PREVIEW: British F4 – Thruxton

by Tom Jackson

The 2019 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost returns to Thruxton for the second visit of the year this weekend, the scene of where the title race turned on its head just three months ago.

It’s the fastest circuit in the UK and was where, back in May, Carlin‘s Zane Maloney found another gear and began his spellbinding, record-breaking run of seven race victories in a row. It was also where he claimed the lead of the drivers’ championship, an advantage he’s yet to relinquish.

Sitting 54 points adrift, his nearest rivals, Double R Racing‘s Sebastian Alvarez and Louis Foster know it’s a weekend they must take full advantage of if they’re to stop the Barbadian in his tracks.

Mexican Alvarez did just that last time out at Snetterton in Norfolk, taking two out of three race victories to edge ever so slightly into Maloney’s lead.

For Foster, the return to Thruxton will make it two home events in the year. However, the Hampshire racer didn’t enjoy the best of weekends on terra firma last time, made worse by Maloney’s newfound turn of speed.

He suffered a similarly frustrating weekend in Snetterton as well as mechanical issues plagued him throughout the meeting.

But there’s an attack coming from behind as well, led by Bart Horsten and JHR DevelopmentsJosh Skelton as they edge ever closer to the title battle. A second place for Skelton in Norfolk solidified a good weekend’s running for the 18-year-old and helped him push closer to the championship summit.

Horsten’s Arden team-mate, Tommy Foster, claimed his maiden pole at Thruxton in May and went one step further to win at Snetterton and is another driver who enjoys the high-speed nature of the Hampshire circuit. The third Arden car of Alex Connor has also performed admirably, rising to second place in the Rookie Cup standings behind Maloney.

Someone else who loves speed is Luke Browning. The Cheshire-based driver pulled off a signature drive at Thruxton in May, blasting through the field in the scintillating fashion we now expect from him. He repeated that in Snetterton but was stripped of his triumph following a penalty for a false start.

The series has seen seven different winners so far and JHR’s Carter Williams is aiming to make it eight following another visit to the podium two weeks ago. It didn’t take long for the newest JHR signing to find his feet either as Alex Walker secured four points finishes in his first six races.

Elsewhere, Fortec continues to go from strength to strength as Roberto Faria and Mariano Martinez keep on racking up points finishes, as well as best-ever qualifying and race results between them at Snetterton. Double R’s Reema Juffali impressed again as well, netting another points finish in her first full season of motor racing.

With all that, every driver is beginning to hit their stride and strong results are cropping up across the board. The three-way fight for the title might just expand by the end of this weekend.

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