the left hander.
But contact was made on the apex of Luffield, sending Dunne spinning onto the grass and damaging Gray’s front wing. Sharp briefly led, then ultimately finished second on the road to a recovering Gray.
But a post-race penalty for the Williams F1 junior demoted him to fourth in the final results behind Dunne, who surged from the back with the aid of two safety cars to round out the podium behind Phinsys by Argenti’s Daniel Guinchard, which handed Sharp the spoils.
It marks the Rodin Cars-backed racer’s second win in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series, and draws him to within ten points of McLaren protégé Ugo Ugochukwu in the race for third in the championship standings.
Georgi Dimitrov finished in tandem with teammate Noah Lisle, the JHR duo half a second apart in fifth and sixth on the road. For Lisle, it marks a career-best result in a non-reverse grid race, the Australian continuing to find his feet on the FIA single seater pathway.
Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech) had looked the most likely challenger to Guinchard at one stage, but ran deep on the brakes into Becketts with moments to go, which allowed Dunne through to fourth and dropped the Filipino racer to seventh.
Jack Sherwood led an impressive surge through the order for Chris Dittmann Racing’s cars; between the Brit and debutante Jadan Pariat, the Tewkesbury team gained 17 positions, charging from the back to register eighth and 11th-place finishes.
Separating the pair were Hitech’s Oliver Stewart, who starts the second contest at 09:35 (BST) on Sunday morning from reverse grid pole, and Virtuosi Racing’s Michael Shin.
Adam Fitzgerald led Argenti teammate Isaac Barashi in 12th and 13th, the latter another making his first outing in ROKiT British F4 this weekend at Silverstone. The other – Fortec Motorsport’s James Higgins – was next, the finishers rounded out by Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech), Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) and Marcos Flack (Fortec).
After blistering pace in qualifying, it was ultimately frustration for the final JHR car of Joseph Loake. The Macclesfield racer made a good start from third, but lost his front wing attacking Gray and Dunne.
He re-joined a lap down after a trip to the pits, but then had further contact from behind at Luffield, ending his race in the gravel. Ugochukwu and Aiden Neate (Argenti) were the other two retirees in the 20-car field after colliding at Becketts early on.
To view the final race result, click here.