Quartet of podiums for JHR Developments at Oulton Park
JHR Developments enjoyed a successful trip to Oulton Park with the F4 British Championship this weekend (June 28-30), as it left with four podium finishes.
Josh Skelton took two second place trophies, Carter Williams made his second trip to the podium with third in race two, and debutant Alex Walker was deservedly third in the Rookie standings for race three.
Running at the front of the field from the start, Josh carried his form over in to qualifying as he was just 0.1s from pole position, lining up second for the first 20-minute contest.
He had a steady race after a good start, keeping his position to the chequered flag, though had to fend off the attentions of Bart Horsten on the final lap.
Carter fought for fifth place running into the first corner but fell to seventh after the early laps. Despite being in close proximity to Louis Foster, he wasn’t able to regain his starting position by the flag.
It was a strong debut for Alex as although he lost one position at the start after contact, he continued without drama and settled into a rhythm, catching those ahead to finish inside the top ten on his first-ever single-seater race.
Unfortunately, a standard part failure meant Josh was unable to take the start of race two, but it was a different story for Carter. Navigating through chaos at the start he jumped from seventh to second on the opening lap.
By his third trip around the 2.2-mile circuit he had caught leader Tommy Foster and a tussle for the lead begun with Championship front-runner Zane Maloney entering the mix. Carter fell back to third but held on to his place to secure his second podium of the season.
Another strong start for 15-year-old Alex put him immediately into a battle for eighth place. However, with only a handful of laps to run, he noticed his temperatures starting to rise so pulled into the pits where the team removed some debris from his radiators and sent him back on his way, finishing in 13th.
Thanks to the hard work by the team Josh took his second-place grid position for the last race of the weekend. Despite a Safety Car mid-race, he put in some rapid laps in the closing stages, setting the fastest lap of the race and narrowly missing a chance of victory.
The bad luck returned for Carter who was forced wide at turn one. He focused on recovering his race to take seventh across the line but was subsequently handed a ten second penalty, compounding a disappointing afternoon.
Alex made good ground slotting into tenth early on in the race. He kept calm and in control despite pressure from behind taking eighth place and earning a spot on the Rookie podium.
The team heads into the month-long summer break before returning to action for rounds 16, 17, and 18 at Snetterton in Norfolk over August 2-4.
G1 – 2, R1 – 2
G2 – 5, R2 – DNS
G3 – 2, R3 – 2
Drivers' Championship: 5 (131.5 points)
“The weekend started really well for me first in practice then taking two second places in qualifying. Race one was a bit boring really. I got off the line and then stayed in second for the whole race. Zane [Maloney] had a slight advantage as he had new tyres but apart from that I think it was a good result. Race two was disappointing as we didn’t get off the grid.
“We’ve come back today and put that behind us. I got off the line really well and it looked very promising for my first win, but the Safety Car hampered our chances. I’m still really happy with second. I’m confident going to Snetterton, we did some testing there which went well so hopefully we can get some good results there and move up higher in the Championship and get our first win.”
G1 – 6, R1 – 7
G2 – 7, R2 – 3
G3 – 6, R3 – 11
Drivers' Championship: 10 (71 points)
“We got off the back foot during qualifying really; we should have been higher, but I couldn’t put a lap together, so we took P6 twice. Race one was ok, Louis [Foster] got past me so I ended up seventh and as two cars crashed, we lost the pole for race two which was really frustrating. I managed to fight for second in race two and then for the win, but Carlin were pretty quick, so we settled for third.
“In race three we were hoping for something a little bit better with the new tyres, but I got pushed wide on the grass and then we only had eight minutes of racing after the Safety Car so there were no opportunities. Hopefully after the summer break we can come back with some luck because the pace is there, but we need something to be on our side!”
G1 – 12, R1 – 10
G2 – 10, R2 – 13
G3 – 12, R3 – 8
Drivers' Championship: 13 (5 points)
Rookie Cup: 5 (37 points)
“Qualifying was pretty hard as I was out on my own on track so didn’t get a tow from anyone, but it went ok for my first ever single-seater session as I wasn’t last! The first race I started pretty slow because I was getting my bearings and familiarising myself with having the other cars on track around me, but it was still a good result.
“The second race went even better. I was running high up in a points position, but I was just a bit unlucky with a mistake. However, I learnt from it for the last race and I got a podium so I’m so happy. I’d like to thank all my sponsors and JHR Developments for giving me this opportunity to get me here and I can’t wait for the next race.”
Steven Hunter, Team Principal
“I’m happy with this weekend. Today’s Safety Car potentially robbed us of a win really as we had the pace, but we can’t be unhappy with second. I think all three drivers have had ups and downs. Carter drove fantastically yesterday for third and obviously Josh drove brilliantly to take two seconds this weekend.
“For Alex to finish on the Rookie podium is amazing on his first weekend. We have a bit of testing during the summer break ahead of Snetterton. We will be busy making sure we will come back for the second half of the season ready to take the top step of the podium!”