- Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist quickest in both test sessions.
- Top 12 drivers covered by less than one second.
9 JUNE, 2017 – Linus Lundqvist got his weekend off to a perfect start in testing for the upcoming rounds of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend at Croft. The Double R ace set the pace in two closely fought sessions with the top 12 drivers covered by less than one second overall.
Lundqvist shone throughout the day, but testing honours were far from certain with TRS Arden’s Oscar Piastri and Carlin’s Jamie Caroline frequently taking turns at the top of the timesheets. The trio’s best times came in the morning session, like much of the field when conditions were at their best.
With just over 10 minutes remaining championship leader Caroline was first to lay down the gauntlet, going fastest with a 1m 21.301s. Lindqvist responded with a lap of 1m 21.018s to raise the bar and then Piastri joined the party, splitting Messrs Lundqvist and Caroline with 1m 21.243s.
“It’s been a good day at the office,” said Lundqvist. “I cannot complain. I had a pretty good setup from the beginning. It’s just been a case of fine tuning it today. The conditions were a bit tricky today because they kept changing, especially in the second session. Although according to the weather forecast it could be totally different again with rain tomorrow.
“Nevertheless, it’s been a really solid day. The guys at Double R Racing have done such a good job with the car. I like this track which helps as well. Being at the front today gives us real confidence going into the rest of the weekend.”
“The first session was pretty good,” said Piastri. “In the second session we went out on new tyres too early. When my tyres began to go off, others started improving so I think there’s more time to come.
“There are a couple or areas I need to work on, namely sector two where there is definitely time to find. I’m happy with my pace on old tyres and we definitely know we have the pace to do well tomorrow.”
Commented Caroline: “It’s been three weeks since I was last in the car at Oulton Park, whereas everyone else has been taking part in the official organised test days since then so it’s been nice to get back behind the wheel.
“The car hasn’t quite been where I would l have liked it to be today. I think I can go a lot quicker once I’m happy with the handling of the car. Carlin know what they are doing so I have no doubt we’ll be in good shape for the rest of the weekend.
“We didn’t show our ultimate pace today. There’s more to come from the car and from me. I’m looking forward to qualifying and the race tomorrow.
“I hope the forecast is right and it’s wet tomorrow. It will make it easier for me to come through the field, knowing I carry a ten-place grid penalty into the race.”
Karl Massaad wound up fourth fastest overall after a strong showing behind the wheel of his Ford EcoBoost-powered racer; underlining the pace of the Double R-prepared cars around the 2.1-mile North Yorkshire circuit.
TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons did well to recover from limited running in the morning due to a technical problem. The 16-year-old bounced back in the afternoon to go third quickest with a time of 1m 21.462s which proved good enough for fifth overall ahead of team-mate Alex Quinn.
Oliver York was quickest of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup entrants and seventh fastest for Fortec Motorsports. Meanwhile team-mate Hampus Ericsson made a welcome return to the cockpit following his debut two months ago. The Swede impressed by ending up ninth fastest, leaving Logan Sargeant (Carlin) sandwiched between Richard Dutton’s drivers on the timesheet.
Patrik Pasma (Carlin) completed the top 10. The Finn was just 0.010s quicker than Olli Caldwell (TRS Arden) who took part in his first official pre-race test day ahead of his competitive debut on Sunday.
Official qualifying is scheduled for 1050 tomorrow and the first of the weekend’s races is set to follow at 1445. Races two and three of the weekend will take place on Sunday at 1322 and 1740 respectively, with the former televised live on ITV4.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost
Leading testing times Croft 9 June 2017 (am/pm)
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 1:21.018 / 1:21.285
2 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 1:21.243 / 1:21.494
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 1:21.301 / 1:21.380
4 Karl MASSAAD / LEB / Double R 1:21.396 / 1:21.748
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:21.935 / 1:21.462
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 1:21.591 / 1:21.644
7 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 1:21.614 / 1:21.622
8 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 1:22.512 / 1:21.641
9 Hampus ERICSSON / SWE / Fortec 1:21.747 / 1:21.690
10 Patrik PASMA / FIN / Carlin 1:21.753 / 1:21.166 etc.