Double R Racing’s Louis Foster believes being an outside contender heading into the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title decider gives him an advantage.
A double victory last time out at Silverstone, coupled with dramas for joint championship leaders Zane Maloney (Carlin) and Foster’s team mate Sebastian Alvarez, have thrown the Hampshire racer back into the mix, 30 points adrift with a maximum score of 75 still on the table.
Foster, who has six victories and five further podium finishes to his record in his first year of racing single-seaters, insists his mental approach remains the same going into the weekend and believes the reduced attention and pressure could play to his strengths.
“There’s no different mental approach going into the final weekend and I’m going to treat it the same as every round,” explained Foster.
“I’ll be going into Brands Hatch cool calm and collected and not going to think about the title. There’s no pressure on my end so I’ll be going out there to have some fun and enjoy the last weekend of the season, and when we have fun we normally get good results.
“I’m currently in third and I think we are safe from fourth place now, so mentally the guys in front wouldn’t be as strong as me as I don’t have as much to lose.
“They’ll be feeling the pressure as they’ve got to beat each other whereas I can just focus on driving. So yeah, I feel it is an advantage to be racing without the attention and pressure.”
Foster’s season is a story of ups and downs. Three victories from the opening six races at Brands Hatch (Indy) and Donington Park put the Ginetta graduate in a commanding position, but a tricky middle segment of the season in which he went eight races without silverware dented his title hopes.
Similar to last season, however, Foster has made a late break for the honours and believes he’s learnt plenty over his season in the Ford EcoBoost-powered category.
“I think we’ve been strong all year but had a tough middle part of the season which knocked us back a bit,” explained the BRDC Rising Star.
“But as the season has gone on, we’ve been working harder and harder, we never wanted to settle with being ‘alright’ and have always been pushing to be better.
“Working with my engineer Connor, I’ve been able to understand the car a lot more and looking at things in a lot more detail, adding that with the experience gained over the year, I feel confident how to get the best out of the car, the team and myself.”
Brands Hatch GP has been kind to Foster in the past; he claimed victory in the Ginetta Junior season finale at the 2.4-mile Kent circuit in 2018, as well as a further podium.
“Brands Hatch GP is my favourite circuit!” he enthused.
“Like Knockhill, it is a bit of an oddball circuit with unique characteristics. I ran well there last year in Ginetta and went well around the Indy circuit earlier in the year.
“We were fastest in sector one, and that’s the same for the GP layout, so that bodes well. The final sector reminds me of Donington and Silverstone, it’s all about carrying minimum speed and jockeying the brake, and those are the type of corners I’ve performed well in all year.”
Foster also says he hadn’t expected as strong a campaign as he’s had overall, putting particular emphasis on an increased number of pole positions and fastest laps.
“I thought the title might be possible but I didn’t think we’d be doing this well,” admitted MB Partners-represented racer Foster.
“Coming into the year, I was confident joining Double R as they are the best team on the grid and are so well prepared.
“We had a good winter, I learnt a lot prior to the start of the season and my pace was really good compared to Seb, and he was already a favourite for the title. But I just took it one race at a time and aimed to do the best job I could every time I got in the car.
“I’d say I’ve been most impressed with my poles and fastest laps. I had hardly any in Ginetta Juniors but this year I have already got six poles and eight fastest laps.
“So, yeah, I’d say my raw speed and consistency has improved massively. My racing has always been good, I must have got it from my father, but now to have the raw speed to match is really pleasing.”
The British F4 title will be decided at Brands Hatch this weekend [12-13 October] – live on ITV4.