A bit of a left-field competition this one, but goodness what a prize it holds. Fought on RaceRoom Racing Experience, the ROKiT Racing Star F4 Esports Competition UK promises to give one boy and one girl the once-in-a-lifetime chance to earn a fully-funded Formula 4 drive for the 2023 season.
Not detailed in our initial announcement article was the calendar that spans five rounds from February through to April before a ‘secret track’ live Finals event held over the weekend of May 14th to 15th in Bolton.
With Silverstone the first venue in this new championship, all eyes were on which young, British talent would rise to the top.
Sadly, Round 1 for the girls looked to be a bit of a ghost town with only four drivers eligible to take part. The first pole position of the season would go to Monica Boulton Ramos ahead of Macie Hitter.
A long way back was Ella Wrigley who was the last to qualify as Louis Millward failed to set a lap.
Reminiscent of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix race start, the thirty-minute race got underway with Ramos screaming away leaving everyone in her dust. This was due to a sluggish launch by Hitter who bogged down and fell behind Wrigley immediately.
This didn’t deter young Macie however who swung around the outside of Becketts and down the inside of Chapel to retake second place.
As was always going to be the case with such a limited field number, the action would come down to if Hitter caught up to Ramos or if the race leader made a major error.
Although the gap between the two ebbed and flowed, ultimately Ramos always had a handle on things. She crossed the line some four seconds clear to take her first victory of the season.
- Monica Boulton Ramos – 30:34.699
- Macie Hitter – +4.203
- Ella Wrigley – +52.950
- Louis Millward – +1 Lap
The grid for the boys boasted a near-full rostrum of nineteen heading into qualifying and thus there was plenty more to keep an eye on during the session.
Dylan Warren almost snuck into the 2:04s on his way to pole position ahead of Kai Bachini and Liam McNeilly; both of whom were within five-tenths of the best time set.
In fact, the entire grid was well spread with the midfield excitingly compact. Of the nineteen competitors to set a time, sixteen were within two seconds of Warren.
Elbows were out straight from the get-go as an excellent start for Bachini gave him the edge over Warren. The young men went blow to blow before Warren could finally breathe again into Brooklands. Behind, McNeilly and Theo Micouris got a little close for comfort with no damage, a blessing for both.
The opening ten minutes was productive for the top five who all engineered a healthy advantage over the rest of the pack. McNeilly was becoming impatient however and lunged up the inside of Bachini into the Arena.
The resulting fallout was the perfect scenario for Warren who danced into the distance, breaking the slipstream.
Zach Sweeney was next up to increase the pressure with fourth-placed Micouris his target. The aggression created a second split in the top five with Bachini and McNeilly scurrying away to leave the cars of various shades green behind.
Sweeney’s charge would be halted in a scary moment where both cars could have been taken out. A curious Will Young watched with intent in sixth.
With just under six minutes remaining, heartbreak would befall Bachini whose game crashed while still fending off the eager McNeilly. This gave Liam plenty of free air to run his own race to end whilst the dogfight between Micouris, Sweeney and Young took on a whole new meaning.
It all kicked off with half the final lap to go as Sweeney finally stuck an impressive move around the outside of Maggotts catching Micouris out big time.
So flustered was Micouris that he almost lost a second place to Young. But well ahead of them was McNeilly and ever further into the distance was Warren who comfortably claimed a maiden victory in the championship.
- Dylan Warren – 31:31.262
- Liam McNeilly – +5.730
- Zach Sweeney – +10.980
- Theo Micouris – +11.266
- Will Young – +11.439
- Joe McLean – +18.800
- Oliver Bunn – +19.083
- Joey Hayes Jr. – +24.556
- Nathan Clifford – +24.751
- Fabian Balan – +30.030