Alibhai is first ever African to win in British F4
What British Formula 4 Round 3 Report
Where Snetterton, England
When 20-21 May 2023
Johannesburg youngster Aqil Alibhai made history when he became the first African driver to ever win a FIA British F4 race at Snetterton in England on Sunday. In only his fourth outing in a single seater race car, former double Rotax Max African Open karting champion Alibhai drove a measured race from seventh on the grid to take the second race of the day.
“Wow, what a feeling!” a delighted Aqil admitted. “to win in such a prestigious championship in only my fourth weekend racing a single seater is something none of us will ever forget! I am super happy, but we made the best of a good race set-up. I felt confident and happy in the car, so I was able to commit to some clean overtakes for the win.
“It wasn’t the easiest weekend. I did not maximize my new tyres in qualifying, which put us 13th on the race 1 grid, seventh in heat 2, and 12th in the final. Race 1 was red flagged and postponed to a coming round, but race two was the one! I had a great start and made up three places by the end of the opening lap, and another two on the next tour.
“Then the safety car came out for a lap and I managed to pass my Virtuosi teammate Douwe Dedecker for the lead shortly after the restart. After that, I led all the way to the flag for my maiden British F4 win! The final was one of those evenly spaced races that make it so hard to pass, but I managed to make up a few positions to tenth and score more vital points.
“That was a truly great weekend that also saw us jump from tenth to seventh in the title chase. Special thanks to my dad for his belief in me, to my Virtuosi team for a brilliant car, and to my many fans back home in SA and here in the UK. Hopefully that’s also the first of many more ROKiT British F4 race wins, starting with my next shot at it at Thruxton in two weeks’ time. Bring it on!”
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
Photography by: Virtuosi Racing
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