Shin resists the pressure to deliver first Virtuosi win
Michael Shin resisted race-long pressure from the Carlin pairing of Ollie Gray and Louis Sharp to claim his and Virtuosi Racing’s first victory in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA at Brands Hatch.
Starting from pole on the partially-reversed grid, the South Korean racer made the better getaway of he and fellow front row starter Sharp to lead the field through Paddock Hill Bend, the Kiwi forced to turn his attention to defending from a fast-starting Gray, who cut through from fifth to third off the line, then annexed second on the outside exiting Druids.
From there, the gap ebbed and flowed between the leading trio, but Shin didn’t put a foot wrong and duly took the chequered flag 1.3 seconds clear to register the first victory of his fledgling single-seater career.
Gray will be satisfied with second and closes the gap at the championship summit to 33 points with leader Alex Dunne non-scoring, the Hitech GP driver pulling into the pits with a problem having run seventh in the opening exchanges.
Another of Hitech’s quartet, Eduardo Coseteng, kept a watching brief on the lead battle throughout the contest and took a steady fourth, which became third after a post-race, 5-second time penalty was applied to Sharp. The battle behind him, however, proved far more lively on track.
The headlines will show Carlin’s Ugo Ugochukwu won through, but the McLaren junior had a myriad of contenders to see off to do so and take a net fourth. First up was JHR’s Joseph Loake, but a wide moment at Graham Hill Bend put the Macclesfield racer on the grass, and that allowed a surging Daniel Guinchard (Phinsys by Argenti) through to contend, not just for position, but also the Rookie Cup victory on the road.
Although the Mercedes-AMG junior got close, Ugochukwu held firm and the pair crossed the line a mere two tenths of a second apart, but Guinchard was also hit with a similar five-second penalty to that of Sharp. Loake, therefore, eventually took fifth, leading home team-mate Georgi Dimitrov. Oliver Stewart rounded out the Rookie rostrum and banked more points in eighth, with Argenti’s Aiden Neate and Guinchard completing the top ten.
Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) was next ahead of Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) and Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech), with Dunne eventually re-joining, albeit three laps down. Noah Lisle (JHR) and Joel Pearson (Chris Dittmann Racing) were the only two not to finish.
Sunday’s ITV-televised finale completes the weekend at 14:50 (BST) tomorrow (15 May). To view the full race result, click here.