Williams claims podium on debut British F4 weekend with JHR Developments
JHR Developments enjoyed a podium finish on the opening weekend of the F4 British Championship, as Carter Williams finished third in race three at a cold, foggy, and damp Brands Hatch in Kent.
California native Carter took a gamble in qualifying to claim fourth place for race one, while team-mate Josh Skelton lined up eighth on the grid. Making a good start, Carter was running third in the first race, but slid wide on the damp circuit and lost positions, while Josh ran solidly, passing his colleague and finishing a place ahead in eighth. Sadly, Josh would retire from race two after being involved in an incident at Druids halfway through the 20-minute contest, while Carter finished an impressive sixth, just 1.4s off the podium places.
Carter would make it stick in race three however, taking second place into Paddock Hill Bend before being re-passed for the position at Druids. The American drove calmly from there onwards, bringing the car home in third place and securing a podium on his opening weekend with the team. It was another tough race for Josh though, as he was forced to pit for a new nose cone after damage to his front wing, meaning he was trapped a lap down on the rest of the field.
JHR Developments is next in action at Donington Park in Leicestershire for rounds four, five, and six of the F4 British Championship. Qualifying takes place on Saturday April 27 at 12:05, with the first of three 20-minute races taking place that afternoon at 17:05. Races two and three will be held on Sunday April 28 at 10:45 and 16:25 respectively, the latter being shown live on ITV4 and via ITV.com.
Grid 1 – 4, Race 1 – 9
Grid 2 – 9, Race 2 – 6
Grid 3 – 3, Race 3 – 3
Championship: 5 (25 points)
“Summing up the weekend I’d say a lot was learnt, especially from the rain, but it was good to get a dry race and secure P3 as a result. We struggled a bit in free practice, as we don’t necessarily have the amount of tyres that other teams do. I also had a little trip to the gravel so that hampered our FP2 times and really, I went into qualifying blind. I went out late on new tyres but bagged two good laps at the end for P4 and P3.
“The first race was really my first time in the wet so didn’t have a lot of experience and the team made a call on tyre choice. It wasn’t really wet, it was greasy more than anything, and as a result Josh and I didn’t do very well. In race two the car was better, but I was still trying to find set although I came away with a great sixth place. I started P3 for race three, showed our pace, and got a podium out of it so I’m excited for what’s to come. I’m really looking forward to Donington. Brands I’d say is one of the tracks we struggle on more than the others, so to come away from here at the first round with some points and a podium is good.”
Grid 1 – 8, Race 1 – 8
Grid 2 – 8, Race 2 – DNF
Grid 3 – 8, Race 3 – 12
Championship: 11 (4 points)
“It was a frustrating first race of the season. I qualified P8. There was much more potential, but I couldn’t get the car set right. The wet conditions for race one and a wrong decision on tyres meant we had a lack of grip. I was happy with my driving and knew the speed was there though.
“We got off to a good start in race two and were showing really good speed. Going for a move for fourth though, we made contact and picked up damage which meant a DNF. Race three we were looking very quick on the opening laps, but we got contact from another driver resulting in damage and had to pit. Once we back on track we were amongst the quickest, even with damage, so we’re looking to the next one at Donington Park.”
Steven Hunter, Team Manager
“It’s been a very tough weekend but it’s always nice to finish with a podium at the end of it. I think it’s quite clear both drivers have been quick enough to be up there, it’s just been a case of needing some luck on our side and a few little teething problems we need to address.
“Carter is learning and hasn’t spent a lot of time in the car. He’s clearly got the talent and I’m sure there’s bigger and better things to come. Josh had an atrocious weekend to be totally honest. We came to Brands Hatch on a high because he’s been quick all through testing and again luck’s not been on his side, having an incident at Druids in race two and needing a nose change in race three. We also made a technical error during race one so, unfortunately, it’s been a bad weekend which got worse as it went along, but onwards and upwards for Donington Park.”