It was quite the Saturday at a virtual Monza Circuit two weeks ago where both Monica Boulton Ramos and Dylan Warren failed to win for the first time in the ROKiT Racing Star F4 Esports Competition UK. In their place, the persistent Macie Hitter and rookie sensation Bryn Collins tasted success.
With just two rounds of the season left to go before the Grand Final in May, points accumulation is at a premium. Especially for those in the midfield scrap, hopes were that Spa-Francorchamps would bring a much-needed podium to aid in their bid for a once-in-a-lifetime prize.
A grid of seven was in attendance once more with Chloe Grant returning for the first time since Austria. Whilst she would qualify P4 and on the second row alongside Jess White, it was the front row where most of the intrigue lay.
After her first win, Hitter appeared to be on a roll, claiming pole position by over five-tenths from Boulton Ramos. Given the Girls’ championship leader had been the only competitor to take the top spot in any qualifying session thus far, it seemed to signal a significant swing of power away from her.
Start launches were back to plague Hitter once again who found herself down in third by La Source. It was White who shot up into the lead with Boulton Ramos ultimately remaining second up the hill.
Thanks to a generous helping of slipstream, the favourite for the Girls’ side of the competition was able to take the lead for herself into Les Combes. Behind, an off-track excursion for Grant allowed Hitter the breathing room she needed to pounce upon the off-rhythm White and back up to second.
A tank slapper through Campus would further compound White’s woes, Ella Wrigley slipping around the outside of the fast-falling fast starter.
Both drivers would gain another position just moments later in this crazy first lap with Hitter lighting up the tyres on the outside kerbing to Turn 16. To cap it all off, White went deep into the bus-stop chicane gifting position back to White.
Keeping up? Good!
One lap on, Hitter was back up into third, chasing down White. All of the mayhem had been a blessing to Boulton Ramos who by this point had opened up a multi-second gap back to White. More misery would come Hitter’s way with yet another half-spin, this time down at Bruxelles. By this point, it was difficult to calculate overtakes against mistakes across the field.
Wrigley was next into the wall, potentially due to contact with Hitter. The impact was heavy and consigned her to a lower finish for the second consecutive round. Nevertheless, the pole sitter remained on the charge and finally re-passed White with twelve and a half minutes left on the clock.
This back half to the race was mundane by comparison with no major moments of note. Boulton Ramos cruised home to confirm a third win of the season ahead of Hitter and White.
- Monica Boulton Ramos – 30:01.316
- Macie Hitter – +4.681
- Jess White – +7.996
- Chloe Grant – +24.466
- Ella Wrigley – +38.482
- Jasmine Shaw – +1:39.858
- Charlotte Bell – +2:00.018
With Collins breaking his hand in the last couple of weeks, the door was open to the second of Monza’s breakout rookies to rule the roost in Boys’ Qualifying. Deagen Fairclough smashed expectations with a 2:25.334 some three tenths ahead of Theo Micouris in second.
Nathan Clifford was back amongst the podium conversation with P3 whilst double race winner Dylan Warren chose to start plum last potentially to demonstrate and practice his competitive race craft.
Micouris was hot off the line, snatching the lead into La Source. Surprisingly, he was able to hold this position too in spite of a dogged effort from Fairclough around the outside of Les Combes.
However, come the end of the first lap, another golden opportunity arose for the pole sitter. Braking late into the bus-stop chicane, Fairclough led the pack once more.
Clifford had been a little naive over some prospective overtakes and the second lap saw him lose out finally to Marcus Luzio who punished an attempted lunge into Les Combes further up the road at Bruxelles. Meanwhile, Warren’s ascent up the order was continuing nicely, having made it to tenth with twenty-four minutes left to go.
Contrasting his earlier adventures, it was supreme patience from Clifford that ultimately helped him retake third. Multiple bump drafts were followed by a strong pass into Les Combes on the seventeen-minute marker.
Warren on the other hand was not wasting any time. Now up to sixth, he and Will Young had a magnificent scrap in the final ten minutes which Warren eventually won out.
On the final lap, Clifford’s newfound patience paid off once again with a beautiful swing around the outside of Micouris whose tyres looked more worn. Not that either was ever going to challenge an infallible Fairclough who strolled home some five seconds clear in the end.
- Deagen Fairclough – 31:39.099
- Nathan Clifford – +5.100
- Theo Micouris – +5.775
- Marcus Luzio – +9.669
- Dylan Warren – +14.034
- Will Young – +16.321
- Oliver Bunn – +21.824
- Jack Badger – +26.246
- Ronnie Smith – +28.426
- Adam Alderton – +28.561