- Johnathan Hoggard records quickest time in free practice.
- Kiern Jewiss sets pace in morning session.
- Super-competitive weekend in prospect, with top 11 drivers covered by half a second.
6 APRIL, 2018 – Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard was quickest in free practice at Brands Hatch Indy circuit, ahead of the opening rounds of the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend.
Hoggard shared pace-setting honours with Double R Racing’s Kiern Jewiss who was quickest in the morning session. However it was Hoggard who came to the fore in the afternoon, recording his best time of the day, a lap of 46.175s, in free practice two.
“We struggled a little bit in the first session,” explained Hoggard. “We weren’t quite happy with the car, but we managed to get it sorted in the break between the two sessions.
“Now we look in really good shape for qualifying for tomorrow. The track rubbered-in quite a lot during the day and it got warmer in the afternoon so it’s not surprising to see quicker times in second practice.
“Hopefully we can carry this pace into qualifying and the races. Our race pace looks good and quite similar to everyone else. It’s maybe even a little bit faster so we’re looking good for tomorrow.”
Having improved upon his morning’s best of 46.370s by a margin of 0.160s, Jewiss wound up a mere 0.035s adrift of Hoggard.
“Fastest in the first session and second in FP2 means that overall it’s been a really good day,” said Jewiss.
“We’ve got a little bit more work to do, but we should be on for a good day tomorrow. It’s going to be very close.
“We’ll go through all the data very thoroughly tonight because everything needs to be spot on for tomorrow. If you get it even just slightly wrong you could end up qualifying fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth and then it’s going to be hard to come through the field.
“Racing in Ginetta Juniors last year hopefully means I have a bit of an advantage over the rookies in terms of racecraft and knowing the circuit, but Seb [Priaulx] has got that experience too so it should be interesting for us.”
Ayrton Simmons (JHR) and Sebastian Priaulx (Arden) were within touching distance of top spot too, 0.087s and 0.099s adrift of Hoggard respectively.
Paavo Tonteri (Double R) was quickest of the rookies in fifth with fellow rookie Dennis Hauger (Arden) just 0.017s further back. It suggests the battle for Rookie Cup honours is going to be just as closely fought as overall victory this weekend.
JHR’s Manuel Sulaiman and Fortec Motorsports’ Hampus Ericsson wound up seventh and eighth, both putting in solid Friday performances to see them lap within three tenths of the day’s best time.
The Arden duo of Jack Doohan and Patrik Pasma completed the top 10 and were the only drivers to record their best times in the morning, with Pasma sitting out free practice two due to feeling unwell.
Although JHR driver Josh Skelton just missed out on the top 10, he was still within half a second of Hoggard’s time and ahead of Sebastian Alvarez (Double R), Lucca Allen (Fortec) and Jamie Sharp (Sharp Motorsport).
The action at Brands Hatch starts at 09.00 tomorrow with qualifying followed by two races. The final race of the weekend will be broadcast live on ITV4 at 15.05 on Sunday.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Testing times Brands Hatch Indy, 6 April, 2018 (am/pm)
1 Johnathan HOGGARD / GBR / Fortec 46.541 / 46.175
2 Kiern JEWISS / GBR / Double R 46.370 / 46.210
3 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / JHR 46.532 / 46.262
4 Sebastian PRIAULX / GBR / Arden 46.555 / 46.274
5 Paavo TONTERI / FIN / Double R 46.678 / 46.289
6 Dennis HAUGER / NOR / Arden 46.478 / 46.306
7 Manuel SULAIMAN / MEX / JHR 46.833 / 46.449
8 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 46.997 / 46.467
9 Jack DOOHAN / AUS / Arden 46.507 / 46.521
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Arden 46.605 / No time set etc.