Ugochukwu leads Carlin 1-2-3 at Brands Hatch

Formula 4
May 16, 2022

Carlin’s Ugo Ugochukwu led an incredible 1-2-3 finish for the team in the final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch with teammates Ollie Gray and Louis Sharp finishing behind him on the road in second and third marking an all-blue F4 British Championship podium. The talented trio dealt with tricky damp conditions to lock out the podium as a successful weekend at the Kent circuit concluded on Sunday.

The second round of the 2022 F4 British Championship saw New Zealand racer Louis Sharp join Ugochukwu and Gray in the Carlin line-up after he turned 15 last week meaning he was finally able to take his seat in the TatuusT-421 car, having been forced to sit out the opening races at Donington. The talented trio made the most of the brilliant on track conditions on Saturday morning as they blasted around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit to set their qualifying laps.

Race one saw the experience of Gray shine through as he took a podium position for third with American-racer Ugochukwu fourth and Sharp tenth.

Race two once again proved Gray’s fantastic pace as he took his second podium of the weekend in the reverse grid race. The British driver improved from fifth to second to secure the strong result. Sharp finished third on the road but was penalised with a five-second time penalty. Ugochukwu finished fourth in the amended results.

However, it was race three which saw the most action up and down the field as a damp/drying track left a conundrum for the drivers to contend with. Sticking to wet weather tyres in the chilly conditions, Gray lined up second, Ugochukwu third and Sharp eighth. Off the line Gray, who had pointed his car brilliantly in his grid box, launched the quickest and was able to steal the lead with Ugochukwu following closely behind for an early Carlin 1-2. Sharp meanwhile had gained one position up to seventh by the end of the short opening lap.

The drama soon came when a spin for Edward Pearson left those behind on the road desperately trying to avoid hitting him – including Sharp who expertly dodged his way through; slotting into third position before a safety car came out and neutralised proceedings.

At the restart, Gray controlled the pace brilliantly butcame under pressure from Ugochukwu who took the lead as Gray ran a little wide into Clearways. The Carlin 1-2-3 remained, just in a new order. The trio ran like this until the end keeping their control over their competitors and cleanly locking out the podium.

The stunning result sees Gray close in on the championship lead while Carlin lead the way in the teams’ cup.

McLaren junior driver Ugochukwu said, “It was a great day here and really amazing for the team. I’m so happy for everyone and proud to have got my first win. The car felt great, and we had really good pace throughout that race.”

William’s Academy driver Gray added, “What a brilliant race for Carlin. I had a good start and ran in the lead until Ugo got through after the safety car– it was a bit of a cat and mouse situation after that. But overall, I’m happy with the weekend to be on the podium throughout, and I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum for Thruxton.”

Rodin Cars backed Sharp said, “After losing the podium on Saturday I’m so pleased to be back on it today! We had great pace and we were able to really make gains early on. After the safety car, it was a case of managing the gap and settling into the race while trying not to make any mistakes in the conditions. Super happy with that result.”

“I’m really proud of how Ugo, Ollie and Louis have raced all weekend long,” racing director Trevor Carlin said. “And this final race has really proven how hard they’ve worked. It’s always special to get a 1-2-3 in motorsport, and it feels even sweeter when it’s in such a competitive championship. Everyone in the team puts their all into what they do and they truly deserved this result today.

“Ugo, Ollie and Louis should be proud of what they’ve achieved and enjoy this feeling.”