Advantage Maloney after Carlin racer storms to victory in Brands Hatch opener

  • Carlin racer storms from third to win the opening contest at Brands Hatch.
  • Victory gives Maloney a 10-point cushion over Alvarez; Foster and Skelton eliminated from the running.
  • JHR’s Williams on reverse-grid pole at 16:55 (BST).

Zane Maloney claimed a significant victory in the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Brands Hatch and with it opened up a 10-point lead over Double R Racing’s Sebastian Alvarez at the championship summit.

The Bajan ace made a storming start from the second row of the grid, cutting past Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor before running side-by-side with Alvarez’s Double R team mate Louis Foster through Paddock Hill Bend.

Slight contact was made between the two BRDC Rising Stars and Foster spun out into the gravel; Maloney held the car well and was able to continue in the lead.

That contact means Foster, by virtue of Maloney’s victory, is now out of mathematical contention – likewise JHR’s Josh Skelton – making it a two-way fight for the crown between Maloney and Alvarez.

The former could wrap up the crown later this afternoon, if he can extend his advantage over Alvarez by another 15 markers; Maloney cannot be caught on countback.

Maloney preserved his lead through two safety-car restarts despite the best attempts of wet-weather specialist Luke Browning (Richardson Racing) to find a gap on the run down to Paddock; he would eventually take the chequered flag some 1.1 seconds clear to record a ninth win of the campaign.

“What a race!” exclaimed Maloney.

“We had an amazing start, passed Alex and alongside Louis through Turn 1.

“I’m not sure what happened with him but we touched and it’s unfortunate we couldn’t both keep going. After that it was just about keeping cool with the safety car restarts. It feels great to be back. One down, two to go.”

Alvarez moved up through to the podium after finishing third behind Browning and Maloney, but the Mexican will start highest between the two title contenders for the reverse-grid contest this afternoon.

Connor held on to equal his best result in the Ford EcoBoost-powered category with fourth; his Arden team mate Bart Horsten brought his Red Arrow home in fifth.

JHR’s Carter Williams and Skelton finished line-a-stern in sixth and seventh after a late move at Surtees on Tommy Foster (Arden); Mariano Martinez (Fortec) held on to ninth after a thrilling battle with Double R’s Reema Juffali, both drivers taking the final points-paying positions.

Arden’s Abbie Munro rounds out the finishers in 11th; Foster retired with that incident at Paddock Hill and Fortec’s Roberto Faria exited the contest at half-distance after going off-circuit at Surtees and getting stuck in the gravel trap.

That could prove pivotal in the race to be Rookie Cup Vice-Champion, with Connor re-assuming the position courtesy of his second in class finish.

The penultimate round of the 2019 F4 British Championship season gets underway at 16:55 (BST), once again live at itv.com/btcc.

Provisional Result – Round 28

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin 10 laps
2 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +1.172s
3 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +2.913s
4 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +4.517s
5 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +5.987s
6 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +8.853s
7 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +9.880s
8 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +10.308s
9 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +17.119s
10 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +17.316s
11 Abbie MUNRO Arden Motorsport +19.659s
DNF Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +7 laps
DNF Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +10 laps