The final two races of the 2022 ROKiT British F4 Esports Championship at Brands Hatch decided both the drivers and teams titles.
After five rounds of exhilarating action, the ROKiT British F4 Esports Championship on the iRacing platform arrived at its final destination of Brands Hatch. Here, both the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles would be decided with an All-Star Cup run amongst the spectacle.
Three outfits dominated the season with iRacing stalwarts Apex Racing Team occupying two slots in the top three; the ‘Academy’ squad third behind the primary duo in first. Munster Rugby Gaming sat sandwiched between the Apex stable but had one of their pair out front in the Drivers’ standings.
Luke McKeown led Josh Lad by just three points. Peter Berryman was, realistically speaking, the only other driver in contention for the crown.
BRANDS HATCH – Qualifying
The start of the evening could not have gone any better for Apex Racing Team as Berryman lined up on pole position ahead of Jamie Fluke.
Munster Rugby locked out the second row as Alx Spetz besting Lad. Apex’s Academy completed the ‘Noah’s Ark’ top six with row three all to themselves; championship leader McKeown just four hundredths ahead of Stanley Deslandes.
BRANDS HATCH – Race 1
Apex nailed the start beautifully with both drivers competitive for whilst never tripping over each other. Lad, on the other hand, was suffering immediately after failing to outqualify his teammate.
Both Apex Academy cars were through on exit of Surtees but Lad was not about to let the worst case scenario play out. A bold lunge into Westfield saw Deslandes forced to concede and then some, Ted Bradbury picking up sixth.
Berryman and Fluke never looked like running away across the first five minutes which invited plenty of pressure from Spetz. Heading into Paddock Hill bend on the stroke of twenty-four minutes to go, he and Fluke clashed sending the Apex machine into the gravel trap and throwing the final result wide open.
Behind, Lad was desperate to pass McKeown but instead found himself pick-pocketed by Bradury. His occupation of fourth wouldn’t last long running wide at Hawthorns but the damage was done for Lad who now lay a second behind his championship rival.
Another seven minutes later Lad once again overexerted in his quest to pass McKeown. Bradbury was on hand to punish yet again. Following yet another positive exchange of positions, Lad finally got his man with just seven minutes left to run.
McKeown had been hounding Spetz allowing Berryman to finally run away up the road. In his haste, he gave Lad too much space down the inside of Hawthorns and the move was completed into Westfield.
Spetz played the team game to perfection, opening the door to Lad just one lap on. The order remained as it was until the end setting up a mighty tasty finale in Race 2. The Drivers’ title race had closed up in every way whilst Munster Rugby were hot on the heels of Apex Racing Team.
BRANDS HATCH RACE 1 RESULTS
- Peter Berryman – Apex Racing Team – 22 Laps
- Josh Lad – Munster Rugby Gaming – +1.983
- Alx Spetz – Munster Rugby Gaming – +2.176
- Luke McKeown – Apex Racing Academy – +2.433
- Ted Bradbury – YRDA Arden – +2.857
- Stanley Deslandes – Apex Racing Academy – +3.077
- Joseph Loake – JHR Developments – +10.376
- Matt Caruana – Kimura Performance – +12.868
- Jamie Fluke – Apex Racing Team – +17.229
- Ollie Davies – YRDA Arden – +30.519
The All-Star Cup was a fun addition to the broadcast if only serving the purpose of providing a break for the F4 field.
Had points been counted, touring car pilot Mike Epps would have come out on top with a win in the first race followed up by second in the second. Will Tregurtha was the driver to stop Epps’ potential sweep.
BRANDS HATCH – Race 2
Matt Caruana, having finished eighth in Race 1, enjoyed the dizzy heights of pole position for Race 2. He would hold the lead through the first sector whilst behind, Bradbury made short work of Deslandes. McKeown had also made up a position through Spetz although eyes immediately darted back to the front.
A wayward Loake naively attempted to take the lead around the outside of Hawthorns. He was lucky to keep the car pointing straight seeing Bradbury, Deslandes, McKeown and Spetz pass following yet another adventure up at Sheene Curve.
Caruana began to fall like a stone through the order after a miserable run out of Clark Curve. Bradbury took the lead, McKeown exchanged places with his teammate and then McKeown overtook Bradbury for the race lead all in rapid succession.
There was more heartbreak on the way for Bradbury as just four minutes in his car slipped out of his control on the outside curbing of Stirlings. Deslandes had nowhere to go losing him a front wing and completely ruling Apex Academy out of the Teams’ title fight.
After the Apex duo both passed Loake, the chase was on for McKeown. Over the following twenty minutes Spetz continued to pile on intense scrutiny leading to Lad, Fluke and Berryman all joining the tussle to the end. Incredibly, McKeown was able to hold on despite a nervy final lap.
This made McKeown the Drivers’ champion whilst Munster Rugby Gaming claimed the Teams’ title with a double podium finish.
BRANDS HATCH – RACE 2 RESULTS
- Luke McKeown – Apex Racing Academy – 22 Laps
- Alx Spetz – Munster Rugby Gaming – +0.082
- Josh Lad – Munster Rugby Gaming – +0.169
- Jamie Fluke – Apex Racing Team – +0.179
- Peter Berryman – Apex Racing Team – +0.412
- Joseph Loake – JHR Developments – +3.669
- Deagen Fairclough – Racing Star – +4.454
- Ryan Micallef – +Kimura Performance – +11.508
- Ted Bradbury – YRDA Arden – +18.967
- Pete Harrod – TeamSport Century Sim Racing – +22.165
DRIVER’S STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 12 AT BRANDS HATCH
FEATURE IMAGE by: RC Sim Photography