BRITISH F4 TITLE BATTLE READY TO SHIFT UP A GEAR AT CROFT
Thruxton proved just how quickly things can change in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with a double victory for Carlin’s Zane Maloney changing the dynamic of this year’s title fight as the circus heads north to Croft this weekend [15th-16th June].
Maloney’s breakthrough win in Hampshire also netted him the £5,000 prize for winning the Ford Super Rookie Award as the first Rookie Cup entrant to win a race outright, and the Barbadian racer has since gone on to top the time sheets in each of the Ford EcoBoost-powered series’ four test sessions at Croft last week.
Repeating that success will prove a tough challenge this weekend around the 2.1-mile Yorkshire circuit, with current championship leader Louis Foster keen to bounce back from a difficult home event at Thruxton that saw his advantage at the top of the standings cut from 17 points to 5 over team-mate Sebastian Alvarez.
Their efforts so far have gone a long way towards Double R Racing’s 72-point lead in the Teams Cup, with Foster currently the best average qualifier on the grid and Alvarez the best average race finisher.
Sitting slightly further back in the standings are a host of the next generation of motorsport stars well-placed to capitalise on any mistake from the trio.
Arden Motorsport’s Bart Horsten has been quietly building up something of a trophy cabinet in recent weeks and now leads that chase, the Australian already a race-winner in 2019 and now fourth overall, five points clear of Richardson Racing’s Luke Browning.
Thruxton yielded a second victory of the season for Ginetta Junior graduate Browning, charging through from sixth on the grid to take the chequered flag first in the opening contest. Misfortune prevented the Cheshire-based racer from building on that triumph across the rest of the weekend, but expect Browning to be at the sharp end once again this weekend.
Josh Skelton’s season has turned a corner after podiums in the last two meetings, with the JHR Developments racer also awarded a spot on Motorsport UK’s prestigious Academy programme in recent weeks.
Team-mate Carter Williams is another to have shown he belongs at the front among the usual suspects, but needs a little more luck to help convert his pace into headline results.
Maloney’s Carlin team-mate Joe Turney continues in Britain’s FIA-sanctioned Formula 4 category for the this weekend’s triple-header, with the British and World X30 karting champion aiming for that elusive maiden win as he looks to close the deficit to Maloney in the Rookie Cup standings.
Then come those still in search of their first silverware in Ford’s winning formula. Tommy Foster (Arden) will be looking to inject life back into his title charge after equalling his season-best result of fourth in the ITV4-televised finale at Thruxton, whilst team-mate Alex Connor should be another podium prospect at Croft in the final of the three Red Arrows.
Solid pace has already rewarded Fortec duo Roberto Faria and Mariano Martinez with a good points haul in 2019. Faria’s aim now will be to push on and challenge Maloney in the Rookie Cup stakes, whilst Martinez showed at Thruxton that even better results could be just around the corner.
Reema Juffali completes the field for this weekend at Croft, the Double R racer set to make further inroads after steady progress since the season’s start.