Double pole for Louis Foster in interrupted Donington Park qualifying

  • Double front-row lockout for reigning champions Double R Racing at Donington Park.
  • Louis Foster takes maiden pole position in a truncated session amid damp conditions.
  • First race of the weekend scheduled to get underway at 17:05 BST.

Louis Foster and Double R Racing claimed a double pole position in a truncated F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost qualifying session at Donington Park.

A best lap time of 1:21.358s proved enough for the 15-year old to edge out team-mate and championship leader Sebastian Alvarez by 0.4 seconds, with the duo also quickest on second-fastest lap times to make it a double front-row lockout for the Woking-based squad, currently leading from the front in the Teams Cup.

The top three as it stands in the championship will also start the final race in the East Midlands from the top three grid slots as they look to press home their early advantage in the most-competitive FIA-sanctioned Formula 4 series worldwide in front of ITV4’s television cameras.

Circuit conditions¬† for qualifying were damp after rain hit the 1.97-mile Leicestershire circuit earlier in the day, as proven by Fortec Motorsport’s Mariano Martinez, an off for the Mexican racer bringing out the red flags before anybody had set a representative lap time.

The benchmark dropped continuously once the action resumed, with Alvarez rising to the top of the timesheets ahead of Foster and Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning, before another stoppage interrupted the session once again, this time Reema Juffali in strife.

With just eight minutes left on the clock once that incident had been cleared, Foster wasted no time in wresting back top spot from Alvarez, who was forced to improve again to fend off a late challenge from Browning for second.

It gives the Ginetta Junior graduates his first pole position in Ford’s winning formula, as he aims to follow up his winning start at Brands Hatch with another triumph this afternoon.

“I’m over the moon with that result,” admitted Foster.

“We struggled in qualifying at Brands Hatch and put too much pressure on ourselves; today I just came here with a bolstered mentality, to have fun and just do what I can do and we’ve replicated the day we had in Juniors here last year.

“I enjoyed the session. It’s been very treacherous – especially down the Craner Curves – but you keep it flat and hope for the best, which is what happened.”

Arden Motorsport’s Tommy Foster then put in a late improvement to claim third and demote Browning to fourth for the opening contest. His team-mate Alex Connor will start fifth as the leading Rookie Cup contender on his debut weekend in the Ford EcoBoost-powered series, with Carlin’s Zane Maloney for company on the third row as both aim to be the first to claim the Ford Rookie Award – a ¬£5,000 prize for being the first rookie to win a race outright.

An improved showing from JHR Developments’ Josh Skelton puts the Briton seventh ahead of the final Arden car of Bart Horsten, with Brands Hatch pole-sitter Joe Turney (Carlin) and Carter Williams (JHR) rounding out the top ten.

Roberto Faria leads the line for Fortec in eleventh, with Juffali and Martinez twelfth and thirteenth after their off-track exploits.

The opening race of the weekend at Donington Park gets underway at 17:05 BST.

Grid for Race 1

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing 1m21.358s
2 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +0.431s
3 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +1.218s
4 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +1.313s
5 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +1.426s
6 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +1.839s
7 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +1.872s
8 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +2.244s
9 Joe TURNEY (R) Carlin +2.507s
10 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +3.042s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +3.717s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +4.238s
13 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +6.186s

Grid for Race 3

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing 1m21.624s
2 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +0.294s
3 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +1.270s
4 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +1.337s
5 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +2.213s
6 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +2.365s
7 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +2.378s
8 Joe TURNEY (R) Carlin +2.644s
9 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +3.707s
10 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +4.074s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +4.090s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +6.202s
13 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +7.484s