- Carlin racer Maloney takes first British F4 win and Ford Super Rookie Award in eventful second race at Thruxton.
- Championship leader Louis Foster recovers to fourth, but points lead thins to just two markers.
- Final contest in Hampshire gets underway at 16:25 BST, with Arden’s Tommy Foster on pole position.
Zane Maloney claimed a first victory in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost in an eventful second race at Thruxton.
It marks the first win of the season for single-seater powerhouse Carlin, as well as netting the Barbadian £5,000 for winning the Ford Super Rookie Award, put forward by Ford Performance for the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race outright.
It also throws Maloney right back into the championship fight after out-scoring Double R Racing duo Sebastian Alvarez and current points leader Louis Foster.
It was Alvarez on reverse-grid pole courtesy of his fifth-placed finish yesterday, but the advantage only lasted until the run through Allard corner on the opening lap, with Arden Motorsport’s Bart Horsten sweeping around the outside to assume the race lead.
The Mexican was then demoted to third after a fast-starting Maloney charged through at the complex, before setting off in pursuit of Horsten.
That battle would be decided just one tour of the 2.4-mile Hampshire circuit later, with Maloney repeating the manoeuvre out of Campbell and into the left-hander at Cobb to take a lead he would never relinquish.
Horsten was then forced to turn his attention to matters behind, with that squabble for the lead bringing race one winner Luke Browning, Josh Skelton and Tommy Foster into the mix.
Disaster struck for Browning and Foster after the latter tried to pass Skelton on the inside at Campbell and made contact with Browning, breaking the Richardson Racing car’s rear wing and necessitating a trip to the pit lane for the Arden racer.
Meanwhile, quiet progress for championship leader Louis Foster from the fifth row of the grid had promoted the local hero into fourth as he and Alvarez capitalised on the melee to pass Skelton – all this before the race was even at half distance!
The Double R pairing then re-ignited their battle from the season-opener at Brands Hatch, running side-by-side through the high-speed right-hander at Church on one occasion, Foster forced to skim across the grass and rejoin behind.
That arrested Foster’s momentum, pushing him back into the clutches of Skelton. Twice the position swapped, with Skelton getting ahead at Cobb and then conceding as Foster responded on the inside at Church.
Up ahead, Alvarez trained his sights on relieving Horsten of the runner-up spot. He finally made the move stick into the Club chicane on the penultimate lap, a move that could prove crucial in the points table come the end of the weekend.
Maloney eventually took the chequered flag some 4.6 seconds ahead of Alvarez and Horsten, the latter pair both opening their teams’ silverware accounts for the weekend.
“It’s been so long now and finally to get it is just an amazing feeling,” said an elated Maloney.
“We were studying my videos, studying what I could have done better, what I did good and what I need to do. That was the ultimate move, it’s not going to work on everyone obviously – I need to do it perfectly to execute it but it’s just amazing that I got the win. The team has just done an absolutely amazing job, so thanks to all of them and my sponsors.
“And also to all my family back home, they’re probably screaming right now! So I’d like to thank everyone for all the support and I hope to carry it on.”
Foster would hang on to fourth from JHR’s Skelton, crucially preserving his championship lead heading into the final, ITV4-televised race this afternoon. Roberto Faria (Fortec) cut his way through to the field to sixth ahead of Alex Connor, both completing the Rookie Cup podium behind Maloney.
Mariano Martinez took eighth, with the second Carlin machine of Joe Turney ninth after a spin at Club on the penultimate lap. Carter Williams recovered well from an earlier spin to round out the top ten.
Then came those in strife – Tommy Foster and Reema Juffali both required new front wings, finishing eleventh and thirteenth either side of Browning, who eventually stopped to replace the damaged rear wing.
So, with the battle at the top of the championship now closer than ever, Ford’s rising stars will prepare to entertain a capacity trackside crowd and the UK’s television audience in the final contest at Thruxton, scheduled to get underway at 16:25 BST.
Provisional Result – Round 8
|1||Zane MALONEY (R)||Carlin||17 laps|
|2||Sebastian ALVAREZ||Double R Racing||+4.630s|
|3||Bart HORSTEN||Arden Motorsport||+5.208s|
|4||Louis FOSTER||Double R Racing||+6.243s|
|5||Josh SKELTON||JHR Developments||+7.475s|
|6||Roberto FARIA (R)||Fortec Motorsport||+17.138s|
|7||Alex CONNOR (R)||Arden Motorsport||+19.941s|
|8||Mariano MARTINEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+29.426s|
|10||Carter WILLIAMS||JHR Developments||+40.337s|
|11||Tommy FOSTER||Arden Motorsport||+42.015s|
|12||Luke BROWNING||Richardson Racing||+1 lap|
|13||Reema JUFFALI||Double R Racing||+1 lap|