April 10, 2019
Vansdirect sponsored racer, Louis Foster started his British F4 campaign with a bang, securing his first victory in British F4 in just the second race of the weekend, sitting in third place overall in the championship standings after a fantastic opening weekend at Brands Hatch!
The debut weekend for Louis Foster in British F4 took the 15-year old to Brands Hatch to compete in the first three races of the season around the Indy Circuit. His debut season in British F4 also means a switch into single-seaters, with his weekend commencing on Friday as the Vansdirect sponsored driver took part in two practice sessions to get up to speed around the circuit representing his new team Double R racing.
Louis got off to a solid start at the Kent circuit, taking fourth and fifth places in the first two practices respectively, ahead of his first qualifying session on the Saturday morning.
Saturday morning came and it was a cold and cloudy start to the day, this cold weather would impact on tyre temperature causing the Vansdirect sponsored youngster to struggle to get his tyres to the optimum initially, when he finally did traffic curtailed his run and Louis had to battle to secure sixth and fourth places on the grid for races one and three as the weather began to take a turn for the worse ahead of the first race of the British F4 season.
The opening race of the campaign was a very wet affair, with rain crashing down on the Brands Hatch circuit, meaning the car was equipped with wet weather tyres. Louis struggled to find the grip that some other cars seemed to have and was unable to match their speed, slipping back to seventh place where he finished to put his first British F4 championship points on the board.
Race action on Sunday was broadcast live on ITV4 with Louis given the honour of carrying the ITV onboard camera, however action was delayed for a couple of hours due to dog descending on the Brands Hatch circuit. The top six places from the first race were reversed for race two, meaning Louis just missed out on the reverse grid pole position and would start the second race of the weekend and campaign from seventh place and once again the cars called upon wet tyres.
Louis started race two well from the inside of row four on the grid and was immediately battling for six place through the first four corners of the race before being pushed onto the grass down the cooper straight, he then decided to tuck in behind the cars in front and prepare to launch his next attack, finishing the first lap up one place in sixth. The safety car was then deployed with a car in the gravel needing to be recovered and the field was bunched up.
The safety car stayed out for two laps, with Vansdirect sponsored Foster getting a strong restart, getting an excellent launch out of the final corner, he breezed past Josh Skelton in fifth place moving into the top five. Tyres were now up to temperature and Louis had gained a better understanding of conditions, meaning he was now the fastest man on the circuit and was rapidly catching Turney in fourth place, he then made light work of Turney heading into Druids hairpin and moved up to fourth with eyes on the top three with only six minutes remaining on the clock.
Lapping almost a second quicker than his Double R Racing teammate, Louis was now all over Alvarez as the two were locked in a gargantuan battle for the final spot on the podium, running side by side for the duration of lap 17. Louis got down the inside of Alvarez around the final corner, claimed the inside line to take third spot, the battle wasn’t over there with Alvarez coming back at Louis in a move that resulted in the two making contact, fortunately this was minimal as Louis escaped any serious damage to cement third place.
The Vansdirect sponsored driver then looked destined to cross the line in third place as he entered the final few corners, however it was all action slightly further down the road, as Browning made a move on Maloney on the final corner of the circuit which resulted in contact and Maloney in the gravel, this meant Louis crossed the line in second spot, however Browning was handed a time penalty for his antics meaning Louis inherited the race win to gain his first win of the season and first win in British F4.
Louis was understandably buoyed by his first race victory earlier on in the day, starting the final race of the weekend from fourth place on the grid with the track drying out enough for slicks to be used on his car. Louis got a strong start to the first dry race of the campaign, intelligently staying out of trouble through the opening lap and keeping hold of his fourth place position.
The last race of the weekend was relatively devoid of drama, with Louis keeping his head down and consistently posting fast lap times to claim an impressive fourth place which he held from lights to flag to add a further 12 points to his championship tally.
Vansdirect sponsored Louis reflected on his opening weekend of the season and was delighted to earn his first win, but is aware that British F4 will be a learning curve for him:
“Overall, a really positive weekend! Taking my first win in only my second race is a fantastic feeling and is the perfect way to kick the year off. I struggled on Saturday, in qualifying and the first race in the wet conditions, but came back on Sunday looking to put that right and that’s exactly what I did.
I had some great battles out there and maybe got a bit too close with my teammate but managed to get away with it to pick up my first British F4 win! I know there’s a lot for me still to learn if I want to be at the top every race, but I’m still really pleased with the opening weekend. To be leaving the first round with a good haul of points, and sitting 3rd in the standings, is a fantastic way to start the year and I can’t wait to get back out on track at Donington.”
Louis leaves Brands Hatch with 43 points to his name, with points in each of the weekend’s races, he now heads to Donington Park (27th-28th April) third in the overall championship standings, where you’ll be able to follow the action on ITV4 or itv.com!
Images courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography
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