Louis Sharp gains points but no podium at Croft – Day 1

Louis Sharp admits he has ‘lots to learn’ in single seater racing after the first of two days racing at Croft in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA. Having qualified on the third row of the grid for all three races, the Christchurch teenager finished both Saturday’s races off the podium.

“A rollercoaster day at Croft, which didn’t go entirely to plan,” commented Sharp. “From sixth to fourth in Race 1 and then we tried to snatch a podium out of the final corner – just missed out by 0.143s but we still scored solid points.

“Contact on the opening lap in Race 2 sent us right to the back, but we fought back through the field to grab sixth. Another day of learning with the final race to come tomorrow (Sunday 13:50 UK time) before the mid-season break.”

Aiden Neate soaked up race-long pressure from Carlin’s trio to take a second victory of the season in the opening race. Neate (Phinsys by Argenti) made no mistake from the start to lead Ugo Ugochukwu, Oliver Gray and a fast-starting Louis Sharp on the first run through Clervaux.

The lead gap hovered around 0.6 seconds for the majority of the 20-minute contest but, despite setting the Motul Fastest Lap and several half-attempts on the brakes into Tower, a real opportunity for Ugochukwu to force the issue never materialised.

The pair took the chequered flag just 0.4s apart, with Gray surviving a last corner lunge at the hairpin from Sharp to take the final spot on the podium. Championship leader Alex Dunne (Hitech) improved from ninth to seventh, minimising the damage to his points lead.

Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne ended a tricky day on the top step of the podium after storming clear to win the partially reversed second race of the weekend.

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