Luke Browning secures maiden pole positions in damp-dry qualifying

  •  Maiden pole position – and a double – for Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning amid changeable circuit conditions.
  • Alvarez the highest-placed title contender in third, with Maloney fifth and Foster ninth.
  • Opening race around 2.7-mile Hampshire circuit gets underway at 13:40 BST.

Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning set pole position for the first and third F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost races of the weekend at Thruxton, mastering the conditions on an ever-drying track throughout the session.

It marks the Kingsley-based racer’s maiden pole, and gives him the best chance of stealing a march on the UK’s fastest circuit after setting a best time of 1:15.288s around the 2.7-mile Hampshire speed bowl to just edge out JHR’s Carter Williams.

Inevitably, the drying circuit meant those with their Hankook slicks in the best condition toward the end of the session would have the best chance at top spot.

Initially, it was Double R Racing’s Sebastian Alvarez that set the pace in the damp, with fellow title protagonists Zane Maloney (Carlin) and team-mate Louis Foster (Double R) behind for company.

As the times started to drop, the entire dynamic of that top three began to shift, with Arden Motorsport hitting the front in a 1-2-3, Tommy Foster aiming for a repeat of his pole here in May ahead of Alex Connor and Bart Horsten.

Then JHR converted their pace during practice into qualifying form, with Josh Skelton atop the times, then team-mate Williams as the Californian continued to make substantial improvements to his benchmark time on each subsequent flying lap.

He was pipped at the post by Browning, however, whilst a similarly late improvement from Alvarez promoted him to third, and demoted Skelton to fourth ahead of Maloney.

“It was a little bit scary to start off with,” said Browning.

“We managed to turn it round and I thought ‘just get out there, I’ve got nothing to lose’. I’ve got to say a massive thanks to the team, they’ve not gone home [overnight].”

Horsten eventually led the Red Arrows’ charge in sixth, with Alex Walker (JHR) a career-best seventh as he continues to adjust to life in the Ford EcoBoost-powered series.

Then came the Fosters – Tommy ahead of Louis in the final reckoning – with Connor rounding out the top ten.

Roberto Faria (Fortec) was eleventh, with team-mate Mariano Martinez rounding out the field behind Double R’s Reema Juffali.

The front row remains the same for the ITV4-televised final race on Sunday, with the only major change at the front of the field a reversal of the Skelton-Alvarez battle.

The opening race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 13:40 BST.

Provisional Grid – Race 1

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing 1:15.288s
2 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +0.170s
3 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +0.206s
4 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +0.487s
5 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +0.642s
6 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +0.644s
7 Alex WALKER (R) JHR Developments +0.678s
8 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +0.691s
9 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +0.876s
10 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +1.228s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +1.520s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +2.219s
13 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +2.371s

Provisional Grid – Race 3

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing 1:15.465s
2 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +0.120s
3 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +0.369s
4 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +0.513s
5 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin +0.535s
6 Alex WALKER (R) JHR Developments +0.736s
7 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +0.879s
8 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +0.949s
9 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +1.123s
10 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +1.868s
11 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +2.516s
12 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +3.020s
13 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +3.301s