Luke Browning described the last fortnight as ‘a real snowball effect’ after the Fortec Motorsport racer secured five victories – plus a further second place – to storm to the top of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost standings.
Prior to Oulton Park, Browning’s form had been consistent but just missing the headlines, and he arrived in Cheshire with an 18-point deficit to erstwhile points leader Zak O’Sullivan.
An emphatic hat-trick turned the battle on it’s head, giving Browning a 22-point advantage in the blink of an eye heading north to Knockhill.
The 18-year old then clocked up a record-equalling fourth consecutive victory, the runner-up spot to O’Sullivan in the reverse grid race and another lights-to-flag triumph in the ITV2-televised finale to cement his lead at the top of the standings, the margin back to chief rival O’Sullivan now 38 points.
His efforts have also gone some way to Fortec’s success in the Teams Cup; the Daventry-based team hold a 56-point lead over Carlin with 12 rounds of the season in the books.
“The car was just phenomenal. There’s a real snowball effect at the moment, we’re just going from strength to strength,” explains Browning.
“The team atmosphere at the moment is absolutely brilliant, everyone is on a bit of a high and is buzzing, and I think that always helps towards the motivation of getting out there and just generally being quick. It’s a great atmosphere at the moment.”
“As soon as you get the first win ticked off, they start rolling in then, the pressure isn’t on the same in the last couple of laps, it feels natural which is quite nice.”
Browning believes his qualifying performances have been key to his success in race trim, putting him in the best position to bring home a strong points haul each weekend in a closely-matched field of Ford-powered rising stars.
“Qualifying couldn’t be more important, it was one of the reasons why we were successful this weekend is just plain and simply because of qualifying,” he says.
“It makes such a big difference in F4 just generally, if you’re on pole every race weekend then you’re bound to win at least one of the three races.
“It’s often 70-80% of the work done when you get pole.”
Reflecting on the triple header in Scotland, Browning believes his second-place finish to O’Sullivan in the middle contest held the most significance, but was delighted with his new race lap record on fresh tyres in the finale.
“Race two was probably the most important, O’Sullivan was on new tyres and I couldn’t really have a go at him, he had the pace on us in that second race.
“As soon as we bolted some new tyres on in the same conditions we went and grabbed the lap record so it’s extremely exciting and I’m really happy to come away with that because I think it hopefully should stand for a little while.”
Though it wasn’t to be a second consecutive hat-trick of wins, Browning still believes a repeat performance might be possible further down the line.
“If it was wet in race two we might have been able to challenge for it [three wins], but it didn’t quite fall into our hands.
“We’ve still got plenty of races left in the season and we could quite easily have another perfect weekend. It’s all to play for at this point and I’m just looking forward to getting more into the season to be fair.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the season – which resumes at Thruxton, Hampshire on 19-20 September – Browning says his only objective now is to keep out-scoring the next-best placed driver in the points table.
“The only aim going into it is I have to focus on my championship rival. As long as I out-qualify him and beat him in every race, I don’t care. That’s all we need to do,” he explained.
“If a win comes along in the process, that’s just a boost for everyone.”