Gowda closes gap to Sharp after shortened British F4 Snetterton weekend

Ahead of the third round of the British F4 championship, all eyes were on Rodin Carlin to see if they could bounce back after a lacklustre second round. It was Dion Gowda who did exactly that for the team – taking away the most points to close the gap to his teammate, Louis Sharp, who currently sits at the top of the standings.

By Gerren Scapens

Dion Gowda made himself known over the Snetterton weekend by displaying his pace for everyone to see. Not only did the Indian driver secure pole position for Race 3, his second-fastest lap was also strong enough to secure pole for Race 1 too.

Gowda delivered a strong performance in qualifying to take a double pole at Snetterton | Credit: British F4

However, Race 1 was never completed. After an early red flag for the stranded Noah Lisle on his return to the series, and after an incident involving Jaden Pariat and Josh Irfan, the initial red flag was brought out. An injury in Pariat’s wrist meant he did not partake in Sunday’s races.

Incident-filled Race 1 postponed to Donington

Initially, Louis Sharp had jumped past pole-sitter Gowda off the line. The pole-sitter would then have to focus behind on the Hitech pair of Kanato Le and William Macintyre before the red flag was waved.

After the race had been restarted, Dan Guinchard had his front wing trapped underneath his car, after shooting into the barriers following the high-speed Coram curve. Despite going off at a high-speed point the driver walked away from the incident without injury.

This resulted in the second red flag being brought out after only three laps had been completed. The decision was then taken to void the race and for it to be held later this season at the Donington Park GP round.

If the race had finished in the order it was running, Sharp would have once again grown his lead in the championship despite not having the biggest points haul. Sharp’s consistency has been a constant theme throughout this season, and is what has kept him at the sharp end of the table.

Alibhai dominates reverse-grid Race 2

Race 2 was all about Aqil Alibhai. The South African driver took home his maiden victory in the championship after starting from seventh on the grid. The same would not be said for Guinchard and Josh Irfan, who came together at Riches to end their races after three laps.

Deagen Fairclough’s Race 2 was one to forget. After a collision with Kai Daryanani at Oggies, the JHR driver received a five-place grid penalty and three points on his racing licence. After receiving three points at Donington Park, that would bring his total to six for the season.

Alibhai took his first British F4 victory after starting from seventh in the reverse-grid Race 2 | Credit: British F4

Any over and including the sixth penalty point would mean a deduction of 3 championship points per penalty point. Fairclough would be involved in another incident in this race, this time at Agostini which retired Isaac Barashi after a puncture. This would earn the Rokit Racing Stars winner the same penalty as the previous incident, resulting in an overall 12 point deduction.

Macintyre, Gowda, Jimmy Piszyck, and Rookie Cup leader Gustav Jonsson scored the maximum 10 points for positions made in the reverse grid race. These points are in addition to those awarded for the top 8 finishers, further incentivising strong performances.

Macintyre’s consistency and Gowda’s Race 3 dominance

Macintyre’s consistent performances have propelled the Hitech driver to third in the standings, despite being the only driver in the top seven not to take a win yet this season. The British driver has two podiums to his name and will be looking to add to

Race 3 was when the weekend became Gowda’s. The Rodin Carlin driver won from lights to flag to close the gap to Sharp in the championship standings to just six points.

Sharp would, however, get a podium in this race. The New Zealand driver finished behind the Hitech of Le as both drivers maintained their starting grid positions to finish in third and second place respectively.

The championship draws ever tighter before a weekend at the high speed Thruxton Circuit on the 03–04 June.

Header photo credit: British F4


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