What British Formula 4 Round 1 Report
Where Donington Park, England
When 22-23 April 2023
Plenty pace, no luck for Alibhai at Donington
Johannesburg youngster Aqil Alibhai may have endured a rollercoaster opening round RoKIt British Formula 4 championship weekend at Donnington Park in England, but he’s happy to take the many positives out of his performance.
After qualifying 8th for Saturday’s first race and fifth for Sunday’s third heat, Aqil was up to fourth in the first race when he was hit from behind, causing his retirement. A tigerish wet second race run from 17th on the grid netted a fine fifth, before a gearbox issue on the warm-up lap saw Alibhai miss the finale.
“It was a rollercoaster weekend for sure, but we’ll take the positives and move forward,” Aqil reflected. “We have the pace and just had a few issues at Donington, but that’s all part of the development! Qualifying went well even if we were on an even better lap when the red flag stopped play. My second best lap was still good to start 8th in race 1, and my quickest lap put me fifth on the third race grid.
“Race one started well and I was up from eighth to fourth with a move on the outside, but I was hit from behind on my right rear wheel on the next corner. Unfortunately that damaged the car and I was forced to retire the car. Race two was a complete reverse grid, so started 17th and finished fifth, which made up for all the other disappointments. And then
I lost third gear on the out lap of the final, and that was my weekend!
“Still, we scored good points in race 2 and I picked up an additional ten bonus points for all the overtaking. I am confident and comfortable in my Into Africa Racing Taatus, and I’m working well with my Virtuosi team and ready to move forward.”
It’s a short break before Aqil and the BTCC support series RoKIt British Formula 4 championship heads to its next appointment at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on the weekend of 6-7 May. Young Alibhai fully intends to unleash his full potential there following this trying weekend at Donington.
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
Photography by: Jakob Ebrey
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