Double delight for JHR Developments as Simmons scores wins at Brands
JHR Developments began its 2018 season with a winning start in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. In his first race for the team, Ayrton Simmons scored a superb lights-to-flag victory at the Kent circuit, and followed up with another victory from pole on Sunday, live on ITV4.
Despite the best efforts of the chasing pack around him, Simmons remained calm and stuck to his lines to secure the win in race one on Saturday, and proving it was no fluke, the 16-year old also put in the fastest lap of the race just before mid-distance. Starting seventh for race two, he made his way up to fourth on track, which was became second as the leaders were awarded 10-second penalties for false starts.
It was more of the same for race three on Sunday afternoon despite having to start on the damp side of the grid on a drying track. Simmons briefly lost the lead on the first lap but regained it the next time around and wouldn’t surrender top spot again, securing another excellent victory and a dominant lead in the Championship standings.
Josh Skelton, in his first racing laps out of karting, scored solid results on Saturday. After finishing fifth in the Rookie Cup during race one he finished on the podium in race two, boosting his confidence. In the tricky conditions of race three Josh kept calm and held off those behind him after a safety car re-start, coming in fifth overall and second in the Rookie Cup.
Manuel Sulaiman made up several spots at the start of race one and finished in the points in eighth place. He was unlucky to lose out on another points finish in race two when he was adjudged to have exceeded track limits and awarded a five-second time penalty, which dropped him to 12th place. A tough weekend was capped when he slid off in the tricky conditions during race three and retired.
Steven Hunter, Team Principal JHR Developments
Teams’ Championship: 2nd, 78 points
“It’s been an exceptional start to the season for the team. Ayrton performed faultlessly and he’s certainly showing he’s got the potential to be a future champion. He’s been in a very positive frame of mind throughout the weekend and decisions made by the engineering staff have been spot on. They’ve done a fabulous job with the car.
“We also showed our strength with Josh Skelton who was one of the quickest drivers out on track despite the fact he has very little experience. This is the only championship we haven’t won on the TOCA package so hopefully it will go our way this year!”
Ayrton Simmons, driver #12
Race 1: Grid 1st, Race 1st
Race 2: Grid 7th, Race 2nd
Race 3: Grid 1st, Race 1st
Championship: 1st, 68 points
Josh Skelton, driver #43
Race 1: Grid 9th, Race 12th
Race 2: Grid 12th, Race 11th
Race 3: Grid 7th, Race 5th
Championship: 9th, 10 points / Rookie Cup: 3rd, 43 points
Manuel Sulaiman, driver #22
Race 1: Grid 11th, Race 8th
Race 2: Grid 8th, Race 12th
Race 3: Grid 9th, Race DNF
Championship: 12th, 4 points