3rd May 2021
CryptoTower Racing Team driver Louis Foster overcame an exploded brake disc and a car penalty to take a pole position, fastest lap and third in the championship following the opening Euroformula Open event of the season.
Foster, 17, delivered a stunning lap right at the end of the session at the Algarve circuit to trump his rivals for pole, adding:
“Firstly, I’m really happy with the qualifying performance and a big thank you to Motopark and the CryptoTower team for their help with that. “I was really pleased with the lap - it wasn’t perfect - but it was pretty much spot on. So with the limited time we had in the dry in testing, I’m really happy with that.”
Pole position is always a coveted spot to earn in any motorsport series, and this one came with the added bonus of being delivered in front of the watching Formula 1 paddock, as that series also raced in Portugal this weekend. With pole for the first race, Foster - backed by Copart, a global leader in vehicle remarketing and recycling - held the lead into the first corner, but a small error allowed Cameron Das through.
“Race one, I had a good start and kept the lead through Turn 1, but made a small mistake in Turn 3, I just missed my braking point by a metre or two and that allowed my team-mate to get ahead of me," said Foster following the first race with his new team and a new championship. “I’m a bit disappointed with myself for that because it meant I just had to sit behind my team-mate after that because it’s so hard to overtake around this track. You’d need a serious pace advantage to pass. “Hopefully I can turn that mistake into making myself stronger and learning from that for the future.”
Race two was a case of what could have been for Lord Wandsworth College student Foster, as his brake disc exploded before he could even start the race. While this misfortune meant he had to pit while the other drivers raced away, Foster was able to get back on track when the issue was repaired and set the fastest lap of the race, which ensured him pole position for race three. However, a technical infringement resulted in a four-place grid drop so he started fifth instead of first. Typical of Foster’s fighting style which has allowed him to progress to a higher-level championship after each of his three seasons in car racing, Foster was outstanding in race three and delivered the overtake of the weekend.
“I passed two cars at the first corner,” Foster added. “With a good start I passed one and then I went around the outside of the other in Turn 1. “I was trying to pass for second, and managed to overtake Estner around the outside of Turn 5. I think I was the only driver to do that all weekend. “From there on we just kind of had to cruise to the end because of the gap to the leader, but with more valuable points grabbed.”
All in all it was a rollercoaster weekend for the Hampshire youngster, but he is determined to turn any adversity and bad luck faced in Portugal into an overall gain for his future performances. Foster will be back in action at Paul Ricard in the south of France, on May 14-16. He is expecting to deliver more of the same scintillating pace displayed at Portimao.
“There’s absolutely no doubt we’ll be aiming higher at the next round," confirmed Foster.
"But the pace is there and we’ve learned that here in Portugal, while hopefully putting on a good show in support of the Formula 1 paddock too.
“Just bit of unfortunate luck with outside factors cost us points this weekend.
“I think the lessons learned here are we know we have the pace to fight for pole and for wins in the future and this weekend has given me the confidence we can do that again at Paul Ricard.
“I feel like missing my braking point in race one was the only mistake I made all weekend and again, hopefully I can use that and turn it into a positive for future races.
"All in all I'm really happy with my first race with the CryptoTower Racing Team and Motopark. Thanks to them for a rapid car.
"I also have to thank my sponsors for allowing me to take on this huge step in Euroformula Open this season, and I think we've already shown a lot of promise this weekend."