Luke Browning (Fortec) struck late with a final flying effort to pip chief title rival Zak O’Sullivan for pole position in qualifying for this weekends F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost triple header at Snetterton.
Browning – who currently holds a 13-point lead over O’Sullivan in the standings – struggled early on, but charged into the battle for pole position on his final two flying laps after bringing his tyres up to temperature.
The first put him just 0.003 seconds shy of O’Sullivan’s benchmark – a 1:54.521 – but the second put him just over 0.2 seconds clear at the front as he wrapped up a fourth pole position of the 2020 season.
O’Sullivan was forced to settle for second, but top spot for Race 3 courtesy of second-best times will be some consolation as he looks to make another dent in Browning’s advantage.
Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor looked the man to beat for the majority of the session, but couldn’t quite match Browning and O’Sullivan’s final flyers and will line up third, with Carlin’s Christian Mansell a career-best fourth alongside, and top amongst the Rookies.
Casper Stevenson – third in the points – rounds out the top five for Argenti Motorsport, and will need to make forward progress in race trim to avoid letting Browning and O’Sullivan out of his grasp.
Abbi Pulling (JHR) was a solid sixth, but team mate James Hedley – the final of five drivers still in mathematical title contention – could only manage ninth. The pair will line up alongside one-another for Race 3, however, with Hedley sixth ahead of Pulling on second-quickest times.
Frederick Lubin (Arden) put in another good showing to secure seventh spot, but will be mindful of making headway in his battle for the Rookie Cup title with Mansell; the Aussie can theoretically wrap it up in Norfolk this weekend, but will need a big points swing to secure it.
Rafael Villagomez (Fortec) kicked off his final outing of the season for Fortec in eighth, with the aforementioned Hedley and the final Red Arrow of Roman Bilinski completing the ten fastest runners.
Reema Juffali (Argenti) was 11th, with 12th-placed Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) completing the field.
A highly-anticipated opening race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 12:40 (BST).
Grid for Race 1:
|1||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||1:54.032s||10|
|3||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.538s||10|
|5||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.901s||10|
|6||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+0.927s||9|
|7||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+1.088s||10|
|8||Rafael VILLAGOMEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+1.145s||10|
|9||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+1.194s||9|
|10||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+1.202s||10|
|11||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+1.257s||10|
Grid for Race 3:
|2||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+0.003s||10|
|3||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.174s||10|
|5||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.471s||10|
|6||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||+0.734s||9|
|7||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+0.826s||9|
|8||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+0.986s||10|
|9||Rafael VILLAGOMEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+1.019s||10|
|10||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+1.035s||10|
|11||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+1.665s||10|