Lightning fast Loake powers to victory in Oulton Park finale

Joseph Loake made a textbook start to take the lead before powering clear to record a second win of the season in the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Oulton Park.

The JHR Developments racer reacted fastest when the lights went out to leapfrog pole-sitter James Hedley (Fortec Motorsport) on the run down to Old Hall, the latter slipping to fifth on the opening tour as Eduardo Coseteng (Argenti), Roman Bilinski (Carlin) and Matias Zagazeta (Argenti) all found a way past the championship leader.

That left Hedley fending off Loake’s team-mate and chief title rival Matthew Rees for the majority of the contest, before a wide moment in the closing stages allowed the Welsh racer to get the jump.

As Loake set about stretching his advantage up front, the battle for the other two spots on the podium raged on. Initially the focus was on a thrilling dice between Bilinski and Zagazeta for third, the Peruvian gaining the upper hand with a brave move at Cascades, but a wide moment for Coseteng late on allowed the pair past to take second and third on the road, Zagazeta taking the flag two seconds adrift of local hero Loake.

It marks a positive end to a difficult weekend for the Phinsys by Argenti racer, with Bilinski’s third place also his first podium finish of the 2021 campaign.  Carlin’s Dougie Bolger had a starring role, including a bold send around the outside of Old Hall whilst passing Rees and Hedley en route to fourth, as Coseteng slipped back behind the trio late on.

That also meant a first Rookie Cup victory for the Japanese racer, with Rees rounding out the top five ahead of Hedley, thinning the gap between the pair to 24 markers in the standings heading to Knockhill.

Coseteng eventually finished seventh, his best result since the Thruxton season opener, with Carlin’s Kai Askey among the points once again in eighth spot. Aiden Neate took ninth – plus the Motul Fastest Lap and a bonus point – in the second Argenti challenger.

Joel Granfors survived a spin at the Island Hairpin to claim the final points-paying position in tenth, the Swede three seconds clear of the leading Red Arrow, that of Zak Taylor (Arden).

Team-mate Thomas Ikin battled through to 12th spot, with Carlin’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak behind. Race two winner McKenzy Cresswell (JHR) had his work cut out from the back and ended up 14th,  with David Morales and Abbi Pulling 1.3 seconds apart at the flag behind, the latter having a spin at the Knickerbrook Chicane.

Marcos Flack (Argenti) rounded out the finishers, with Ollie Gray (Fortec) and Richardson Racing’s Georgi Dimitrov unfortunate retirees.

The championship heads north of the Scottish border for the next three rounds at Knockhill, Fife on 14-15 August.