Home Formula 4GB4 Webster resists McNeilly charge in Donington opener for third GB4 win

Webster resists McNeilly charge in Donington opener for third GB4 win

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Evans GP’s Cooper Webster took a lights-to-flag to victory from pole in the opening GB4 contest at Donington Park despite facing late pressure from Liam McNeilly.

Starting on slick tyres on a drying track, Webster gained a clear lead into Redgate as Fox Motorsport’s McNeily made a slow getaway and was passed around the outside at turn one by KMR Sport’s Lucas Blakeley, who climbed from fifth to second.

Blakeley ran wide at the end of the opening lap and lost three places, with Webster pulling over three seconds clear of McNeilly by the end of lap two.

McNeilly closed the deficit by one second over the next two laps, with Webster then responding with the fastest lap to edge away once more by the halfway stage.

By lowering the pace in the race’s second half, McNeilly closed to within one-second with three laps to go. Webster pulled away by 0.3 seconds on the next tour and resisted renewed pressure over the final couple of laps to win by 0.6s

Blakeley finished 10s behind McNeilly in third after passing VRD’s Zack Ping and Fortec Motorsports’ Colin Queen, who slipped down the order to seventh late on.

Ping came home fourth ahead of Graham Brunton Racing’s Harry Burgoyne Jr. The pair were involved in an early battle into Melbourne hairpin, as a four-car incident happened behind them. 

Elite Motorsport’s Finn Harrison tried to challenge Burgoyne, but was rear-ended by Jack Clifford. Harrison retired on the spot after losing his rear wing, while Clifford was forced to pit with a damaged front wing. In the ensuing chaos, Sid Smith was also hit by Dan Hickey, who subsequently retired, while Smith still continued without a rear wing to finish in ninth.

Theo Micouris benefited to climb to sixth ahead of Queen, whose team-mate Aditya Kulkarni recovered from an opening-lap spin to finish eighth. Sebastian Murray was another first-lap spinner and finished 11th, while privateer Lexie Belk retired after her car ground to a halt on the formation lap. 

Race result (10 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Cooper Webster Evans GP 15m20.716s
2 Liam McNeilly Fox Motorsport +0.627s
3 Lucas Blakeley KMR Motorsport +10.438s
4 Zack Ping VRD Racing +18.096s
5 Harry Burgoyne Graham Brunton Racing +19.955s
6 Theo Micouris Elite Motorsport +21.962s
7 Colin Queen Fortec Motorsports +31.502s
8 Aditya Kulkarni Fortec Motorsports +39.679s
9 Sid Smith Fox Motorsport +45.219s
10 Dylan Hotchin Dylan Hotchin Racing +1m12.256s
11 Sebastian Murray Graham Brunton Racing +1m26.364s
12 Thomas Jack Lee Evans GP +1 lap
13 Jack Clifford KMR Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Finn Harrison Elite Motorsport
Ret Daniel Hickey Fortec Motorsports
Ret Lexie Belk Belk Racing
Fastest lap: McNeilly, 1m29.380s

Championship standings
1 Tom Mills 505   2 Webster 429   3 McNeilly 383   4 Queen 326   5 Burgoyne 226   6 Kulkarni 226   7 Clifford 204   8 Smith 197   9 Jeremy Fairbairn 190   10 Ruhaan Alva 165