Last week, the RaceRoom Racing Experience-based ROKiT Racing Star F4 Esports Competition UK got underway. It’s worth reminding everyone about the incredible grand prize of a fully-funded Formula 4 drive for the 2023 season for both a boy and girl partaking in the championship.
In a field of just four cars, Monica Boulton Ramos dominated proceedings to take victory in the Girls’ Race at Silverstone while over on the Boys’ side Dylan Warren ran away with victory. As the championship moved to the Red Bull Ring, Austria, the question was did they had the consistency to back up their first round performances?
Ramos was at it again in Qualifying taking another strong pole position, nearly four tenths ahead of her nearest competitor. That would be Macie Hitter once more, who herself was seven tenths clear of third. The second row featured two debutants, Jess White and Chloe Grant.
Lois Millward was once again a long way off the pace while Ella Wrigley was a no show after her Silverstone podium.
Similar to the last round, Hitter’s launch was incredibly sluggish and her front row start slipped away into fourth position by Turn 1. This unfortunate scenario quickly turned into a stroke of luck, as further up the hill Grant braked too late into Turn 3, hit the back of White, cannoning into Ramos.
Hitter gained a position back, albeit with slight front wing damage, as Grant took the lead from Millward.
The yellow F4 machine was very quickly disposed of by all three victims of the early incident. With Millward out of the way, the chase for Grant was on. Ramos was surely rattled given her rather easy run in the season thus far, and the pressure showed with a mistake into Turn 1 on the following lap. White snuck through but was quickly re-passed.
Next target for Ramos was Hitter, although most of the work was done for her as Hitter put too much power through the wheels at Turn 3 and half-spun. Ahead, Grant lit up the tyres on the outside of Rindt corner and spun towards the pit lane entrance. Hitter spun in symphony, losing a front wing and continuing on without it.
This sadly killed off all ongoing battles with Grant ultimately retiring along with Millward. It was a bit more of a challenge for Monica Boulton Ramos, but in defiance she stormed to her second win of the season, well clear of White.
- Monica Boulton Ramos – 31:02.355
- Jess White – +20.903
- Macie Hitter – +1:00.634
- Chloe Grant – DNF
- Louis Millward – DNF
For the first time in the championship this year the full grid limit of twenty was hit as the boys took to the track. Barely missing out on a podium last time out, Theo Micouris grabbed pole position by just nine thousandths of a second from Silverstone winner Dylan Warren.
The second row found themselves within a tenth of the top spot, Nathan Clifford and Oliver Bunn making up the second row. Taking podiums a few weeks ago, Liam McNeilly and Zach Sweeney would have to settle for fifth and eighth respectively.
The launch of Warren was mighty, allowing him to draw alongside Micouris into Turn 1 before taking the lead up the hill. Sweeney also made an impressive start, gaining two positions by the end of the first lap.
Third place was hotly contested between Bunn and Clifford, with sparks flying on lap two. Clifford fell back dramatically as Mcneilly pounced on the position.
Sweeney’s charge continued, gaining a free position through Clifford’s imbalance before superbly swinging around the outside of Turn 6 to demote Bunn into fifth place.
He would eventually find his way onto the podium after a mistake from McNeilly, dipping a wheel in the sand on the outside of Turn 4. Given the ferocity of the fight behind, it was no surprise mistakes would be made.
After disconnecting from second in Silverstone, Kai Bachini was running strong behind Sweeney. His defending was well tested and won out as the three behind scrapped away.
Bunn would end up the biggest loser from the melee as a lunge on McNeilly went wrong. The free air allowed Bachini the chance to catch back up to Sweeney who was well beaten into Turn 1 with just over ten minutes left.
Late into the day, a patient Adam Alderton started to pile on the pressure. His tyres seemed in much better shape and it showed against the overactive Sweeney. Yet, in his haste to try and snatch a podium, Sweeney saw a gap into Turn 7 and made fourth his own again in bold fashion.
Up the road, crossing the line for his second win of the season was Warren, who himself had to deal with the pressure of a car in his rear view mirrors for the majority of the race. The gap to Micouris had never extended past a second but no move was ever made.
- Dylan Warren – 30:02.296
- Theo Micouris – +0.276
- Kai Bachini – +13.035
- Zach Sweeney – +13.212
- Oliver Bunn – +14.089
- Adam Alderton – +14.835
- Liam McNeilly – +15.294
- Nathan Clifford – +15.319
- Joe McLean – +21.297
- Joey Hayes Jr. – +23.577
Qualifying is open now for the competition, and you can tune into round three from Monza on Saturday 3rd March live on the RaceRoom Racing Experience YouTube channel.