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  • Gabby Laurent

Sheffield Born Rowan Campbell-Pilling Impresses On His F4 Debut At Donington Park


Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

On Sunday, we were invited to the second day of the 2024 ROKiT British F4 Championships to watch Sheffield born driver Rowan Campbell-Pilling on his debut weekend.

 

The first race weekend of the championships took place at Donington Park and despite a tough qualifying session, the 17-year-old rookie impressed in both races that took place.

 

Speaking to him on Sunday morning, Campbell-Pilling spoke of the lessons learned from the qualifying session the day prior: “We didn’t quite get a second lap in, otherwise we would have been further up… It was a good learning experience and I took away from it what I needed to.”

 

This result in qualifying meant that in the first race he started on the second to back row of the grid in P18. An excellent drive from the Argenti Motorsport driver meant he climbed eight places, which was more than anyone else on the grid, ultimately finishing P11 as Campbell-Pilling said he thought the team, “maximised our (their) opportunities.”

 

His great performance also earned him his first piece of silverware as he secured P3 in the Rookie Cup. When asked how it felt to be on the podium, the debutant said: “First race, first podium, you couldn’t really ask for more. I’m really happy.”


Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

He was quick to mention his team at Argenti Motorsport, praising their work, as he said: “The team have done a great job. The engineers have done an incredible job of getting a really good car under me in the race yesterday, so it just felt like the car kept getting better and better… and I thank them immensely for that.”

 

Initially on the Sunday, the schedule included two races however heavy rainfall in the morning postponed proceedings of not only the ROKiT British F4 Championships, but also the other events taking place at Donington Park.

 

Ultimately a decision was made that they would run a limited schedule for the day meaning that the F4 drivers would complete their second race of the weekend.


It wasn’t until late afternoon before Sheffield’s own Rowan Campbell-Pilling took his place in P15 on the grid for the start of Race 2. After a long wait for the rain to clear that morning, it was not the start the young driver would have wanted as he fell to last place in the opening laps of the race.

 

A safety car period soon after meant that the number 42 could catch up with the rest of the grid, ready for the racing to begin again. With the confidence from his impressive drive the day before, Campbell-Pilling was ready to battle as soon as the yellow flag was lifted.


Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

 

An incredible drive from Rowan meant that despite having a mountain to climb, he finished P11 and secured another P3 podium in the Rookie Cup for Race 2.

 

His fantastic comebacks across the opening race weekend did not go unnoticed as the 17-year-old was awarded the Pirelli Hardest Charger Award, specifically for gaining seven places during the first race of the year.

 

Even when the odds seemed against him, Rowan Campbell-Pilling proved why he is one to watch out for this season. I asked him during our interview what it was that he wanted to achieve going forward and he said: “I want to learn as much as I can, that is my goal this season.”

 

“Do as many interviews, speak to as many people as possible, make new friends and have an amazing time this year.”

 

The Sheffield-born driver is also proud to be representing the city and Yorkshire this season and ended our interview saying: “Everyone’s support is immensely appreciated and I couldn’t be where I am without the support of people from Sheffield today, so a massive thank you to everyone, and let’s continue to do a mega job and flying the flag for the city.”


Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rowan Campbell-Pilling’s next race weekend will take place on the 11th and 12th of May in Brands Hatch.

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