Stewart stands firm to score maiden ROKiT British F4 victory
Oliver Stewart soaked up race-long pressure to claim a maiden victory in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA at Thruxton this evening (27 August).
The Hitech GP racer led the field away from pole, but was unable to shake off his team-mate Eduardo Coseteng, Mercedes F1 junior Daniel Guinchard (Argenti) and JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake.
Lap after lap, the quartet toured the 2.4-mile Hampshire circuit nose-to-tail, with Stewart under increasing pressure as the race wore on.
The Scot was able to preserve his narrow 0.190 second lead despite several lockups into the Club chicane, and took the chequered flag first to spark jubilant celebrations on the Hitech pit wall.
“I’m lost for words,” grinned an elated Stewart in parc ferme. “It’s absolutely amazing to get a result like this, a result that everyone dreams of. To finally get it, it’s pretty amazing.
“It’s our first year in the championship, I think it’s only ‘Day 37’ or something like that in the car now for us, so to be able to get wins that early, I’m really happy. I think it goes to show the hard work that we as a team and my family, and everyone else, has put in to get me to where I am.”
Second was still an equal career-best result for Coseteng, with Guinchard and Loake completing a top four separated by less than 0.8 seconds in a thrilling end to the opening day of action at Thruxton.
In similar fashion to race winner Stewart, his fellow front row starter Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) was forced to soak up pressure from a whole host of the series’ leading names. Having slipped back on the opening lap, the Irishman kept Carlin duo Ollie Gray and Louis Sharp, plus Argenti’s Aiden Neate, at bay to round out the top five.
Gray’s rise through the order from the seventh row of the grid to an impressive sixth was aided in part by a spin for his chief title rival, Alex Dunne. Battling over what was then seventh with Georgi Dimitrov (JHR) into the Club chicane, the pair both clattered over the kerbs, with the Hitech driver rotating and spinning to the back of the field.
He eventually recovered as far as tenth, behind the third and final Carlin challenger of Ugo Ugochukwu.
Sunday features one more action-packed, 20-minute race televised live and free-to-air in the UK on ITV4.
To view the full race result, click here.