Alex Connor fastest in rain-soaked opening practice at Oulton Park

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.┬áZagazeta’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

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport 1:36.033 19
2 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.120s 13
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
8 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +1.283s 13
9 Christian MANSELL Carlin +1.686s 14
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