18th August 2020
After a sensational debut in the BRDC British F3 Championship, Louis Foster impressed once again as the 17-year-old claimed his maiden victory at Donington Park in only his second weekend in the series.
Having impressed once again throughout the Thursday and Friday practice sessions, setting the fastest time seen across all sessions combined, Louis entered qualifying with a strong chance of repeating his pole position feat from Oulton Park. The Copart-backed driver was immediately on the pace, lapping well within the top three positions. Despite his best efforts, Louis couldn’t quite usurp Kaylen Frederick and lined up in P2 for races one and three.
“I was really happy to get another two front-row starts. The speed we had through practice showed we could’ve perhaps gone one better but it’s still a great result and puts us in the best place possible to convert them into good race results.”
Starting from the front-row for the first race, Louis held firm in second as the lights went out and began his pursuit of Frederick in front. As the field made their way through the Foggarty Esses on the first lap, Frederick made a mistake and ran wide off the road. This allowed Louis to assume the lead of the race and he wasted no time in building a gap to the Hitech duo behind.
A Safety Car to recover a stricken vehicle negated Louis’ efforts in the early laps and left him to control the restart at the end of lap five. Once again, the Poggesi-sponsored driver had the measure of the field as he held off a charging Ushijima and quickly began to rebuild the gap he lost before the safety car deployment.
From there, Louis remained untroubled and crossed the finish line to claim his maiden BRDC British F3 victory by 1.4 seconds.
“To get my first win in the series in only my second weekend was fantastic. The car felt great, as it has done all weekend, and really allowed me to keep it calm and collected. I capitalised on Frederick’s mistake and then made sure I didn’t make any of my own, even with the pressure coming from Ushijima. It’s a brilliant result in terms of momentum, we can definitely keep it going from here.”
A stunning second race from Louis saw the Lord Wandsworth College pupil vault from a reverse-grid 18th starting spot to an eighth place finish at the chequered flag.
Louis gained the majority of those places on the opening tour of the Leicestershire circuit, rising to 11th as all the drivers battled the challenging weather conditions. From there he simply bided his time and made decisive moves when they mattered most – scything past two cars on the ninth lap to rise to ninth place. Louis then made up a further place with a sublime move around the outside of Carter Williams.
Crossing the line in eighth place meant Louis gained the most positions of any driver throughout the race – an excellent ten – and banked a valuable 18 points in the championship.
“The weather made this race all the more tricky but equally as fun! I enjoy driving in wet weather, I’ve got quite a nice rhythm in it so I knew I had the chance to do pretty well but even then, to gain ten positions was a bit of a surprise. Again the car worked really well and gave me total confidence to be able to make these moves stick.”
The final race of the weekend proved to be a thrilling spectacle with some supremely close racing on offer. Lining up second on the grid, Louis was at the mercy of the fast-charging Frederick, Jewiss and Skelton behind and was relegated to fifth.
From there, the quartet were locked in tight wheel-to-wheel combat over the final podium spot for the duration of the race, chopping and changing positions on a regular basis. Their squabbling allowed Nico Varrone to latch on to the battle and, before long, a five-way fight for third had broken out.
By the end of the race Louis had held firm for sixth place, with the five cars separated by just 1.5s.
“I think we got as close to each other as you could get without crashing. All five of us had a realistic shot at that podium, it was just about being in the right place at the right time to make a move stick and getting a good exit off the final corner to out-drag down the straight. I can be happy with sixth though, again it’s more points in the championship and it was a really fun race to be involved in.”
Following his hat-trick of top-ten finishes, Louis now occupies fourth place in the championship standings with 114 points as the BRDC British F3 Championship moves to Brands Hatch GP on bank holiday weekend – 29-30 August.
Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.