Home Formula 4British F4 Sonny Smith earns maiden British F4 victory at Oulton Park

Sonny Smith earns maiden British F4 victory at Oulton Park

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Sonny Smith took his first British Formula 4 win in the reversed-grid race at Oulton Park. 

Smith had been challenging Isaac Barashi for the race lead when Barashi suddenly slowed with an apparent car issue. From that point on, Smith was unstoppable and crossed the line almost three seconds clear to take JHR Developments’ first win of 2023. 

Barashi had moved into the lead after a stall on the grid for pole-sitter Jaden Pariat. Douwe Dedecker initially kept him under pressure before Smith came through to second. 

The field was still bunched together when the safety car was brought out early on after Aiden Neate found the barriers and was unable to rejoin the track. 

On the restart, the main battles were further down the order, with Jack Sherwood trying to find a way past Josh Irfan for what was then fourth. That allowed the top two to break away a little. 

Smith kept the pressure on Barashi and managed to get alongside him at the first corner, but Barashi held on. He had been putting up a good defence before he lost pace and was forced to retire his car down one of the escape roads. 

In the remaining Smith pulled away in a faultless drive to take the win ahead of Dedecker. Irfan managed to hold off Sherwood for third, while Gustav Jonsson resisted challenges from Patrick Heuzenroeder and James Piszyk and finished fifth. 

It was another race to forget for points leader Louis Sharp. After starting at the tail end of the grid, Sharp was trying to make his way forward when he was hit from behind by Pariat. He suffered rear wing damage and was forced to pit during the safety car period. The Rodin Carlin team did a good job to quickly replace the rear wing, but he would spend the remainder of the race at the tail end of the field. 

Meanwhile, Deagen Fairclough worked his way forward from 14th on the grid to finish eighth, earning valuable overtaking points as well as the point for position. Mika Abrahams and Aqil Alibhai completed the top 10. 

Race results (13 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Sonny Smith JHR Developments 20m33.394s
2 Douwe Dedecker Virtuosi Racing +2.943s
3 Josh Irfan Carlin +4.689s
4 Jack Sherwood Chris Dittmann Racing +5.037s
5 Gustav Jonsson Chris Dittmann Racing +5.404s
6 Patrick Heuzenroeder Argenti Motorsport +5.778s
7 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +6.008s
8 Deagen Fairclough JHR Developments +6.368s
9 Mika Abrahams Fortec Motorsports +6.697s
10 Aqil Alibhai Virtuosi Racing +7.062s
11 Kai Daryanani Virtuosi Racing +7.713s
12 Noah Lisle Carlin +8.030s
13 William Macintyre Hitech GP +8.516s
14 Kanato Le Hitech GP +8.737s
15 Gabriel Stilp Hitech GP +9.238s
16 James Higgins Fortec Motorsports +10.623s
17 Daniel Guinchard Chris Dittmann Racing +48.969s
18 Dion Gowda Carlin +58.800s
19 Jaden Pariat Argenti Motorsport +1 lap
20 Louis Sharp Carlin +1 lap
Ret Isaac Barashi Argenti Motorsport
Ret Aiden Neate Fortec Motorsports
Fastest lap: Sharp, 1m21.159s

Championship standings
1 Sharp 153   2 Macintyre 141   3 Gowda 134   4 Le 133   5 Lisle 94   6 Fairclough 92   7 Neate 91   8 Piszcyk 89   9 Alibahi 86   10 Higgins 80