JHR Developments remains in hunt for Drivers’ Championship title after chaotic Silverstone visit
JHR Developments had a weekend of two halves as it travelled to Silverstone for the penultimate meeting of the F4 British Championship season.
After a superb run of form, the team sits second in the Teams’ Cup, while Josh Skelton has vaulted into Drivers’ Championship contention as he recorded a record-breaking ninth-straight podium finish on Saturday.
With Josh leading team-mate Carter Williams across the line in third place at the end of race one, things looked bright for the team as Rookie Alex Walker also demonstrated good speed before an electrical fault caused his retirement from the contest.
However, in difficult and wet conditions on Sunday the team and drivers struggled to find the pace that has been present in recent rounds. Josh managed to bounce back to finish fourth in race three and was handed a reprieve in the championship as joint-leaders Zane Maloney and Sebastian Alvarez took each other out.
Carter suffered bad luck when he was pushed into spins from second and third place during races two and three, while Alex similarly had to battle to keep pace with his rivals, finishing outside the Rookie Cup podium places early on Sunday, and once again retiring with the electrical problem later that afternoon.
Despite the disappointing end to the weekend, the team is looking forward to the final three races of the campaign at Brands Hatch on its challenging Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of October 11-13.
A strong performance from Josh coupled with bad luck for his rivals could hand him the overall title, while Carter could still claim fifth in the standings. For Alex, second in the Rookie Cup is possible, despite only joining the championship mid-season.
Grid 1 – 2, Race – 3
Grid 2 – 4, Race – 9
Grid 3 – 2, Race – 4
Drivers’ Championship: 4 (307.5 points)
“On Friday, we struggled a little because we went out on old tyres, but we were happy with the pace from Thursday’s test. For qualifying, we made a change and went P2 for races one and three and carried the speed into the first race where we finished third, but we didn’t quite have the pace to match the Double R boys.
“We started fourth for race two, struggled off the start line, and didn’t have the setup right so dropped back, ending up P9 which was disappointing. I didn’t get a good start in race three either; I got too much wheelspin and fell back to sixth. Two drivers had an incident which put us P4 and that’s where we finished. We're still in for the championship. It will be hard to do it but we’ll try our best. Maloney and Alvarez taking each other off has definitely helped me so we will see what we can do at Brands Hatch.”
Grid 1 – 5, Race – 4
Grid 2 – 3, Race – 10
Grid 3 – 5, Race – 10
Drivers’ Championship: 6 (218 points)
“Testing went alright but we didn’t have the pace of the Double R cars. I got P2 in qualifying early on, but it is close here and I was pipped by a tenth so started fifth for races one and three. Race one was dry and went great, and Josh and I finished third and fourth. The cars didn’t have pace on Sunday and there wasn’t anything we could do and I got fired off at Brooklands on lap one. If I was up there, I could defend but when you get sent to the back and you’re half a straight behind it is really tough to catch everybody because it is so close.
“I got off to a good start for race three, but people were abusing track limits again, which is what it is. I got a decent start and was up to third or fourth but going into turn two I got tagged a little in the back in the braking zone and had nowhere to go except into Bart [Horsten], spun around, and couldn’t fight to get back as I had no pace. We’re even further back from fifth in the championship which sucks because we’ve worked so hard for it. It's frustrating but hopefully it will be a dry weekend at Brands.”
Grid 1 – 6, Race – DNF
Grid 2 – 13, Race – 11 (Rookie: 4)
Grid 3 – 7, Race – DNF
Rookie Cup: 5 (133 points)
“I didn’t test on Friday but Thursday was good and we had pace in the dry and wet. On Saturday morning I qualified sixth and seventh for the first and third races which was good considering I’d only had one day driving the circuit.
“In race one we had an electrical issue with a few laps to go which caused me to retire from sixth. For race two we had the wet setup wrong and I couldn’t make up ground because I was starting at the back after retiring on Saturday, and the electrical issue returned for race three which caused me to retire again. I’ve never been to Brands Hatch before, so I am looking forward to that. It would be good to end the season on a high.”