19th August 2019
Despite a testing start to his weekend at Thruxton, 16-year-old Louis Foster bounced back to return to the British Formula 4 podium at the weekend with a third-place finish in race three at Thruxton.
The Friday practice sessions at the UK’s fastest circuit, and Louis’ home circuit, set a positive tone for the weekend ahead for the Copart-sponsored driver. With interchangeable conditions on show throughout the day, Louis set the second-fastest time in the dry morning session.
With rain coming down during the day’s lunch break, Louis headed out on a set of wet tyres for the second free practice session and finished the session as the seventh fastest driver.
Qualifying on Saturday provided a damp track for the Lord Wandsworth College pupil. Louis’ first half of the session started well, and after the first set of flying laps, he was sitting third fastest.
However, as the circuit began to dry, the lap times began to tumble which left Louis one lap to set his best qualifying effort. With the chequered flag waved, Louis made a slight mistake on his flying lap and meant that he finished the qualifying session ninth fastest – with his second fastest lap also recording a ninth-position starting place for the final race of the weekend.
The first race at Thruxton proved to be challenging for Louis, who started the proceedings from the fifth row on the grid. Running in the ever-competitive mid-field, Louis suffered contact on the first lap and was subsequently lapping at the back of the pack with a badly damaged front wing.
Losing time, Louis was left with no option but to dive into the pits on lap four. Now over a minute behind his competitors, Louis was unable to close the deficit to the runners in front and he had to settle for 12th position.
The second race saw Louis get off to a fantastic start as he made his way from 12th to eighth on the opening lap of the race and by lap four, Louis was up to sixth place and charging towards the podium – as well as setting the fastest lap of the race.
However, on lap eight, Louis was again hit with another stroke of misfortune as he picked up a puncture and was forced to retire from the action. A bitterly disappointing result when he looked set for a strong result.
Starting the final race of the weekend from ninth on the grid, Louis got a good, clean getaway and set about hunting down the leading pack. Getting off to a rapid start in the final race of the weekend, Louis was already up to seventh on lap two, and continuing his momentum towards the front he was up to fourth by the fourth lap.
Next in front was Luke Browning and Louis performed a textbook move on him – powering past on the inside at Allard. With his position maintained, the Vansdirect-sponsored driver came under pressure from behind but kept his cool to cross the line in third position to make a long-awaited return to the podium.
“Despite getting back on the podium, this weekend has been frustrating for me,” the Double R racing driver said. “I made a mistake in qualifying which ultimately cost us as I started well away from where I know I should have been starting.
“Starting from the middle of the pack is always tough and you’re always likely to pick up contact. Unfortunately, that happened in race one and ruled us out of any strong result. Race two was also frustrating because I was feeling really quick and thought I could have made up a few more positions before the puncture!
“Race three was the turning point of the weekend and it felt great to finally be back on the podium! Nonetheless, racing is full of highs and lows and the team and I work together to look forward to Knockhill now, where we’ll look to kick on again.”
With Louis currently third in the championship standings on 237 points – 36 points behind second-placed Sebastian Alvarez – Louis’ next British F4 race weekend will take him to Knockhill, Scotland, on 14-15th September.