- Richardson Racing driver sets the pace in torrentially wet second practice at Donington Park.
- Two red-flag stoppages amid the tricky conditions at 1.97-mile Leicestershire venue.
- Competition still too close to call, with qualifying set to provide the next indicator at 12:05 on Saturday.
Luke Browning made a late improvement to go quickest in a torrentially wet final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice session at Donington Park.
The Richardson Racing driver put in a new best effort – a 1m20.094s – around the 1.97-mile Leicestershire circuit in the final seconds to edge out Carlin’s Zane Maloney by 0.215s.
The heavens opened moments before the start of the session, forcing several teams to react to the conditions and re-fit their Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery with wet tyres.
As a result, the session was quite a slow-starter, with Arden Motorsport’s Bart Horsten quickest among those able to get in a sighting lap before an early red flag as the Australian’s team-mate, Alex Connor, went straight on at The Esses and into the gravel in the tricky conditions.
Browning put down the benchmark time once the action resumed ahead of Maloney and Arden’s Tommy Foster, but the session would be interrupted again, this time as Horsten required assistance after an off at Redgate.
The field returned to action with ten minutes left on the clock and, as the circuit started to get quicker, fastest times began to drop lap-by-lap. Maloney was first to enjoy a spell at the top of the timesheets, as would championship leader Sebastian Alvarez, before Browning put in his late improvement with seconds left to run.
“We had a really productive FP1 and we adapted to the rain really well,” said Browning.
“At one point we were a second up on our closest competition, as it started to dry everyone closed up but we ended the session first which was really encouraging.
“I can’t wait to get the second round at Donington Park this weekend underway!”.
Connor ended the session third behind Browning and Maloney ahead of his debut in Ford’s winning formula, with Alvarez fourth – that group separated by less than half a second.
JHR’s Josh Skelton was fifth as he looks to bounce back from a frustrating season-opener, ahead of namesakes Tommy and Louis Foster for Arden and Double R respectively.
Carter Williams (JHR) took eighth, three tenths ahead of series returnee Joe Turney (Carlin), with Horsten rounding out the top ten.
Reema Juffali was classified eleventh, with the Fortec Motorsport duo of Roberto Faria and Mariano Martinez completing the field in twelfth and thirteenth.
The weekends action gets underway with qualifying at 12:05 on Saturday, with the opening race scheduled for 17:05 that same day. Races 2 and 3 take place on Sunday at 10:45 and 16:25 – the latter set to be broadcast nationwide on ITV4.
|1||Luke BROWNING||Richardson Racing||1m20.094s|
|2||Zane MALONEY (R)||Carlin||+0.215s|
|3||Alex CONNOR (R)||Arden Motorsport||+0.318s|
|4||Sebastian ALVAREZ||Double R Racing||+0.466s|
|5||Josh SKELTON||JHR Developments||+0.818s|
|6||Tommy FOSTER||Arden Motorsport||+0.893s|
|7||Louis FOSTER||Double R Racing||+0.910s|
|8||Carter WILLIAMS||JHR Developments||+1.526s|
|9||Joe TURNEY (R)||Carlin||+1.868s|
|10||Bart HORSTEN||Arden Motorsport||+1.948s|
|11||Reema JUFFALI||Double R Racing||+3.119s|
|12||Roberto FARIA (R)||Fortec Motorsport||+3.175s|
|13||Mariano MARTINEZ||Fortec Motorsport||+5.121s|