Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor set the benchmark time in soaking wet conditions during the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost’s opening practice session at Oulton Park.
The 16-year old clocked a 1:36.033 around the 2.26-mile Island circuit on his final run to beat championship leader Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin) by 0.120 seconds, with Arden team mate Roman Bilinski third.
Connor looked comfortable out in the treacherous conditions, exchanging top spot with JHR’s Nathanael Hodgkiss in the opening stages of the session before the latter went off at Island Hairpin at half-distance.
When the session resumed ten minutes later, it would be local racer Luke Browning (Fortec) dicing with Connor for the early bragging rights, but a series of late improvements pushed the four-time podium finisher in 2020 down the order at the last.
Browning’s Fortec team mate Roberto Faria was unlucky not to make the top three, 0.017 seconds behind Bilinski in fourth, with the leading Argenti Motorsport challenger of Casper Stevenson rounding out the top five.
Browning was sixth, two tenths clear of JHR’s Abbi Pulling, who in turn beat Carlin’s Matias Zagazeta by the same margin. Zagazeta’s team mate Christian Mansell and JHR’s James Hedley round out the ten fastest runners.
Frederick Lubin completes the three Red Arrows in eleventh, with Nico Pino (Argenti) twelfth ahead of Hodgkiss and Reema Juffali (Argenti) to round out the 14-car field.
The second practice session gets underway at 14:25 (BST).
Classification – Free Practice 1
|1||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||1:36.033||19|
|3||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+0.406s||19|
|4||Roberto FARIA||Fortec Motorsport||+0.423s||16|
|5||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.590s||13|
|6||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+0.825s||12|
|7||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+1.051s||18|
|10||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+1.813s||17|
|11||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+2.650s||18|
|12||Nico PINO||Argenti Motorsport||+2.996s||12|
|13||Nathanael HODGKISS||JHR Developments||+3.566s||6|
|14||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+4.907s||8|