JHR Developments’ James Hedley stormed to the top of the timesheets to kick off his home event in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton in fine fashion.
The BRDC Rising Star clocked a best time of 1:13.341 – just a tenth of a second adrift of the qualifying lap record – around the high-speed 2.3-mile Hampshire circuit to beat erstwhile session leader Casper Stevenson (Argenti) by three tenths of a second.
It marks a continuation of Hedley’s form at Thruxton; the 16-year old set the pace in testing back in July, and won a race on home turf en route to his Ginetta Junior title last season.
Abbi Pulling completed a strong session for Steven Hunter’s outfit in fourth, just behind Stevenson and Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan.
Alex Connor (Arden Motorsport) rounded out the top-five and went quickest among the second-year drivers returning to Thruxton; points leader Luke Browning (Fortec) had to settle for sixth, half a second behind Hedley.
Christian Mansell (Carlin) was separated from chief Rookie Cup title rival Frederick Lubin (Arden) by a slender 0.023s in seventh and eighth, with Reema Juffali making it both Argenti cars inside the top ten, the Saudi Arabian racer claiming ninth spot.
Fortec’s Rafael Villagomez rounded out the top ten on his return to the paddock after another solid outing overseas in French F4.
Roman Bilinski was eleventh in the final Red Arrow, just half a tenth further back, with Matias Zagazeta (Carlin) rounding out the field after a mechanical issue forced his car to stop out on circuit, and cut into his running.
The weekend continues with Free Practice 2 at 14:30 (BST)
Session Result – Free Practice 1
|1||James HEDLEY||JHR Developments||1:13.341s||23|
|2||Casper STEVENSON||Argenti Motorsport||+0.361s||25|
|4||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+0.534s||23|
|5||Alex CONNOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.585s||20|
|6||Luke BROWNING||Fortec Motorsport||+0.595s||23|
|8||Frederick LUBIN||Arden Motorsport||+0.697s||23|
|9||Reema JUFFALI||Argenti Motorsport||+0.762s||25|
|10||Rafael VILLAGOMEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+0.830s||26|
|11||Roman BILINSKI||Arden Motorsport||+0.882s||22|