Home Formula 4GB4 F1 Esports champion Blakeley to make Formula 4 debut this weekend

F1 Esports champion Blakeley to make Formula 4 debut this weekend

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Reigning Formula 1 Esports champion Lucas Blakeley will make his real-world slicks-and-wings debut in GB4 this weekend at Snetterton with Kevin Mills Racing.

The 21-year-old recently raced in Formula Ford 1600 with KMR, and on Thursday stepped up to driving a Formula 4 car with the team during GB4’s two-day pre-event Snetterton test. After ending the test within 1.5 seconds of the pace set by team-mate and points leader Tom Mills, he has now secured a race drive with the team for the event.

Blakeley has been a star of the F1 Esports scene for the past few years and won the title in 2022 after switching from Aston Martin to McLaren.

His first opportunity in a real car came in the Race of Champions on the snow in Pitea, Sweden, where he beat Sebastian Vettel in a one-to-one heat in electric rallycross cars in 2022.

He then moved into FF1600 that year with Graham Brunton Racing, competing in two rounds of the Scottish FFord championship at Knockill and Croft, scoring a best result of 10th at the latter.

The Scotsman competed again at the Race of Champions this year, where he and fellow Esports star Jarno Opmeer eliminated Mika Hakkinen and Valtteri Bottas in the Nations Cup heats.

Blakeley returned to FF1600 in April with KMR, impressing immediately by qualifying on the front row at Silverstone in United FFord, and finished third in race one behind Lucas Romanek and Michael Moyers before crashing out of race two after being hit by another car.

He remained with the team for the National FF1600 opener at Oulton Park, failing to get away in the first encounter before rejoining one lap down but bounced back with seventh in race two.

“I’m over the moon to be racing in GB4 this weekend, and with the reigning champions too,” said Blakeley.

“I’d never driven at Snetterton before this week, or stepped foot in a slicks-and-wings car, so it’s been a busy few days but with the help of KMR Sport, I’ve been able to get to grips with the car quickly. The heat this week has increased the challenge, but to say I’m excited is an understatement, and I really can’t wait to get going this weekend!”

Blakeley will race alongside Mills and Jack Clifford at KMR, with Jeremy Fairbairn having departed the team since the previous round and switched to rival outfit GBR.

“We’re really pleased to have found a way to get Lucas into our third car for this weekend, ” said KMR’s team owner Kevin Mills.

“His record in both Esports and real world competition speaks for itself, and he’s a quick learner, the testing this week was purely meant to be for him to try out the car, but the way he has got up to speed has been really impressive, and all parties were keen to get him in our car for the rest of the event. Having impressed us in FFord earlier this year, I’m sure he can do the same this weekend in GB4.”