There was the sweet taste of success for Ollie Gray last weekend as the Williams Academy driver took his first win of the 2022 season at Croft and a brace of P3 finishes to top off a fantastic weekend in British Formula 4.
Our teenage star vaulted back into the title hunt thanks to his efforts at the North Yorkshire circuit by extending the gap to P3 and closing in on the championship leader as the season reached its halfway point.
Ollie is now 50 points away from the top of the table and 40 points clear of third place as his rivals faltered during Croft's three races. The young Brit can now enjoy his latest trophy cabinet additions during a one-month break before returning to action at the end of July.
British Formula 4
Ollie helped his path to the podium by putting his Carlin in two high starting slots during Saturday's Qualifying. He would start Race 1 third and Race 3 second after setting times that put him in a prime position to fight for the lead.
The weekend's final session was where Ollie reached the top step of the podium for the first time this year after a stop-start race. He led from the start after polesitter Aiden Neate jumpstarted, but a red flag halted any opportunity to create a gap.
Ollie lost the lead on the restart, but shortly after, a Safety Car appearance helped the Brit keep close to the front. A daring move on the outside of Tower Bend paid off, and Ollie reclaimed a lead he wouldn't lose to clinch the win and fastest lap.
Elsewhere, the first race saw Ollie play attacker and defender in a teammate sandwich with Ugo Ugochukwu ahead in P2 and Louis Sharp chasing from P4 behind. The Carlin trio couldn't displace eventual winner Aiden Neate, but Ollie did well to keep Sharp behind after the Kiwi racer tried his luck at the hairpin on the final lap.
The reverse grid Race 2 saw Ollie impressively ascend from a P8 start to reach the podium after keeping his cool while others collided or suffered mechanical issues.
The teenage driver was close to Joseph Loake's third place in the dying laps but couldn't pass the JHR driver. However, both racers benefited from Oliver Stewart's late-race car problems to inherit P2 and P3, respectively.
While the Williams Academy drivers in F1's feeder series are all in action this weekend at Silverstone, Ollie can enjoy a month off racing. He'll head to Knockhill to race over the July 30th-31st weekend.
Elsewhere, there was further success for our Reserve Driver Jack Aitken, who turned a GT Masters pole position into his maiden victory in the series.
Driving for Emil Frey Racing with teammate Albert Costa Balboa, they secured a prime grid spot for Race 2, before the duo kept their cool whilst others suffered punctures around them.
They outpaced the field in Zandvoort, crossing the line one second clear, lifting them to fourth in the championship before they head to the Nürburgring in early July.
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