Clean sweep for JHR Developments with hat-trick of victories on thrilling Thruxton visit
JHR Developments celebrated a superb seven trophy haul on a weekend to remember in the F4 British Championship at Thruxton in Hampshire.
After Carter Williams secured his maiden win in race one, Josh Skelton followed up with the victory on Sunday morning, before Carter led Josh across the line in an emotional one-two for the team in the final race.
It was also another impressive performance for Alex Walker on just his third race weekend in the series as the teenager secured another pair of Rookie podium finishes: his fifth in just nine races.
Californian Carter made an excellent start from second on the grid for the first contest of the weekend, and quickly built what would become an unassailable lead. Behind him Josh moved into fifth at the start and climbed up the order to put himself in a position to capitalise on a five-second track limits penalty for Zane Maloney, crossing the line for another podium, while Alex similarly did well to take third place in the Rookie Cup.
It was all about Josh in race two as he made a great start to slot into third on the road which quickly became second when Maloney was given a ten-second penalty for starting the race out of position. The Cumbrian was intelligent enough to recognise this via his pit board and lined up a race-winning move at the final corner on the final lap to take his second win of the season.
It was an eventful contest for Carter, who spun while trying to pull off a move at the final chicane on the opening lap, but he recovered well from being behind the pack to cross the line sixth. Alex, meanwhile, had an entertaining race battling with a number of drivers en route to another third place in the Rookie Cup.
At the start of race three, Carter and Josh shot off the line and past Luke Browning on pole, before opening up a gap to the chasing pack. Despite being team-mates, the pair fought hard on track, but Carter managed to best Josh to head a memorable one-two finish. Further back Alex had a scary moment as he spun at the fast Goodwood corner, but recovered to cross the line fourth of the Rookie drivers.
The team will next be in action at Knockhill in Scotland over the weekend of September 13-15, for rounds 22, 23, and 24 of the F4 British Championship.
Grid 1 – 2, Race – 1
Grid 2 – 4, Race – 6
Grid 3 – 2, Race – 1
Drivers’ Championship: 8 (157 points)
“It’s been mega: a fantastic weekend for us and the team. We had insane pace in practice and took second in qualifying for races one and three. In race one I got a good start, it worked out for me, and I got a gap and managed it. It felt really good to get that first win.
“I had a little mishap which was my fault trying to go around the outside of the chicane in the second race. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I drove well to get back to sixth where I started so no harm no foul.
“In race three the team started second and third, so we had a plan going in and delivered. JHR has done really well this weekend. Josh and I learn off each other all the time and to get another perspective in the team from Alex has helped. He’s really quick in the sim and was fantastic this weekend.”
Grid 1 – 4, Race – 3
Grid 2 – 6, Race – 1
Grid 3 – 3, Race – 2
Drivers’ Championship: 4 (230.5 points)
“It’s been a great weekend, not perfect but not far from it, and a podium in every race means it has been the best one so far. Croft was a win but was only half points so I was a bit disappointed, but this time I fought hard. It came down to the last lap and last corner and I was a bit overwhelmed with it really.
“I got a massive run out of Church and was late on the brakes. I left Tommy [Foster] enough room though we did have a little contact which meant we both cut the chicane, but nothing came of it because it was just avoiding action.
“I would never try not to win a race, so I wasn’t going to let Carter have it easy in race three. I had a really good start; we broke the gap to those behind and pulled out an advantage to have a little fight at the end of the race. I tried a few things which didn’t work but I’m really happy to bring home a one-two for the team. They have been working hard to perfect everything and it is paying off. We’re pushing each other hard on the sim in the week and it’s all coming together.”
Grid 1 – 7, Race – 8 (Rookie: 3)
Grid 2 – 8, Race – 9 (R: 3)
Grid 3 – 6, Race – 13 (R: 4)
Rookie Cup: 5 (121 points)
“Every race I’m in, getting closer and battling with different people – because everyone races in a different way – is helping me improve as a driver and getting my race craft better so hopefully next year I can use those skills.
“Saturday wasn’t the best day, but we spent a lot of time figuring out how I could improve. We did a debrief and analysis on the starts and on Sunday I got the best start I’ve ever had. I took some places but had a bit of a spin – I started to slide mid-corner through Goodwood and touched the grass and it swapped ends. After that my pace was still good even though I was by myself because I’d improved on things.
“Carter is helping me a lot because he is really good on the sim: he finds time in weird places! But he is a good person to learn from because he’s done a lot of racing in cars, so we spend quite a bit of time in the sim and I learn off him and hopefully he learns off me sometimes too!”
Steven Hunter, Team Manager
“I’m elated. The performance from all the drivers has been fantastic. Carter produced some fabulous drives, Josh has had an exceptional points haul from the weekend which is pulling him back into the championship, and Alex continues to impress with time in the car.
“Motorsport has its ups and downs and it's nice this weekend we’re on the up. You don’t get too many opportunities to experience times like this, so we’re going to make sure we enjoy it.”