Skelton makes last-gasp lunge to seal British F4 victory

by Tom Jackson

Josh Skelton won the second 2019 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Thruxton courtesy of an opportune, last-ditch move on Tommy Foster at the final chicane with championship leader Zane Maloney denied victory through a time penalty.

Maloney crossed the line first on the road but a 10-second time penalty for a false start ultimately dropped him to fifth at the chequered flag.

Skelton clung to the gearbox of Foster throughout the entirety of the race and knew that time was running out if he was to challenge for the win.

“With about six minutes to go I got pretty close,” the JHR Developments driver explained. “But I made a little mistake and dropped back and thought maybe the chance had gone.

“But I put my head back down, was fairly consistent and the gap closed going in to the last lap. I thought the only chance was in to the last corner with the tow and luckily enough I managed to get alongside and in front of him in to the corner.

“We did make a little bit of contact as he bounced off the kerb and shoved both of us on to the grass but that’s racing.”

The Arden of Foster finished only 0.435s behind Skelton at the line with championship contender Sebastian Alvarez third for Double R Racing, the Mexican also setting the fastest lap of the race.

Luke Browning battled with Alvarez for the final podium spot, the Cestrian driver originally holding firm before being relegated to fourth.

Maloney’s penalty originally dropped him well outside the top ten but a string of fast, consistent laps in clear air allowed the Barbadian to climb up to fifth on the adjusted timesheet.

Carter Williams suffered a nightmare race spinning at Club chicane, the American unable to repeat his race one triumph and ultimately having to settle for sixth place.

Roberto Faria made use of the drama ahead of him to jump from 10th on the grid to seventh by the end of the race, ahead of Reema Juffali.

The Saudi Arabian ran as high as fifth at one point but was ultimately dropped to eighth place.

Alex Walker and Fortec’s Mariano Martinez enjoyed a battle for ninth place, a duel Walker eventually won, keeping Martinez at bay and in 10th.

Damage for Alex Connor necessitated a front-wing change mid-race and subsequently pushed the rookie out of the points as the last classified finisher.

Non-finishers included home hero Louis Foster, who failed to score for the second race in a row, capping a disastrous day for the championship hopeful and Bart Horsten, the Australian forced to park up early doors.

Alvarez’ podium means the Mexican takes another five-point chunk out of Maloney’s title lead, cutting it to 39 points with one more race to run this weekend.

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