British F4 Esports Championship Round 3: McKeown and Caruana win as Deslandes runs out of gas

The Stormforce Racing ART juggernaut continued at Snetterton as Luke McKeown picked up a double podium to extend the team’s lead in the championship. JHR by 29 eSports’ Stanley Deslandes lost out on a win in Race 2 after dramatically running out of fuel on the final lap.

The second round of the 2023 British F4 Esports Championship was dominated by Stormforce Racing ART’s Peter Berryman. The Northern Irishman performed admirably at Donington Park to take a double-win – the first in series history – and jumped to the top of the drivers’ standings. 

Despite 2022 champion Luke McKeown’s unfortunate start to the campaign, the results also elevated Stormforce Racing ART to the top of the team championship too, with the challenge from early season pacesetters Remy Gilbert and Josh Poulain falling away slightly. 

Round 3 at Snetterton was therefore a chance for the chasing pack to reset and stake their claims to the officially sanctioned Motorsport UK series.

Race 1 

Berryman continued his Donington form by snatching an impressive pole position – a clear tenth of a second clear of the pack. Team-mate McKeown was alongside, making it a Stormforce Racing front-row lockout. 

The pair made a break initially before swapping positions as the long straights of the Norfolk venue proved conducive to slipstreaming and pack racing. 

The race quickly settled into a tense seven-way battle for the win, with McKeown leading from Round 1 victor Gordie Mutch, followed by Berryman. Overtaking was at a premium, with drivers refusing to make a bold move for fear of breaking the two and losing a shot at victory. 

McKeown held firm on the final lap, with JHR by 29 eSports’ Gordie Mutch unable to make a successful pass towards the line. Berryman finished third to retain his championship lead with Matt Caruana of Kimura Racing finishing a creditable fourth. 

Race 2 

Mutch’s team-mate, Stanley Deslandes, finished last of the lead group in seventh place in Race 1 but drew pole position in the reversed grid draw for Race 2. Right behind him was the Williams Esports pair of Josh Lad and Moreno Sirica, both eager to ignite the fuse on their respective seasons. 

Race 1 winner McKeown started from seventh and had a lot of work to do to repeat Berryman’s double win of last week. The going was initially tough for McKeown, but by the halfway point he had picked his way through to fourth position, with a two-second deficit to the leading trio of Deslandes, Lad and Caruana. 

In the gaggle behind, Mutch had his progress halted in a clash with Sirica, with Berryman apparently opting for a more cautious approach. However, this came to nought as the Northern Irishman braked too deep into the Agostini hairpin and tagged the rear of Guild Esports’ Remy Gilbert, sending the championship leader onto the infield with a damaged front wing. 

A further clash, this time between Gilbert and Isak Arvidsson, created more chaos, with Gilbert’s subsequent unsafe rejoin forcing those behind into avoiding action. This brought a surprised Berryman back into the points. 

Up front, McKeown caught the leading group and deposed Lad from third position, with Caruana just ahead and Deslandes leading. It looked like Deslandes had done enough to take the win as the French-English driver exited Murrays with a clear gap. 

Fuel woes 

But on the run to the line Caruana pipped him into second, with McKeown securing third from Lad. It then emerged that Deslandes had run out of fuel, a cruel twist in what was an otherwise impressive drive. 

The results mean that Peter Berryman’s lead in the drivers’ championship has been cut by six points to 17, with Matt Caruana now his closest contender. Luke McKeown’s double podium elevates him to fourth in the standings, with his and Berryman’s Stormforce Racing ART outfit enjoying a huge 62-point lead in the teams’ championship. 

The British F4 Esports Championship is on hiatus for two weeks but will return on the 24th of October with another double-header from Oulton Park. 

UK FF1600 Esports Cup, Round 3 

Early championship pacesetters Henry Moore and Dan Amor headed the grid for the first of Round 3’s races, Moore just edging his rival for pole position – his third in succession. And the pair would finish in these positions too, stamping their authority over the rest of the field. 

For Race 2, the random reverse grid draw put Amor sixth and Moore seventh, with Isaac Phelps on pole. Amor made his way through the pack quicker than Moore, who tagged Jason Cooper into a half-spin with 10 minutes to go. 

Amor had the win in the bag, with Moore losing time thanks to a tough battle with the chasing pack. However, Moore benefited massively when Cooper and Phelps collided on the final lap, gifting him second place.  

The results see Moore’s lead at the top of the standings cut slightly, but with two weeks until the next round at Oulton Park, he is still very much the man to beat this season. 

British F4 Esports Championship, Round 3 Snetterton, Race 1 results 

  1. Luke McKeown, Stormforce Racing ART
  2. Gordie Mutch, JHR by 29 eSports, +0.093s
  3. Peter Berryman, Stormforce Racing ART, +0.291s
  4. Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing, +0.552s
  5. Moreno Sirica, Williams Esports, +1.038s

British F4 Esports Championship, Round 3 Snetterton, Race 2 results 

  1. Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing
  2. Stanley Deslandes, JHR by 29 eSPorts, +0.095s
  3. Luke McKeown, Stormforce Racing ART, +0.258s
  4. Josh Lad, Williams Esports, +0.352s
  5. Moreno Sirica, Williams Esports, +0.776s

Driver standings after Round 3, 2023 British F4 Esports Championship,  

  1. Peter Berryman, Stormforce Racing ART, 90 points 
  1. Matt J Caruana, Kimura Racing, 73 points
  2. Gordie Mutch, JHR by 29 eSports, 71 points
  3. Luke McKeown, Stormforce Racing ART, 54 points
  4. Remy Gilbert, GUILD Racing, 52 points
  5. Josh Poulain, FreeM UK, 40 points
  6. Josh Lad, Williams Esports, 39 points   
  7. Moreno Sirica, Williams Esports,, 38 points   
  8. Lucas Müller, Dörr Esports,, 31 points   
  9. Stanley Deslandes, JHR by 29 eSports, 21 points 

Team standings after Round 3, 2023 British F4 Esports Championship

  1. Stormforce Racing ART, 144 points  
  2. JHR by 29 eSports, 82 points
  3. Kimura Racing, 79 points
  4. Williams Esports, 77 points
  5. GUILD Racing, 52 points  

Calendar: British F4 Esports Championship 2023

  • Media Day, Silverstone National, 20th September  
  • Round 1, Brands Hatch Indy, 27th September  
  • Round 2, Donington National, 4th October  
  • Round 3, Snetterton 300, 11th October  
  • Round 4, Oulton Park International, 25th October  
  • Round 5, Silverstone GP, 8th November  
  • Round 6, Knockhill, 15th November  
  • Round 7, Donington GP, 22nd November  
  • Round 8, Brands Hatch GP, 29th November 

Images courtesy of Rhys Caryl / RC Sim Photography 

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