- Carlin racer fends off points leader Louis Foster to wrap up Thruxton double live on ITV4.
- Victory also extends Maloney’s advantage in the Rookie Cup standings.
- Ford EcoBoost-powered series heads next to Croft in mid-June.
Zane Maloney held on despite late pressure from Louis Foster to win the ITV4-televised final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at an overcast Thruxton.
The Barbadian pulled off a repeat of his move for the lead in the earlier reverse-grid contest to seize the advantage in this one, lunging to the outside of Campbell on pole-sitter Tommy Foster (Arden Motorsport) and then completing the move through the following left-hander at Cobb.
Double R Racing duo Foster and Sebastian Alvarez similarly made progress through the field past Arden’s Foster with near-identical moves to the outside of Club chicane before giving chase to Maloney, then around a second up the road amid the squabbling.
A series of fastest laps in quick succession – shared at one stage to within a thousandth of a second between the leading pair – put Foster within striking distance of Maloney heading on to the final tour of the 2.4-mile Hampshire circuit.
The championship leader tried everything, but Maloney duly held on to take victory by a slender 0.2s margin to score Carlin’s 400th victory in professional motorsport and throw himself back into title contention.
“Yesterday I did not have a good start; I lost two places so I showed everyone today. We went back and looked at the video, everything we needed to do and came out and showed what we were working on,” explained Maloney.
“I think it shows how good the team is, my coach; it shows how dedicated we all are but they’re [the starts] still not perfect – obviously I need to work on everything in my driving so we can get better and better. I’m taking big steps for it which is a good thing.
“I felt a lot of pressure but I just tried to stay calm which I did. Louis is a very good driver so he wasn’t flustered, he came at me and he pushed me very well – I think it’s going to be the two of us for most of the season battling it out which we did so yeah he did a very good job.”
Foster was forced to settle for second, therefore, but will take some solace from extending his points advantage over Alvarez from two markers to five leaving the first of his two home events in 2019.
Tommy Foster held on to equal his best result of the campaign in fourth, with Josh Skelton leapfrogging team-mate Williams into fifth and sixth respectively.
Luke Browning recovered well from a spin into the complex early on to take ninth for Richardson Racing behind Bart Horsten and Joe Turney in seventh and eighth, whilst Alex Connor (Arden) survived contact with Fortec’s Mariano Martinez at the final corner to register the final point in tenth.
Reema Juffali was able to dart past Martinez to take eleventh, with Roberto Faria rounding out the finishers after being forced to pit with front-wing damage after contact at the start.
The net result of all three races at Thruxton means Foster will retain the championship lead heading to Croft in mid-June, albeit with a reduced margin of just five points. Team-mate Alvarez is still his closest challenger, but now Carlin’s Maloney is back in the race.
The trip to Yorkshire is scheduled to take place over the weekend of 15th-16th June.
Provisional Result – Round 9
|1||Zane MALONEY (R)||Carlin||17 laps|
|2||Louis FOSTER||Double R Racing||+0.211s|
|3||Sebastian ALVAREZ||Double R Racing||+2.399s|
|4||Tommy FOSTER||Arden Motorsport||+3.657s|
|5||Josh SKELTON||JHR Developments||+4.289s|
|6||Carter WILLIAMS||JHR Developments||+5.460s|
|7||Bart HORSTEN||Arden Motorsport||+13.540s|
|8||Joe TURNEY (R)||Carlin||+16.371s|
|9||Luke BROWNING||Richardson Racing||+20.267s|
|10||Alex CONNOR (R)||Arden Motorsport||+26.875s|
|11||Reema JUFFALI||Double R Racing||+33.020s|
|12||Mariano MARTINEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+35.445s|
|13||Roberto FARIA (R)||Fortec Motorsport||+1 lap|