Simmons stays on top after trio of podiums for JHR Developments at Thruxton
Ayrton Simmons remains in the lead of the F4 British Championship – powered by Ford Ecoboost, after securing three podiums with JHR Developments at Thruxton. On a strong weekend for the team, Manuel Sulaiman and Josh Skelton also recorded top-five finishes to boost their points tally.
Despite starting a lowly 12th on the grid for race one, Ayrton produced a superb drive to scythe his way through the field and put himself in position to benefit from last-lap contact between the leaders.
“I got a brilliant start,” he said. “I tried to stay away from all the incidents and keep my head cool. I was hoping to get a top four finish in the race in an attempt to minimise the damage. I went from 12th to sixth on the first lap and that certainly helped make my life easier.”
For race two Ayrton battled damaged steering to bring home another podium, and followed up with second place in race three, defending hard to secure valuable championship points. “JHR Developments has been doing an amazing job this season,” he said. “I'm confident that we can achieve many more great results in 2018.”
Rookie Josh Skelton continued his first season in single-seaters with two solid seventh-place finishes, including a strong drive from 12th on the grid in race three, as well as a season-equalling best performance with fifth in race two. In that race he enjoyed a battle with team-mate Manuel Sulaiman, who finished 0.6s ahead of Josh in fourth.
It was the Mexican’s best finish of the season so far, bouncing back from the disappointment of retiring after contact off the line in race one. Manuel finished fifth on track in race three but was demoted to 11th after being given a ten-second penalty for starting out of position.
Race one: Grid – 12, Race – 2
Race two: Grid – 4, Race – 3
Race three: Grid – 6, Race – 2
Championship: 1 (153 points)
Race one: Grid – 10, Race – 7
Race two: Grid – 7, Race – 5
Race three: Grid – 12, Race – 7
Championship: 9 (37 points)
Rookie cup: 4 (131 points)
Race one: Grid – 8, Race – DNF
Race two: Grid – 14, Race – 4
Race three: Grid – 10, Race – 11
Championship: 11 (17 points)