Alex Connor sets the benchmark in opening Silverstone practice

Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor set the benchmark time in the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice session of the weekend at Silverstone.

Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series rolled out to a chilly morning at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’, with Ford’s rising stars eager for their first action of the race weekend around the challenging, 1.64-mile National circuit in Northamptonshire.

An early red-flag halted proceedings after an off for Argenti’s Reema Juffali at Copse; Carlin had led the way prior to that through Rookie Cup points leader Christian Mansell and overall championship contender Zak O’Sullivan.

But the benchmark time lowered after the session resumed, with Connor flying to the top of the timesheets on a 56.448, just two tenths adrift of the qualifying lap record on board his ‘Red Arrow’.

He was just 0.086 seconds in turn ahead of Thruxton hat-trick hero James Hedley, the JHR racer second ahead of O’Sullivan, who improved his time to third quickest after the restart.

Argenti’s Casper Stevenson continued his remarkable front-running consistency in fourth, with the second JHR challenger of Abbi Pulling rounding out a top five remarkably split by less than three tenths of a second.

Frederick Lubin (Arden) was sixth ahead of current points leader Luke Browning (Fortec), with Mansell eventually eighth at the end of the session.

Roman Bilinski (Arden) and Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) round out the ten drivers to complete the entire session, with Juffali 11th but with considerably less running after that early incident.

The second and final practice session of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 15:00 (BST).

Session Result – Free Practice 1

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport 56.448s 23
2 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +0.086s 26
3 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.168s 26
4 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.273s 23
5 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +0.299s 24
6 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +0.340s 24
7 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.412s 26
8 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.463s 24
9 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.499s 24
10 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +0.971s 22
11 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +0.982s 5