April 30, 2019
Donington Park hosted Round 2 and Races 4-6 of the British F4 Championship. After turning 15 years old between the first and second round, Alex Connor joined Tommy Foster and Bart Horsten in the Arden squad for this weekend, kicking off his championship and Rookie Cup campaigns.
Qualifying was a truncated session, which was cut short in the damp conditions. Tommy was the lead Arden driver setting the 3rd quickest time of the session. Alex was the top Rookie in the session, setting the 5th fastest time and Bart rounded out the Arden trio with the 8th fastest time – which set the grid for Race 1.
The opening race saw Tommy in the running for the podium, holding down 3rd in the opening stages of the race. Alex had a lot of wheel spin at the start of his first race but began to work his way back through the order. Bart made stealthy progress from 8th on the grid, working himself into the hunt for the Top 5 with his two Arden teammates. Tommy battled hard with Joe Turney for the final spot on the podium, until their battle resulted in Tommy pitched into a half-spin at the Old Hairpin, dropping him down the order.
Bart was charging through the pack and seized that 3rd position in the closing stages of the race, holding it to the chequered flag to claim his first British F4 podium of the season. Alex finished his maiden race in a strong 5th position and 2nd on the Rookie Podium, with Tommy recovering to finish in the final points position in 10th.
Race 2 was the partially reversed-grid race, where Alex made a good start to move into 3rd position, with Bart and Tommy also gaining ground. Bart made a brilliant bold overtaking manoeuvre to vault himself into the lead of the race, going around the outside of the two leaders to seize the top spot in the race.
Alex and Tommy continued to make up ground, before a Red Flag was deployed to repair the tyre barriers following an accident on track.
Bart managed the restart well, resisting big pressure from Carter Williams to maintain his spot at the head of the field. Tommy managed to work his way up to 4th position and in the hunt to make it two Arden’s in the podium spots, before an excursion through the gravel sadly put pain to his progress. Alex then took over the mantle in 4th position, challenging hard for his own maiden podium - before the Safety Car was deployed due to another accident in the latter stages of the race.
Bart again controlled the restart well, holding onto the lead to bag his and Arden’s first victory of the 2019 season after a great drive. Alex held onto a strong 4th position and another 2nd in the Rookie Cup, with Tommy recovering from his excursion at the Old Hairpin to finish in 11th position.
The third and final race of the weekend saw the grid set by the driver’s second-fastest lap times in qualifying. Tommy would start from 4th, Alex from 5th and Bart from 10th position on the grid.
Tommy retained 4th at the start, with Bart making good progress up to 8th position, just behind Alex as the race began.
Tommy’s luckless weekend continued, as his car got loose going through the exit of the chicane and pitched him into the tyre barriers – bringing out the Safety Car while the barriers were repaired.
Bart sustained damage in the opening lap and made his way to the pits to change his front wing during the Safety Car period, rejoining at the back of the pack back still in the hunt for points.
After the restart, an intense battle for the lead saw a train of eight cars develop behind the duelling race leaders. Alex survived a scare as he was pushed off the circuit on the main straight, but held his ground as he maintained 7th position. Bart likewise survived a lairy moment down the Craner Curves as he worked his way back through the field.
In the closing stages, Alex put on a great move to take 6th position, which then became 5th at the start of the final lap following a collision between the leaders into Turn 1. Alex held onto 5th at the chequered flag, taking his first Rookie Cup victory in the process, as Bart recovered well to 8th position to bank more points for his championship.
The next round of the British F4 Championship heads to Thruxton in Hampshire on the 18-19 May, at the fastest circuit on the 2019 calendar.