- Devlin DeFrancesco maintains rich run of form to top the timesheets.
- Alex Quinn fastest in the morning session with late flyer.
- Electrifying pace from much of the field, as majority covered by less than a second.
CROFT 31 MAY, 2016 – Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco set the pace in an entertaining first day of testing at Croft in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. The test saw nine drivers lap the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit quicker than last season’s pole time of 1m 21.369s. It underlined the depth of talent on this year’s grid, as well as the performance gains made by Ford with its EcoBoost technology and Mygale with the British F4 chassis.
DeFrancesco wasted no time in trying to seize the initiative, just over three weeks after his popular maiden victory at Thruxton. Despite his best efforts in the morning the Canadian wound up fourth fastest, but it was in the afternoon where he really excelled.
There was a tussle for supremacy shortly after Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu staked his claim at the top, with DeFrancesco and TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds deposing the Romanian from top spot with 40 minutes left on the clock.
Leeds posted his quickest time of the day, a 1m 20.791s to put him fractionally ahead of DeFrancesco’s first flyer. However, DeFrancesco made his second attempt count with a blistering 1m 20.671s which would see him end up outright fastest.
It was a good day for British F4’s Aussie contingent with both Leeds and Double R’s Zane Goddard topping the times at various stages. Leeds’ eye-catching afternoon performance was backed up by third fastest in the morning, whilst Goddard recorded an impressive 123 laps on his way to seventh. A tally second only to JHR’s Jack Butel, who racked up a staggering 125 laps.
Racing Steps Foundation driver Alex Quinn stamped his authority on the morning session to go quickest with just four minutes remaining. Although he was unable to better his time in the afternoon, the Rookie class leader is sure to be pleased with his day’s work, finishing just a quarter of a second off of DeFrancesco’s time.
Like Quinn, Carlin’s Max Fewtrell was another who couldn’t better his morning’s effort which saw him head into the lunchbreak second. The 16-year-old having to settle for fifth overall, just behind team-mate Petru Florescu.
Championship leader Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet day in sixth, but is sure to have plenty more in his locker having shown flashes of front running pace, particularly in the morning.
Fortec Motrosports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard showed the greatest rate of improvement, bettering his morning time by nearly six tenths of a second with a flying lap late in the day.
Finally, Jack Martin put in one of his best testing performances of the season so far to be fastest Rookie class driver in the afternoon and finish the day comfortably inside the top ten.
Day two of testing at Croft commences at 0900 tomorrow and with the Ford EcoBoost-powered field so evenly matched, it’s going to be fascinating to see who ends the test on top.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford
Leading testing times Croft 31 May 2016 (am/pm)
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:21.082 / 1:20.671
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1.21.066 / 1:20.791
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:20.921 / 1:21.343
4 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:21.207 / 1:20.940
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1.20.951 / 1:21.246
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:21.150 / 1:21.395
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:21.371 / 1:21.212
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.486 / 1:21.213
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:21.682 / 1:21.248
10 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.482 / 1:21.572 etc.