James Hedley storms to double pole on home turf at Thruxton

JHR Developments’ James Hedley kicked off his home event at Thruxton in style, setting a new qualifying lap record en route to a double pole position in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton.

The BRDC Rising Star – also celebrating a local event for title sponsors Hendy Performance – set a blisteringly quick 1:13.055 on his final run to eclipse closest challenger Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport) by a quarter of a second.

Stevenson had looked the man to beat after the first runs, but couldn’t quite improve to the same degree as Hedley in the closing moments of the session. Nevertheless, it marks the scholarship winner’s best start to-date, and gives him a golden opportunity to claim his and Argenti’s maiden victory in the opening contest later today.

Abbi Pulling completed a strong run for both JHR cars in third, and was narrowly denied pole for race three on second-quickest times by Hedley’s late charge; she’ll have Alex Connor for company on the second row in the leading Arden Motorsport challenger.

Row three is an all-championship battle affair, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan well-placed to chip into Luke Browning (Fortec)’s lead, the difference between the two rivals just a tenth of a second around the high-speed, 2.3-mile Hampshire circuit.

Crucially, however, Browning will be ahead between the pair on second-fastest times for race three, setting up an intriguing clash at the sharp end of the standings.

Roman Bilinski will line up seventh and no doubt have his sights set on reverse grid pole position, with Christian Mansell (Carlin) the leading Rookie Cup entry in eighth, the Aussie just 0.005 seconds further back.

The difference between Mansell and Arden’s Frederick Lubin, was even smaller, just 0.002 seconds between them in the battle for Rookie Cup supremacy.  Behind Lubin, Fortec’s Rafael Villagomez rounds out the ten-fastest runners.

Reema Juffali was 11th, and notably the entire top eleven were split by just 0.7 seconds – another sign of the strength in depth of the competition in 2020. Carlin’s Matias Zagazeta rounds out the field in 12th.

The opening race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 13:40 (BST).

Grid for Race 1:

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 James HEDLEY JHR Developments 1:13.055s 13
2 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.224s 13
3 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +0.255s 13
4 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +0.338s 13
5 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.405s 13
6 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.506s 13
7 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.577s 13
8 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.582s 13
9 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +0.584s 13
10 Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +0.715s 13
11 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +0.741s 13
12 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +1.012s 13

Grid for Race 3:

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 James HEDLEY JHR Developments 1:13.197s 13
2 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +0.123s 13
3 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +0.150s 13
4 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +0.282s 13
5 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.393s 13
6 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.403s 13
7 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +0.484s 13
8 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.521s 13
9 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.597s 13
10 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +0.609s 13
11 Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +0.696s 13
12 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +0.914s 13