James Hedley reflected on a ‘perfect’ weekend after claiming a hat-trick of victories in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton.
The JHR Developments racer clocked a new qualifying lap record around the high-speed, 2.3-mile Hampshire circuit on Saturday morning to claim a double pole position and set the tone for a dominant weekend that injected new life into his championship bid.
He successfully kept Argenti’s Casper Stevenson at arm’s length despite race-long pressure to win the opening contest, before capitalising on a first-corner collision at Allard in the reverse grid race to cut through from fifth to the lead.
Once again, Stevenson piled on the pressure, reeling in the gap from over two seconds to just a few tenths, but Hedley ultimately had enough in hand to double up on a perfect day for the team.
That result had given JHR a record-breaking run of victories at Thruxton – five on the spin for Steven Hunter’s outfit – and Hedley duly went one better to make it six in the ITV2-televised finale on Sunday.
Another strong start, and defensive move against team mate Abbi Pulling into the Complex gave Hedley some breathing space, and he capitalised on the battle behind to pull clear, eventually taking the chequered flag some 7.8 seconds clear to complete a superb hat-trick.
The results have boosted Hedley’s title bid, moving him into fourth overall and within touching distance of the top three with 11 races – and up to 275 points – still on offer.
“It was a dream Saturday with double pole and a double win,” explained the BRDC Rising Star.
“The team did a mega job and it’s been great to be part of history for them as well. We were the fastest team out of the box and quick on old rubber heading into qualifying. At the end of race one the guy in second was hunting me down and putting the pressure on but I kept my head and didn’t make a mistake.
“It was a similar story in race two. I didn’t know what happened at the start, I just saw things in front of me that F4 cars weren’t designed to do! People were sideways and, luckily, they all drifted left out of my way, so I kept it flat and built up the lead.
“There was some pressure on me to do the triple in race three, especially with JHR having excellent cars at Thruxton, so it was a perfect weekend. I had to defend a bit from Abbi but after that it was like qualifying, pumping in consistent lap times and building a lead. To get the triple on my home track made it even better.”
The F4 British Championship resumes this weekend [26-27 September] at Silverstone, Northamptonshire.