Further podium success for JHR Developments at Donington Park
JHR Developments left Donington Park with another podium finish in the F4 British Championship at the weekend (April 27/28) but it was a case of what might have been for the team.
Both Josh Skelton and Carter Williams demonstrated their pace and ability as both were in the mix for race victories, but some bad luck denied either of a maiden win in the series.
Josh made a lightning start to race one, climbing from seventh to fifth on the opening lap. Crossing the line to start the second tour he zoomed past four other cars to take the lead and open up an advantage but was slowly caught by Louis Foster, eventually crossing the just line 0.9s from the win.
Carter had an eventful race, climbing up to sixth from tenth on the grid but spun when a car went off in front of him. Getting his head down, despite being close to 20 seconds off the next car, he fought back valiantly and climbed up to an impressive seventh place at the end of the race.
Sunday’s first contest was a race of two halves as an early red flag caused a stoppage for barrier repairs. This helped Josh who had jumped the start then stalled, dropping to the rear of the field. Carter, meanwhile, raced to an early lead at the re-start before falling back to third. Sadly, for the American he went off in the closing stages and was not classified, while Josh recovered to seventh position.
For the final race of the weekend Josh was mixing up the front once again and when the two leaders started to squabble he made a good run at taking the lead, but was squeezed at the final chicane, losing momentum and recovering in fifth place, before regaining one spot before the flag. For Carter it was a tougher contest as a feeling of a lack of speed hampered his customary ability to pass rivals on track.
JHR Developments, Josh, and Carter will return to F4 British Championship action at Thruxton in Hampshire, for three high-speed races around the 2.3-mile former World War II airfield. As usual there will be coverage via the championship website, television coverage on ITV4 and ITV Hub online, and updates via the team’s official social media channels.
Grid 1 – 7, Race 1 – 2
Grid 2 – 5, Race 2 – 7
Grid 3 – 6, Race 3 – 4
Championship: 7 (40 points)
“We had a good dry set up all weekend. On Saturday we were quick, but we didn’t expect the track to dry as quickly as it did so towards the end Louis got past, but we had a podium. I made a mistake in race two and jumped the start but managed to get back to the pack and through to seventh, showing good pace again. I made up two places on the first lap in race three and after the Safety Car restart, I managed to catch the leaders and was battling for the lead into the last corner, but it didn’t quite pay off and I dropped back. The pack is really close and if something doesn’t pay off two or three cars come back past in one straight.
“I feel more at home now. I struggled a bit last year as it was a tough grid and I hadn’t done much testing, so it was straight in at the deep end. Now we’re back for a second year we’re looking strong. Obviously, we had a bad round at Brands but it’s good to get some points on the board – it’s a long season.”
Grid 1 – 10, Race 1 – 7
Grid 2 – 7, Race 2 – DNF
Grid 3 – 9, Race 3 – 7
Championship: 8 (37 points)
“It was more disappointing than anything. We had some pace but struggled in the wet. I made a really bad mistake in race two and in race one so I apologised to the team as we could have had at least a podium if not even a win. Race three was good until the restart and we just seemed to have no straight-line speed – it felt like the brake was dragging.
“We know we can get the job done. I think if we could have taken all the advantages this weekend, we’d have had some decent points, but it is a long championship and if we keep showing the pace, we have we’ll still have a good shot at the title. I feel comfortable in the car, in the dry it is phenomenal and in the wet it is just something little that we’re missing.”
Steven Hunter, Team Manager
Teams Cup: 4 (81 points)
“Quite clearly we’ve had the pace in the dry but not the luck. You could see Josh coming through potentially into a lead position in race three and he’s already had a second place finish this weekend. Unfortunately, we qualified in the wet and we didn’t have a good session with either car, so we’ve done a good job to get some points out of it. We’d have liked to have had a bit more, you can see both drivers are quick, they just need a bit of lick on their side.
“Carter at the moment is improving all the time. The error where he went off from third place, after going purple in three straight sectors so maybe he was pushing a bit too hard to get the win. The more experience both guys can get under their belts the quicker they will get, and the results will show that. On raw pace, lap for lap, they’re two of the quickest guys out there, they just need the rub of the green.”