Alex Connor takes sensational maiden pole positions at Brands Hatch

  • Arden Motorsport racer claims maiden pole position in the damp at Brands Hatch.
  • Foster quickest among the title contenders; Maloney out-qualifies Alvarez, Skelton seventh.
  • Opening race set to start at 14:00 (BST), live on itv.com/btcc.

Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor claimed his maiden pole positions in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost amidst tricky conditions at Brands Hatch.

The British racer clocked a best time of 1:40.641s around a damp 2.4-mile GP circuit to edge out Double R Racing’s Louis Foster by a tenth of a second to secure top spot for the opening and final races of the campaign in Kent.

“It’s my first pole of the season, which is good,” said an elated Connor.

“It’s wet, which I think suits my driving style. We’re on pole for both races and I think, hopefully, it’ll be a really good weekend. It’s drying, but hopefully it stays wet. It is what it is, and the weather is the weather! Round the back of the circuit it’s a bit damp.

“Hopefully [I’ll] get a win this weekend, as I’m on pole.  It’s going to be a tough race with changing conditions, hopefully it goes well.”

With the circuit still damp following yesterday’s rainfall, wet tyres were the order of the day. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, wet-weather specialist Luke Browning (Richardson Racing) set the early benchmark, but he dropped back to fourth behind joint championship leader Zane Maloney (Carlin) late on.

Maloney had secured a spot on the front row alongside Connor with seconds to go, but a similar last-gasp improvement from Foster preserved his advantage among the title contenders.

Their other rivals, Sebastian Alvarez (Double R) and JHR’s Josh Skelton, start fifth and seventh respectively either side of Arden’s Tommy Foster, putting the destiny of this year’s title even further into question.

Crucially, perhaps, Maloney and Alvarez will start alongside one-another in fourth and fifth for Round 30; depending on results before then, this result could set up a blockbuster one-race shootout for the crown between the two leaders tomorrow on ITV4.

Bart Horsten will start eighth for the Red Arrows; JHR’s Carter Williams is ninth but did miss out on the afternoon practice session on Friday.

Mariano Martinez (Fortec Motorsport) registered a late improvement to break into the top ten, and ahead of team mate and recently-confirmed 2020 entry Roberto Faria.

Faria will need to make progress in the races; his 15.5 point advantage in the race for the Rookie Cup Vice-Champion honours could take a significant hit if Connor converts pole position into victory at 14:00 (BST) later today.

Reema Juffali (Double R) and Abbie Munro (Arden) round out the 13-strong field for the final triple-header of the campaign.

Provisional Result – Qualifying

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport 1m40.641s
2 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +0.128s
3 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +0.268s
4 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +0.298s
5 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +0.768s
6 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +1.015s
7 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +1.036s
8 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +1.450s
9 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +1.722s
10 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +3.058s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +3.293s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +3.641s
13 Abbie MUNRO Arden Motorsport +4.322s

Provisional Result – Qualifying (2nd Fastest)

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport 1m40.827s
2 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +0.100s
3 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +0.153s
4 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +0.276s
5 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +1.038s
6 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +1.043s
7 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +1.127s
8 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +1.265s
9 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +2.022s
10 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +3.187s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +3.272s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +3.575s
13 Abbie MUNRO Arden Motorsport +4.219s