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:
|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|
|6||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+0.506s||13|
|7||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+0.577s||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|
Grid for Race 3:
|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|
|7||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+0.484s||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|