Knockhill provided two days of official testing in the leadup to the race weekend, one on Tuesday and a second on Friday – the Carlin trio used the sessions on offer to their advantage as they got up to speed ahead of the race weekend.
Qualifying around the short Knockhill circuit was once again an exciting one to watch as the field battled for position. Ugochukwu came out on top of the 20-minute session and took two pole positions, for the first and final race of the weekend, while both Gray and Sharp were among nearly half the field who had lap times deleted for track limit violations.
The opening race of the weekend sadly saw drama for pole-sitter Ugochukwu who was passed before going wide; the Carlin driver fell down the order however Gray was able to capitalise on the melee ahead to finish the race on the podium in third with Sharp just behind in fourth.
Sunday provided the chance to do it all over again with two races on offer, the first of which saw Gray cross the line in fifth, Sharp sixth and Ugochukwu eighth. However, it was race three that saw the Carlin drivers take the best overall result of the weekend.
Once again lining up on pole, Ugochukwu enjoyed a strong start as the lights went out and began to build his gap around the short circuit. However, he had his teammate Gray for close company, who had gained a position due to misfortune for championship leader Alex Dunne who had lined up in second.
The main battle came just a little further back as Sharp become embroiled in a huge battle for the final step of the podium. Over the next few laps, Sharp pressured Joseph Loake ahead but was unable to make a move stick around the Scottish circuit and settled for a great fourth on the road. At the front, a calm and collected Ugochukwu brought his Carlin car home to take his second win of the season with Gray just behind, ensuring a Carlin 1-2, having closed the gap to Dunne in the championship standings.
Ugochukwu said of victory, “It was a great race here at Knockhill. I got a really good start from pole position and then made sure to keep my head down for the whole race. The car has been working really well all weekend and it’s a great way to start the second half of the season – thanks to the team for the hard work again this weekend.”
Gray added, “I’m really happy with how the race went. I had a good start and we found ourselves in P2 after Dunne’s issue. The pace was really good but I just couldn’t catch Ugo. Big thanks to Carlin again – the aim is to continue this momentum as we look ahead to Snetterton next.”
Sharp reflected on the weekend, “Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the weekend went. We had good pace throughout but found ourselves on the backfoot a little after track limits meant my fastest qualifying lap was removed. But we got some good starts and even enough it’s really tricky to pass here, we made the most of our pace. The team did a good job and the car felt strong throughout.
The ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA moves to Snetterton next in just a couple of weeks.