Double podium for Luke Browning as new season begins at Donington Park
Rising star Luke Browning enjoyed a solid start to his bid for the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title with a pair of podium finishes at Donington Park.
The Donington weekend marked the start of a hectic spell on track for the Cheshire-based racer, with the COVID-19 pandemic having led to a delay to the racing calendar – which will now feature nine rounds and 27 races over a three-and-a-half month period.
Having switched to Fortec Motorsports over the winter, Luke headed into the opening round aiming to build on the encouraging results he secured on track in his debut season in the series, where he finished sixth in the standings and took a brace of race wins.
Qualifying at the East Midlands circuit saw Luke secure third on the grid for the opening race having posted a time less than a tenth of a second away from pole. Although he would slip back a place on the opening lap, Luke soon fought his way back into the podium positions and then set about chasing down team-mate Roberto Faria ahead.
Posting the fastest lap of the race, Luke hunted down the Brazilian racer and a solid move at the Chicane saw him take the position as he kicked off his season with a solid second place.
Sixth on the grid for the reverse grid second race, Luke avoided a number of incidents at the start that saw the race red-flagged, and then shortened to 15 minutes.
A strong start saw Luke quickly launch himself into the podium places only for a trip off track at the Old Hairpin to cost him valuable time as he slipped back to fifth. Grass in the radiator would ultimately force him to pit, and having dropped off the lead lap, he would end up outside the points in twelfth.
Making up for the disappointment of that result, Luke capped his weekend with another strong run to second place in race three, once again setting the fastest lap in the process.
It means Luke heads away from the season-opener sitting second in the standings but with no time to relax ahead of round two, which takes place on the Brands Hatch GP circuit this weekend.
“We showed our pace this weekend to take the fastest lap in two of the three races; it’s just a shame that we couldn’t quite get a victory to kick off the season,” he said.
“There was only one mistake from my end all weekend and unfortunately it cost me dear in the second race, but there are plenty of positives for me to take away from Donington. I felt comfortable with the how the car felt and the team did a fantastic job – it was just good to be back out racing after so long.
“I’m looking forward to going to Brands Hatch next as it is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar and one where I’ve gone well in the past, winning in Ginetta Juniors and then taking three podium finishes last year at the end of my debut F4 season.
“Hopefully I can have another good weekend to strengthen my title challenge this time around, and it would be great if I could come away from Brands Hatch in the points lead – that is very much my target.”