What British Formula 4 Round 6 & First Half Report
Where Silverstone, England.
When 24-25 June 2023
SA racer Alibhai makes a strong impression in England
South African race driver Aqil Alibhai closed off a rollercoaster first portion of the ROKiT British F4 championship with a tough outing at Silverstone over the weekend. A week after Alibhai added a fine Oulton Park second to his prior win at Snetterton, the Grand Prix circuit was not as kind to the Johannesburg teenager.
“Some weekends just go like this,” Aqil shrugged. “That’s just racing but it’s been a wild season so far and a rollercoaster all the way! I have however already won a race, ended second and had great pace more often than not, so it’s been a fantastic first season so far.”
Aqil’s year started with a bang at his Donington Park debut. He was hit from behind early on, to cause his retirement from that first race. The former double Rotax Max African Open karting champion bounced back with an impeccable second race run to fifth from 17th on the grid. Gearbox issues however saw Aqil miss the finale.
A positive weekend followed on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, where Aqil was sixth in the opening two heats, before being taken out in the final. He however made history another two weeks later, when Aqil became the first African driver to ever win in British F4 in only his fourth single seater outing at Snetterton. His win came from seventh on the grid before Aqil ended tenth in the second race.
Thruxton saw Alibhai make up a few places up to eighth in the opening race, but he was taken out of the second heat in a scary crash that had nothing to do with him. His Virtuosi team worked wonders to repair the car for the finale, where he started eighth and made a place up to seventh.
Aqil then added a fine podium second, a seventh, and a reverse gird tenth to his title tally at Oulton Park last week, before ending best of the Virtuosi cars in 14th in Silverstone’s first race on Saturday. Aqil fought back up to ninth in the second heat and finished 12th in Sunday’s tough final.
That leaves Aqil best of the Virtuosi team cars in ninth in the overall championship standings after a mad opening half of the season. The series raced six straight weekends at least every fortnight in a row. The ROKiT British Formula 4 championship now takes a well-earned break until round 7 at Croft on 29-30 July.
“I’m looking to enjoying a much deserved holiday before getting back to Blighty strong to be ready for a great second half of the season,” Aqil concluded. “Special thanks to my family, friends and fans, my sponsors, and my racing family at Virtuosi Racing. I cannot wait to get back behind the wheel!”
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
Photography by: Virtuosi Racing
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