James Hedley strikes late in opening Donington Park practice

JHR Developments’ James Hedley set the pace on his final flying effort in the opening F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice session at Donington Park.

The Brit clocked a 1:08.492 around the 1.97-mile National circuit in gloriously sunny conditions to depose Carlin’s Christian Mansell with seconds left on the clock, the margin between the pair just 0.210 seconds.

Erstwhile pacesetter Luke Browning led Fortec Motorsport’s charge in third, sandwiched between Mansell and the Australian’s Carlin team mate Zak O’Sullivan.

Alex Connor was the front-running ‘Red Arrow’ for Arden to close out a top five split by just 0.3 seconds; the early signs show Ford’s winning formula is set to be as competitive as ever in 2020.

Both JHR and Carlin will be satisfied with all three cars in the top ten; Abbi Pulling and Nathanael Hodgkiss were 6th and 9th respectively, with Matias Zagazeta 7th in-between for the blue corner of the paddock. Roman Bilinski was eighth.

Nico Pino rounds out the top ten for Argenti Motorsport, two tenths clear of Frederick Lubin (Arden).

Fortec’s Roberto Faria was twelfth despite causing the only red flag of the 45-minute session with an off out of the final chicane; the car returned to the pits seemingly undamaged but did not return to the fray.

The field is completed by Reema Juffali (Argenti), Rafael Villagomez (Fortec) and Casper Stevenson (Argenti), who only managed to get five laps in.

FP2 continues the weekend’s action at 15:30 (BST).

Session Result – Free Practice 1

Pos. Name Team Time Laps
1 James HEDLEY JHR Developments 1:08.492 22
2 Christian MANSELL Carlin +0.210s 18
3 Luke BROWNING Fortec Motorsport +0.296s 22
4 Zak O’SULLIVAN Carlin +0.310s 22
5 Alex CONNOR Arden Motorsport +0.344s 22
6 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +0.695s 22
7 Matias ZAGAZETA Carlin +0.708s 21
8 Roman BILINSKI Arden Motorsport +0.838s 24
9 Nathanael HODGKISS JHR Developments +0.901s 23
10 Nico PINO Argenti Motorsport +1.034s 26
11 Frederick LUBIN Arden Motorsport +1.245s 24
12 Roberto FARIA Fortec Motorsport +1.257s 18
13 Reema JUFFALI Argenti Motorsport +1.294s 24
14 Rafael VILLAGOMEZ Fortec Motorsport +1.336s 27
15 Casper STEVENSON Argenti Motorsport +4.423s 5