Assetto Corsa

Boulton and Fairclough Earn RoKiT F4 Drives through Racing Star

After five online rounds, the onsite final of the RoKiT Racing Star contest pitted teenagers against each other for the ultimate prize of a full season in British Formula 4.

Image credit: RoKiT Racing Star

The RoKiT Racing Star F4 Esports Competition promised one girl and one boy from the UK a full time seat in the Formula 4 British Championship. 14-16 year olds competed at Silverstone, the Red Bull Ring, Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and the Hockenheimring on RaceRoom from February to April.

After the online season ended, the top drivers were invited to the University of Bolton’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering. There, they were whittled down to eight boys and seven girls, but only one of each would win the ultimate prize. It would come down to the combined results of two races on the Brands Hatch GP circuit on Assetto Corsa.

In the girl’s camp, there were online round winners such as karters Monica Boulton Ramos and Jessica White. Also among the field was Ginetta Junior racer Macie Hitter, as well as GB4 driver Chloe Grant. As for the boys, the online season champion and early favourite was prominent F1 league racer Dylan Warren. But he still had to fight off the likes of karter and commentator Kai Bachini as well as Ciceley Motorsport BTCC junior driver Deagen Fairclough.

Girls Deliver Close Battle

In the girl’s races, qualifying went the way of Jessica White after she pipped longtime session leader Chloe Grant to pole. Grant got second but earned a two position penalty for an unsafe re-join which moved her down to fourth behind Boulton Ramos and Hitter.

At the start of the first race, Boulton Ramos had an incredible getaway and eased into the distance. Grant set about making up for lost time but got involved in several incidents with White, much to White’s annoyance. Boulton Ramos romped away to an easy victory, but Grant recovered to second and claimed the fastest lap.

In the second race, the grid was set by the results of the previous race. Grant performed an inspired outside move around Druids which put her into the lead. She set about trying to stretch her lead, but Boulton Ramos didn’t let her get too comfortable.

Towards the end, Boulton Ramos had set the fastest lap and as a result of both her and Grant each having a first place, a second place and a fastest lap, it was all tied up. As a result, the winner would be decided by whose fastest lap was quicker. At that late stage of the race, the tie-breaker favoured Grant. Boulton Ramos would either have to set a quicker lap or pass Grant. But as she started making further inroads with three laps to go, it suddenly got a lot simpler for her.

Grant clipped the grass heading through Hawthorns which left Boulton Ramos to take her second win and earn the ultimate prize of racing in British F4 for 2023. Chloe Grant and Jessica White were second and third in the points and will also be offered full season rides in karting.

Warren’s Error Paves the Way for Fairclough

In the boy’s races, it was a much more clear-cut affair. Early favourite Dylan Warren couldn’t quite manage to beat Deagen Fairclough in qualifying. At the start, he tried to pass him around the outside into Druids but to no avail.

On Lap 5, it looked to be Warren’s chance as Fairclough seemed to make an error. Warren went from being just under a second behind to less than a tenth, but then disaster struck. When following Fairclough through Sheene Curve, he clipped the grass and spun off into the gravel trap, falling to fifth.

After a brief scare, Fairclough managed to gap second-placed Theo Micouris, claiming victory and the fastest lap.

For the second race, Fairclough and Micouris eased off into the distance. Warren incurred a drive through penalty after being deemed at fault for an incident at Paddock Hill Bend.

Calm and collected, Fairclough set about extending the gap. In the end, he came through for another victory which sealed him the ultimate prize of racing in British F4. Theo Micouris and Marcus Luzio took home the runner-up prizes and will get full seasons of karting.

Racing Star: Creating Opportunities

Before this opportunity, Monica Boulton Ramos had only been able to go rental karting. Meanwhile, Deagen Fairclough had raced karts from ages 5-13 before selling his karting equipment for a racing sim. He raced in a junior saloon championship aged 13 and won it. He would have won the BRSCC Fiesta championship if his points from the first round had been counted.

Now, both drivers will be undergoing an extensive training program to compete in the F4 British Championship. The same series that McLaren Formula One racer Lando Norris won in his first year of single seater racing back in 2015.

At the event, hints were dropped that RoKiT Racing Star will likely be making a return next year. The next lucky racer who earns the opportunity to race on a real track can do so through their simulator.

Will you be trying to qualify for the next edition of Racing Star? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Luca
Biggest esports racing fan in the world.