Louis Foster converted his pole position into a pivotal lights-to-flag victory in the opening race of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost weekend at Silverstone.
The 16-year-old had a firm grip at the head of the field as he set a string of fastest laps on his way to building a three-second gap to team-mate Sebastian Alvarez for another Double R Racing one-two finish.
“It was good, I led from start to finish and was never really pressured,” Foster said after the race. “My main worry was the start, I knew if I got ahead at the start then the race would be plain sailing from there and it pretty much was.
“On the first few laps, I was a little bit worried that the pace wouldn’t be there but then I just got my head down and ignored the guys behind me and just kept pushing and pushing, I really enjoyed it; it was a good race.”
Alvarez was initially challenged by championship leader Zane Maloney at the start of the race but a mistake on the entry to the Wellington Straight demoted the Barbadian to sixth, allowing Foster, Alvarez and Josh Skelton to pull clear ahead.
Skelton’s third place was his ninth consecutive podium finish and keeps the JHR Developments driver firmly in the title mix. However, he had to defend with all his might against a charging Carter Williams, the American desperate to keep his title ambitions alive but to no avail.
Maloney was able to salvage fifth place and 10 valuable championship points after a daring lunge on Arden‘s Alex Connor, who was relegated to sixth.
Fortec’s Mariano Martinez displayed his usual, smooth consistency to keep himself out of trouble and register seventh place with Luke Browning just three tenths behind; the 17-year-old catapulting his Richardson Racing machine from the back row of the grid to eighth, gaining five of those places on the opening lap alone.
Roberto Faria was a further two tenths behind in ninth, clinging to the gearboxes of the two ahead of him.
Abbie Munro took the checkered flag in tenth and maintained her 100% points-scoring record so far as she begins her second weekend in the series.
The race was something of a learning curve for débutant Chris Lulham as a ten-second time penalty for a false start curtailed his first race in the championship and resigned him to 11th.
Reema Juffali was last of the classified finishers, just a second behind Lulham after his penalty.
Non-finishers included Alex Walker, who pulled over mid-race due to an apparent technical issue; Tommy Foster, who also suffered mechanical gremlins and Bart Horsten, the Australian pulling in to the pits at the end of the first lap to retire – officially ending any championship hopes.
Today’s result means the title battle is now guaranteed to go down to the wire at the final event of the season at Brands Hatch with Alvarez’s second place once again halving his points deficit to Maloney to a mere eight points.
It also means that the seven drivers who were in contention have now been reduced to just four; Maloney, Alvarez, Foster and Skelton.
Foster’s victory meant he leapfrogs Skelton back into third in the championship standings, the pair 52 and 55.5 points shy of Maloney respectively.