Thruxton specialist Neate strikes first in practice
Aiden Neate’s affinity with Thruxton continued after the Phinsys by Argenti racer topped ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA testing at the Hampshire venue today (26 August).
The 16-year-old, who claimed his maiden win in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series at Thruxton back in May, raced to the quickest time in the morning session, a 1:10.953.
That put him a mere 0.011 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Ollie Gray, who took the bragging rights after lunch, but couldn’t quite knock Neate off his perch at the top of the timesheets.
Gray, however, will take some consolation from being the quickest of the chief title protagonists, with points leader Alex Dunne (Hitech GP) only fifth behind Louis Sharp (Carlin) and JHR’s Joseph Loake.
Dunne arrives at Thruxton with a healthy 66-point advantage, but with over 250 points left on the table across the remaining nine races will need to be wary at a circuit that always produces superb racing, and plenty of opportunities for overtaking.
Mercedes-AMG F1 junior Daniel Guinchard was second only to Neate before lunch and ended the day sixth overall. The two-time Wera Tools British Kart Champion was mighty close to a race win at May’s meeting and is likely to be among the big hitters up front again this time around.
Edward Pearson put his Virtuosi Racing-run challenger into seventh, with Georgi Dimitrov, Noah Lisle (both JHR) and Ugo Ugochukwu (Carlin) blanketed by less than half a tenth for eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
Eduardo Coseteng was next for Hitech GP, leading team-mate Oliver Stewart. Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) was 13th, and remarkably still only six tenths off Neate’s benchmark. Michael Shin (Virtuosi), Jack Sherwood, Divy Nandan (both Chris Dittmann Racing) and Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech) complete the 17-car field.
Qualifying kicks off the competitive action at 09:00 (BST) tomorrow (27 August), with the opening two races of the weekend to follow at 13:35 and 17:15 respectively. Race two features a partially reversed grid, with the top ten qualifiers flipped to form the starting order.
To view the full results from today, click here.