July 2, 2019
British F4 headed to Oulton Park in Cheshire for Round 5 of the championship, which took place under incredibly hot conditions for Qualifying and the three races of the weekend.
Qualifying saw Bart Horsten lead the Arden trio with the 3rd fastest time, with Alex Connor setting the 9th fastest time and Tommy Foster just behind in 10th position – which is where they lined up on the grid for the first race of the weekend.
Race three would see the drivers line up 4th, 9th and 10th respectively when their 2nd fastest lap times were accounted for to set the grid for the final race.
The opening race of the weekend saw Bart make a good start from 3rd position to challenge for the lead in the opening complex of corners. Oulton Park has always been a traditionally difficult circuit to overtake on, meaning track position was critical. Alex and Tommy were both making progress through the pack, as they battled for 7th position early on – in what became a multiple car scrap for position throughout the race.
Bart maintained 3rd for the majority of the race, before really homing in on Josh Skelton for 2nd position in the closing stages of the race – putting in a challenge to elevate himself up another position. The Australian crossed the line in a strong 3rd position to claim another podium position in his continually impressive first season racing in British F4.
Tommy emerged from the multiple car battle in 8th position, whilst Alex was less fortunate and was taken out of the race with just four laps to go, when running in 7th position on the road.
Race two of the weekend saw Bart once again make a great start as the cars headed into Old Hall Corner, however contact between Joe Turney and Sebastian Alvarez collected Bart, resulting in a spin for the Arden driver and he had to re-join at the back of the pack. Tommy managed to avoid the melee at the start to emerge in 5th position, which later became 4th when the leader dramatically slowed with an issue on Lap 4.
Alex was making steady progress from 9th on the grid, moving himself up to 7th position with Bart joining him just behind in 8th, fighting back from his first corner misfortune.
Tommy held on to 4th position at the chequered flag, just ahead of the Richardson Racing car of Luke Browning, with teammates Alex and Bart finishing line astern in 7th and 8th at the finish, and with Alex claiming 3rd on the Rookie Cup Podium.
The final race of the weekend saw action from the start, with Bart forced to ‘back out’ of an overtake at Old Hall Corner narrowing avoiding a collision, leaving the Arden trio lined up in positions 7-9 on track.
The Safety Car was then deployed on Lap 2 following two separate incidents. The first between Joe Turney and Louis Foster at the final corner and another involving Roberto Faria and Tommy – where Tommy was crowded off the circuit onto the back straight, causing contact between both drivers forcing them to retire from the race.
After the Safety Car, a four-way battle began to emerge for 4th position – as Luke Browning desperately tried to hold back Louis Foster. This saw Bart and Alex latch onto the back of the pair and create a four-car battle in the closing stages of the race. In the battle, Alex made a very bold move on his teammate around the outside of Turn 1 to take 6th position and lead the Arden battle home at the chequered flag – as well as taking 2nd on the Rookie Cup Podium. His pace in the closing stages saw him finish less than 0.5s off the battle for 4th position ahead of him.
Bart finished just behind his young teammate in 7th position, bagging more championship points for his campaign – as he leads the Arden trio in the points standings in 4th position overall.
British F4 now heads into a Summer Break, where the next round of the championship will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk, on the 3-4 August for Round 6 and Races 16-18 of the 2019 Championship.