Home Formula 4British F4 Sharp wins restarted race at Croft to close in on British F4 points lead

Sharp wins restarted race at Croft to close in on British F4 points lead

by Ida Wood

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rodin Carlin’s Louis Sharp took a lights-to-flag win in the third British Formula 4 race at Croft, which was restarted following a dramatic opening lap.

It began with Gabriel Stilp stalling on the grid, then James Higgins spinning into the turn one gravel. He had been in second place, and went off after light contact with William Macintyre who himself had been tapped from behind.

Higgins’ Fortec Motorsports team-mate Mika Abrahams had his own race-ending off two corners later, and Argenti Motorsport’s Patrick Heuzenroeder had a scary crash at the chicane while running side-by-side with Noah Lisle. He lost his front wing, then his car flew into the air but thankfully landed safely on the grass and without being hit by anyone.

The race was red flagged, and when it was eventually restarted the original grid was used but with gaps left for the three drivers who had gone off. There was also a bit of rain falling, with everyone on slicks, making the second start even more challenging.

But the 12-lap race that followed was clean, with Sharp leading down to turn one and – aside from a lock-up on that lap – having a mistake-free run to his second win of the weekend and fourth of the season.

Macintyre finished 1.962 seconds behind in second place, with his championship lead over Sharp now down to six points.

Deagen Fairclough took his fourth podium of the year in third place, and dedicated the result to the late Bob Fernley.

Dion Gowda finished a distant fourth, just ahead of Carlin team-mate Josh Irfan. Noah Lisle was in sixth until lap 11 when an aggressive defence into turn one led to him going too deep into the corner, and then at the chicane he hit the kerbs. He lost out to Kanato Le, who he was defending against, as well as Gustav Jonsson and James Piszyck.

The biggest battle of the race was for 10th place. Jack Sherwood held the position until the final lap, when Aqil Alibhai got past and immediately pulled away. Gabriel Stilp and Sonny Smith ran in a queue behind them for much of the race, but were gapped towards the end.

Race results (12 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Louis Sharp Carlin 15m42.423s
2 William Macintyre Hitech GP +1.962s
3 Deagen Fairclough JHR Developments +3.897s
4 Dion Gowda Carlin +8.453s
5 Josh Irfan Carlin +8.966s
6 Kanato Le Hitech GP +9.739s
7 Gustav Jonsson Chris Dittmann Racing +11.242s
8 James Piszyck Hitech GP +11.824s
9 Noah Lisle Carlin +12.808s
10 Aqil Alibhai Virtuosi Racing +15.192s
11 Jack Sherwood Chris Dittmann Racing +16.422s
12 Sonny Smith JHR Developments +17.788s
13 Isaac Barashi Argenti Motorsport +21.926s
14 Gabriel Stilp Hitech GP +22.351s
15 Douwe Dedecker Virtuosi Racing +22.471s
16 Kai Daryanani Virtuosi Racing +22.780s
Ret Patrick Heuzenroeder Argenti Motorsport
Ret James Higgins Fortec Motorsports
Ret Mika Abahams Fortec Motorsports
Fastest lap: Sharp

Championship standings
1 Macintyre 243   2 Sharp 237   3 Gowda 188   4 Fairclough 175   5 Piszcyk 159   6 Le 154   7 Higgins 151   8 Lisle 128   9 Alibhhai 98   10 Daniel Guinchard 95