JHR Developments searching for luck after disappointing weekend at Croft
Severe weather conditions hindered what could have been Josh Skelton’s maiden F4 British Championship win as JHR Developments had a difficult outing at the series' races at Croft last weekend (June 15-17).
The Cumbria-native was leading the second race on Saturday afternoon as heavy rain fell, but was disappointed when the red flags were shown and the race result cancelled, stopping what could have been a well-earned first victory.
A tricky qualifying session meant Josh set off from eighth on the grid for the first 20-minute contest. He quickly became part of a five-car scrap for the runner-up spot, taking sixth at the flag and pole position for the reverse grid race two.
Having made a mammoth 36-hour trip to compete at the Yorkshire venue, American Carter Williams had a tough Saturday. Trying to climb from 11th through the field, the rookie couldn’t quite find the pace he needed, meaning further improvements were not possible.
Disappointment for the team continued later that afternoon, however. Heavy rain had been falling and despite starting the race, where Josh looked comfortable out front, the Championship organisers brought out the red flag at the end of just two racing laps. After consultation, it was announced the race was void, and will be ran again later in the season.
Race three brought further frustration on Sunday, as Josh, the recently announced Motorsport UK Academy member, fell down the order after running wide, before being forced off the circuit into retirement. Carter, meanwhile, kept in control of his machine staying away from the chaos around him and focusing on a battle for seventh. Despite his efforts he crossed the line an agonising 0.2s behind his rival.
Next up for the team will be rounds 13, 14, and 15 of the F4 British Championship in two weeks’ time, at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Once again coverage will be available via the championship website as well as being broadcast live on ITV4 and ITV Hub online. Updates on the team’s performance can also be found via its social media channels.
Grid 1 – 8, Race - 6
Grid 2 – 1, Race - Cancelled
Grid 3 – 8, Race - DNF
Championship: 6 (95.5 points)
“The first race was steady. I had a good start and then everyone had a similar gap. Once you were stuck there you couldn’t really move forward but I did manage to pass a car on the last lap to get the reverse pole. Race two was disappointing. I got off the line and manged to keep the lead so just put my head down as the car felt pretty good. I was able to keep a good gap to the cars before the race was red flagged. Realistically I think we could have easily won.
“I didn’t get the best launch off the line for race three. I tried to make a couple of places up around the first corner but ran wide so I ended up in the gravel and dropped down the pack. I managed to gain a place halfway round the first lap and then went for a move alongside another driver. I was more or less past him, but he turned in on me which caused me to spin off into the grass. Hopefully I will qualify well at Oulton and we can have some better luck.”
Grid 1 – 11, Race - 11
Grid 2 – 11, Race - Cancelled
Grid 3 – 11, Race - 8
Championship: 10 (50 points)
“It’s definitely been an interesting weekend as we’ve had every type of weather possible except snow! I think at the end of the weekend we could see we were getting there; we definitely don’t have the pace Zane [Maloney] has but we are improving.
“Race one we went for a set-up we thought would be better but didn’t anticipate the grip of the track so both Josh and I struggled a bit and that ultimately put us on the back foot. The second race was disappointing as it was finally a wet set-up I enjoyed but there were only two laps before it got cancelled. We improved a little bit for the final race but being so far back it’s difficult to make up the places. I enjoy Oulton Park so hopefully we can have a good race there and put Croft behind us.”
Steven Hunter, Team Principal
“It’s been a very tough weekend that started with a difficult qualifying. Carter had 36 hours of travelling just to get here which took its toll on him a little bit, but he is in the UK for the next month so hopefully he can bounce back at Oulton Park.
“Josh drove really well in the first race and then we had the reserve grid pole for race two but unfortunately due to the ridiculous weather they put a stop to what I think clearly would have been a win for him and his first win of the year. He desperately needs a win just to give him some confidence. Fingers crossed we have some luck for Oulton Park.”