Maloney makes it three in a row to close on championship lead

  • Carlin racer makes it three wins in a row to close on F4 British Championship lead.
  • Drama behind as penalty for Alvarez drops him to fifth – and third in the points.
  • Home hero Josh Skelton set to start race two from reverse-grid pole position at 17:25 BST.

Zane Maloney made it three wins in a row in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost to close in on the championship lead in an action-packed opening race at Croft.

The Carlin racer made a textbook start, building a slight advantage as fellow front-row starter Sebastian Alvarez moved across to defend from Double R Racing team-mate and current points leader Louis Foster on the run to Clervaux for the first time.

That in itself, however, gave Arden Motorsport’s Bart Horsten a golden opportunity to relieve Foster of the final podium spot on the outside line, with the Australian making yet another bold overtake work to elevate himself into the top three.

That then became a net second on the road in dramatic fashion after a penalty for Alvarez after he was adjudged to have made a false start, with the Mexican’s race then becoming a case of damage limitation.

Behind, Horsten was forced to work hard for the runner-up spot, leading a thrilling five-car scrap ahead of Louis Foster, team-mates Tommy Foster and Alex Connor and the leading JHR machine of Josh Skelton.

For local hero Skelton, the race then became something of a dilemma – push in an attempt to pass Connor for fifth or stay sixth and take the reverse-grid pole position for race two later this afternoon?

He chose the former option, passing Connor on the final tour of the 2.1-mile Yorkshire circuit but, crucially, a series of fast laps in succession elevated Alvarez up into fifth despite his penalty at the chequered flag, leaving Skelton sixth after all.

Ahead of that dice, however, Maloney went largely without challenge and duly marked up a third win in a row by some 6.5 seconds to move to within two points of Louis Foster at the championship summit.

“The start wasn’t amazing, it was good enough to beat everyone else behind,” explained Maloney afterwards.

“I didn’t know Alvarez jumped the start, I found out just after the flag so I was just controlling the pace. I was pushing but not one-hundred percent because the track is very abrasive with the new tarmac so I was just trying to control the pace and not eat the tyres.

“The on the last lap, I pulled away by two-tenths because I pushed to like ninety-nine percent. It was really about keeping the gap and not damaging the tyres even though I just found out there was no need to.”

Horsten would take yet another podium in second, with Foster third ahead of his namesake Tommy, the demoted Alvarez, Skelton and Connor.

An equally thrilling race-long scrap played out for eighth, with Roberto Faria jumping Carlin’s Joe Turney on the opening tour and then defending stoically thereafter, fending off first Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning, then a resurgent Turney to continue his run of solid points.

Turney and Browning finished in that order to complete the top ten, with Mariano Martinez, Reema Juffali and Carter Williams completing the others – Juffali another driver to lose time for an adjudged false start.

The second race of the weekend at Croft is scheduled to get underway at 17:25 BST – expect yet more twists in the title race!

Provisional Result – Round 10

Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Zane MALONEY (R) Carlin 15 laps
2 Bart HORSTEN Arden Motorsport +6.520s
3 Louis FOSTER Double R Racing +10.238s
4 Tommy FOSTER Arden Motorsport +10.383s
5 Sebastian ALVAREZ Double R Racing +11.366s
6 Josh SKELTON JHR Developments +12.390s
7 Alex CONNOR (R) Arden Motorsport +12.737s
8 Roberto FARIA (R) Fortec Motorsport +20.424s
9 Joe TURNEY (R) Carlin +21.318s
10 Luke BROWNING Richardson Racing +21.723s
11 Mariano MARTINEZ Fortec Motorsport +22.131s
12 Carter WILLIAMS JHR Developments +28.739s
13 Reema JUFFALI Double R Racing +38.137s