Luke Browning set the quickest time across both test sessions at the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost’s 2020 Media Day, getting his time at Fortec Motorsport off to the perfect start.
The 18-year old, who only announced his deal to race for Richard Dutton’s outfit on Sunday evening, put in a 1:07.354 – three tenths of a second quicker than the existing qualifying lap record set by Dan Ticktum in 2015 – after the lunch break to take top spot in a rain-affected session.
It rounded out a positive day for the Daventry-based squad after Roberto Faria’s earlier pacesetter in the morning running.
“The car felt awesome, I’m so happy to be on top of the times at Media Day,” said Browning.
“It feels especially great after being out of the car for months. A pretty special first day back. Big thanks to everyone at Fortec Motorsport.”
AM: Faria beats Ticktum’s qualifying lap record as ‘Class of 2020’ hit the track
Faria’s best lap time of 1:07.409 proved enough to edge out Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor by 0.127 seconds and Browning behind in third.
A quartet of Ginetta graduates came next, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan fourth, inaugural Scholarship winner Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport) fifth, reigning Ginetta Junior champion James Hedley sixth for JHR and Arden’s Roman Bilinski in seventh.
Carlin duo Christian Mansell and Marijn Kremers, along with the third Fortec machine of Rafael Villagomez, rounded out the top ten.
PM: Series returnee Browning lowers the benchmark before rainfall
Browning hit the ground running after the lunch break, lowering the benchmark further to a 1:07.354 from O’Sullivan, Connor and Faria.
FEED Racing France winner Kremers was fifth, Bilinski put himself up into the top six, with Matias Zagazeta (Carlin), Stevenson, Mansell and Villagomez completing the top ten.
The day wasn’t just about testing; a record-high media attendance took the opportunity to greet and interview the ‘Class of 2020’ and their newly-liveried 2020 challengers ahead of the new campaign.
The new season begins at Donington Park on 28-29 March.