JHR Developments’ James Hedley made the best of a drying track to secure pole position for the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Oulton Park.
A rain shower moments before the cars headed out on the 2.23-mile Cheshire circuit forced several teams into a few last-minute setup tweaks, although the showers remained light enough to keep the field on slicks.
With the track surface improving lap-on-lap, the majority of the field opted to stay out on circuit for the duration of the 20-minute session on a single set of new tyres; managing their condition and judging when best to push would be crucial.
Hedley cracked the formula, clocking a best time of 1:23.533 on his final flying effort to claim top spot, with Fortec Motorsport’s Luke Browning for company on the front row, just 0.041 seconds adrift.
The roles will be reversed for the ITV4-televised final race on Sunday evening, with Browning ahead of Hedley on their second-best lap times.
The pair were among a number of drivers trading the fastest lap time on rotation across the final five minutes, including championship leader Zak O’Sullivan (Carlin), who ended the session third, a further tenth of a second back.
Arden’s Alex Connor took the chequered flag first among those improving late on and starts fourth, with Fortec’s Roberto Faria rounding out the top five.
Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport) improved on his final effort to bank sixth ahead of Roman Bilinski (Arden), the second Red Arrow putting in a good showing in seventh.
Abbi Pulling (JHR) was eighth, Nico Pino (Argenti) ninth and Frederick Lubin made it all three Arden cars inside the top ten.
The grid for the opening race at 14:15 BST today is completed by Nathanael Hodgkiss (JHR), Matias Zagazeta, Christian Mansell (both Carlin) and Argenti’s Reema Juffali.
Provisional Grid – Round 7
|1||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||1:23.556||13|
|2||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+0.041s||13|
|4||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.437s||12|
|5||Roberto FARIA||Fortec Motorsport||+0.555s||13|
|6||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.614s||13|
|7||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+0.702s||13|
|8||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+1.023s||12|
|9||Nico PINO||Argenti Motorsport||+1.689s||12|
|10||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+1,741s||12|
|11||Nathanael HODGKISS||JHR Developments||+1.808s||13|
|14||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+2.383s||12|
Provisional Grid – Round 9
|1||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||1:23.612||13|
|2||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+0.190s||13|
|4||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.464s||12|
|5||Roberto FARIA||Fortec Motorsport||+0.591s||13|
|6||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.688s||13|
|7||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+1.110s||12|
|8||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+1.225s||13|
|9||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+1.746s||12|
|10||Nathanael HODGKISS||JHR Developments||+2.111s||13|
|11||Nico PINO||Argenti Motorsport||+2.125s||12|
|14||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+3.252s||12|