Louis Foster battled through a difficult weekend at Donington Park to claim a fourth place finish in the final race to occupy fourth place in the BRDC British F3 championship standings heading into the season finale.
QUALIFYING Louis began the weekend with a cool but dry qualifying session on Saturday morning.
The 17-year-old sat inside the top five throughout the first half of the session before a flurry of improvements saw the order change.
An incredibly tense final few minutes of the session saw Louis drop to ninth before improving to eighth on the timesheets with a 1:03.318, only 0.252s behind the pole sitter with the top 15 split by just 0.576s.
The Copart-sponsored driver’s second-fastest time of a 1:03.348 meant he would line up sixth on the grid for the final race of the weekend.
Following a bout of torrential rain on Saturday afternoon, the opening race of the weekend was delayed and subsequently postponed to Sunday morning to create a triple-header of races.
Unfortunately, Louis’ race was over as soon as it began as the Poggesi-backed driver was speared off the road at Redgate and into an early retirement.
Lining up ninth for the second race, Louis was hopeful of making progress through the field.
A difficult opening lap for the Lord Wandsworth College pupil saw him fall victim to another first lap incident but was able to keep going and remain in the race, despite dropping to 15th place.
From there, Louis staged his fightback and quickly picked off Clarke for 14th on the second lap. By lap five, the Hampshire racer had made his way past Hijjawi and Ushijima for 12th on the road.
Climbing to tenth, Louis was then locked in battle with Clarke, who repassed him before Horsten relegated him back to 12th.
With one final race to go, Louis slotted into the sixth spot on the grid determined to finish the weekend on a high.
A tricky opening tour of the Leicestershire circuit meant Louis dropped to ninth by the end of the second lap but he quickly set about regaining the lost ground.
Making his way past Double R Racing team mate Pedersen for eighth on lap three, Louis then set off in pursuit of Faria. He was quickly promoted to sixth following separate incidents for Azman and Ushijima.
He then climbed a further position to fifth on the road after another retirement ahead and was promoted to fourth place by the chequered flag after Faria received a time penalty.
"All in all, it was a tough weekend," Louis said. "I would like to have come away with more but that's racing, it doesn't always go to plan. I felt like I could've been higher up in qualifying, especially as the margins were so fine. To be taken out at the first corner of the first race was really disappointing and put me on the back foot for the second race. That one was tricky as well with more contact on the first lap but I was able to recover slightly. I was pleased to take fourth place in the final race so I still came away with something but looking at the weekend overall, it was disappointing. Heading to the season finale at Silverstone, I’ll be making sure I’m as prepared as possible and will give it my absolute best to hopefully come away with some strong results.”
Louis now occupies fourth place in the championship standings, 67 points behind leader Kaylen Frederick with a maximum of 100 still available. With just one round of the championship remaining, Louis will head to the Silverstone GP circuit for the season finale on the weekend of 7-8 November.
Image courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.