20th May 2019
Louis Foster maintained his British F4 championship lead this weekend as the 15-year old Double R racer experienced a weekend of ups and downs but battled adversity to record more championship points and collect more silverware.
After a dominant start to his 2019 campaign, the Double R Racing driver headed to his home circuit in front in the championship standings.
In true British Formula 4 style, qualifying came down to the wire with Louis ultimately doing enough to snatch pole position away from a rapid Zane Maloney.
Louis got qualifying off to a good start, by sitting second in the timesheets until the closing stages. However, the Hampshire-born driver was determined to better his lap time and on lap 10, his final flying lap, Louis set a blisteringly fast time of 1:13.479s to put himself ahead of Maloney by 0.076 seconds.
With Louis’ time the fastest of the field – and the driver to clock the least amount of laps in the top four – the 15-year-old set his third pole position of the season.
Louis had a great initial getaway from pole position but could do nothing to protect his lead as Luke Browning passed him. A safety car was then sent out on the second lap and prohibited Louis from being able to retake the lead with the field being neutralised.
At the race restart, the Vansdirect-sponsored driver did well to defend from the competition behind, and he ran in second until lap seven where Louis was overtaken by Tommy Foster. Louis was forced to take evasive action and went over the grass at the final chicane as a result. Running off the track, Louis was then passed by several cars but fought as best as he could to limit the damage.
The same manoeuver occurred just a short while later, and Louis’ race had taken an unfortunate turn. Now in tenth, the Lord Wandsworth College pupil could do no more.
Despite the disappointing result, Louis still picked up a championship point to help his fight to remain top, as well as setting the third fastest lap of the race.
Sunday began with race two, and this event was all about recovery for Louis after starting from 10th on the grid – as decided by yesterday’s race one results.
On the opening lap, Louis made a fantastic overtake on Roberto Faria to move up to ninth. With the race now in full swing, Louis held seventh position on lap five – now having to hunt down championship rival and team-mate Sebastian Alvarez.
The pair climbed through the order and they were absolutely flying. Making his way from 10th on the grid at the starting light, Louis crossed the finishing line twenty minutes later in 4th place.
The Copart UK Limited-sponsored driver once again showed his immense pace, as he charged through the field to just miss out on the podium but collected a strong haul of points in the process.
The final race at Thruxton proved to be a nail-biting final outing of the weekend, with Louis fighting race-long for that desired victory.
Starting from the second row of the grid, Louis quickly overtook Tommy Foster on lap nine to slot himself into second position.
By continuously setting the fastest laps for the remainder of the race, Louis came tantalisingly close to leader Maloney and despite his best efforts, he wasn’t able to overtake the Carlin driver and crossed the line a mere 0.2 seconds behind Maloney to take second place and a thoroughly deserved podium.
After the weekend, Louis commented:
“We qualified well on Saturday and showed lots of promise, but unfortunately it just didn’t go our way at certain points. Saturday’s race was frustrating as I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time on a lot of occasions.
“We bounced back in race two to move from P10 to P4 and could have maybe made it on to the podium if I wanted to take the risk but I decided to just bag the points. If there’d have been another lap or so in the final race, I definitely would have had the chance to put in a good overtake on Maloney. But, at the end of the day, coming second in that race meant I’d done enough to still lead the championship standings after a challenging weekend.
“I’m pleased with my performance on the whole – I came back well in race two to take fourth and race three was even better with that podium finish, overall giving us a strong haul of points from the weekend, which we can all be pleased with.”
Louis now leads the championship standings by five points, as he prepares for Croft in four week’s time on June 15/16.