Louis Foster (Double R Racing) put in a textbook drive to convert pole position into a lights-to-flag victory in the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Silverstone.
The BRDC Rising Star made a strong start from the front row and from thereon was never headed at the front of the field. At one stage, the Hampshire-based racer held a lead spanning some 3.2-seconds, but tyre degradation late on reduced the arrears to just 1.3 seconds over teammate Sebastian Alvarez.
That result means the championship is guaranteed to go down to the wire at Brands Hatch in a fortnight, with Alvarez reducing the deficit in the standings to Carlin’s Zane Maloney, classified fifth, to a slender 7 points.
Maloney had made the better start of the pair from the second row and challenged JHR’s Josh Skelton on the outside of Copse. Running side-by-side into Beckett’s, Maloney made a small lock-up, enough to send him wide and down to sixth on the road.
He fought his way back through with a daring move to the inside of Brooklands on Arden’s Alex Connor, but Alvarez overturning Skelton for the runner-up spot means the pair go into tomorrow’s double-header virtually level in the standings.
For Foster, the start was the crucial element to the race and, from there, controlling the race was a natural follow-on.
“It was good, I led from start to finish and was never really pressured,” said an elated Foster.
“My main worry was the start, I knew if I got ahead at the start then the race would be plain sailing from there and it pretty much was.
On the first few laps, I was a little bit worried that the pace wouldn’t be there and then I just got my head down and ignored the guys behind me and just kept pushing and pushing.
I really enjoyed it; it was a good race.”
Skelton held on to third – just – from in-form teammate Carter Williams (JHR), the gap at the flag just 0.129s as they crossed the line nose-to-tail.
That extends Skelton’s podium streak to nine races on the bounce and he remains in the title hunt, now 55.5 markers behind Bajan racer Maloney.
Unfortunately, fourth for Williams mathematically ends his chances; likewise for Arden’s Bart Horsten and Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning, meaning four drivers advance to the final five races of the campaign with a shot at the honours.
Alex Connor’s early progress rewarded him with sixth and the reverse-grid pole position for the second race of the weekend tomorrow; it also netted him second overall in the Rookie Cup stakes.
Maloney may have won the title, but it gives the Brit the upper hand over Fortec Motorsport’s Roberto Faria – third on this occasion – with the gap in the class points now 6.5 points.
Faria finished ninth overall amongst a thrilling battle for seventh with teammate Mariano Martinez and Browning.
The trio ran together for virtually the entire race distance, Martinez showing great composure to keep the double race-winner and his rapid Fortec teammate at bay.
Abbie Munro (Arden) rounds out the points-scorers in tenth, extending her one-hundred percent record of scoring in the Ford EcoBoost-powered series in this, her fourth race start.
Next came Fortec’s Chris Lulham in 11th despite a 10-second time penalty for a false start, with Reema Juffali 12th.
Alex Walker (JHR) was an unfortunate retiree having run as high as seventh on another strong showing; likewise Tommy Foster and Bart Horsten, who will no doubt bounce back tomorrow.
Provisional Result – Round 25
|1||Louis FOSTER||Double R Racing||22 laps|
|2||Sebastian ALVAREZ||Double R Racing||+1.313s|
|3||Josh SKELTON||JHR Developments||+4.447s|
|4||Carter WILLIAMS||JHR Developments||+4.576s|
|5||Zane MALONEY (R)||Carlin||+4.918s|
|6||Alex CONNOR (R)||Arden Motorsport||+13.771s|
|7||Mariano MARTINEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+17.724s|
|8||Luke BROWNING||Richardson Racing||+17.966s|
|9||Roberto FARIA (R)||Fortec Motorsport||+18.187s|
|10||Abbie MUNRO||Arden Motorsport||+21.465s|
|11||Chris LULHAM||Fortec Motorsport||+31.694s|
|12||Reema JUFFALI||Double R Racing||+33.499s|
|DNF||Alex WALKER (R)||JHR Developments||+4 laps|
|DNF||Tommy FOSTER||Arden Motorsport||+13 laps|
|DNF||Bart HORSTEN||Arden Motorsport||+17 laps|