Swift recovery earns Dunne eighth victory in Snetterton opener
Alex Dunne recovered from a slower-than-usual start to re-pass Georgi Dimitrov and win the opening ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Snetterton.
The Hitech GP racer was bested off the line by Dimitrov, and the JHR racer annexed the race lead before hitting the brakes for the right-hander at Riches. Dunne’s retribution was swift, however, and the Irishman made an audacious pass around the outside of Palmer two corners later to re-take top spot.
From there, he marginally extended the lead gap on almost every tour of the 2.96-mile circuit to take the chequered flag 3.1 seconds clear. Dimitrov was put under pressure by Dunne’s chief title rival, Ollie Gray, also an early mover past Eduardo Coseteng but an opportunity to pass never materialised and the pair crossed the line in second and third respectively.
After Gray’s pass, it was a steady run to fourth spot for Coseteng, the Hitech GP racer comfortably clear of a thrilling dice between Joseph Loake (JHR) Daniel Guinchard (Argenti), Louis Sharp and earlier Ugo Ugochukwu (both Carlin) to round out the top five.
Mercedes-AMG junior Guinchard defended stoically in the opening laps, the battle coming to life when Ugochukwu attempted a move around the outside of Riches. The McLaren protégé had a half-spin and survived, but dropped back. The open door presented a golden opportunity for Loake to move into sixth on the inside of the corner, and he obliged.
From there, Loake went on to improve one spot, and led Guinchard and Sharp across the line, the latter pair split by just 0.3 seconds. Race two polesitter Oliver Stewart (Hitech), Virtuosi Racing’s Edward Pearson and Argenti’s Adam Fitzgerald all looked strong in race trim, improving to eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
Noah Lisle (JHR) was narrowly denied another Rookie podium by 0.2 seconds in 11th, the Australian four tenths in turn clear of Argenti’s Aiden Neate. Neate skirted wide on the opening lap at Hamilton, and was forced to spend the remainder of the 20-minute contest fighting back through the midfield.
Michael Shin was next in 13th, with Jack Sherwood (Chris Dittmann Racing) winning out in a late-race battle for 14th with Ugochukwu on debut. Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech) and Divy Nandan (CDR) rounded out the field, with all 17 cars making it to the finish.
The weekend at Snetterton continues with the partially reversed grid race at 17:50 (BST) this evening.
To view the race result, click here.