Alex Connor sets the early pace in wet-dry opening practice

Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor set the benchmark time in a wet-dry opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice session at Snetterton.

Damp, cloudy conditions at the start of the 40-minute session soon gave way to sunshine, and with the track drying lap times began to tumble in the second half of the session.

Connor went quickest among those improving, clocking a 1:54.721 around the 2.97-mile Norfolk circuit to eclipse nearest challenger Luke Browning (Fortec) by over six tenths of a second.

Browning’s chief title rivals Casper Stevenson (Argenti) and Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin) were third and fifth respectively, 0.1 and 0.2 seconds back respectively, with the pair split by the second Red Arrow of Roman Bilinski (Arden).

JHR’s James Hedley – who along with Connor completes the quintet of drivers still mathematically in with a shout of lifting the crown with six races to go – rounds out the six fastest runners split by a second.

Rafael Villagomez was seventh in the other Fortec Motorsport challenger, the Mexican leading the way amongst the Rookie Cup drivers. Christian Mansell – the current leader in the class standings – was eighth.

His closest rival – the final Arden car of Frederick Lubin – was tenth behind Abbi Pulling (JHR). Mansell can theoretically wrap up the honours this weekend, but the Australian will need to be on stellar form to hold off the chasing pack.

Reema Juffali (Argenti) and Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) round out the field in 11th and 12th respectively.

The second practice session of the weekend gets underway at 13:45 (BST).

Session Result – Free Practice 1

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport 1:54.721 19
2 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.630s 20
3 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.731s 18
4 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.736s 18
5 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.844s 17
6 James HEDLEY JHR Developments +1.005s 18
7 Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +1.194s 19
8 Christian MANSELL Carlin +1.389s 15
9 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +1.468s 14
10 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +2.005s 19
11 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +2.266s 18
12 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +2.664s 18