- Double R’s Linus Lundqvist comes out on top in super-close pre-race testing.
- Carlin’s Jamie Caroline sets the pace in morning session.
- Incredibly close weekend of Ford EcoBoost-powered racing in store with top 13 drivers covered by just half a second.
31 MARCH, 2017 – Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist set the pace in testing ahead of the opening rounds of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Brands Hatch. His best time of 45.841s coming in the afternoon to put him just 0.008s clear of morning pacesetter Jamie Caroline.
“It’s good to finally be here at the first weekend and even though today was only testing, it’s never a bad thing to be quickest before qualifying,” explained Lundqvist.
“We had a puncture in the morning on our first run, but we recovered and just got stronger and stronger.
“We have found a very good setup and I’m pleased with the car. I think we’re in a very good position.”
Said Caroline: “The Carlin team are just so spot on helping me to set up the car. I know when I head out on track that I’m going to be there or thereabouts. It means I can do qualifying runs and race runs and they go so well.
“The degradation of the tyres has been very good and we can really manage it. This morning was also the first time I’ve ever been fastest in a free practice session. I’m usually a Saturday and Sunday man so I hope that bodes well.”
Lundqvist and Caroline were joined by TRS Arden’s Alex Quinn as the only three drivers to break the 46 second barrier, heading a super-close field which saw the top 13 drivers covered by a mere half second.
Quinn proved to be quickest of the TRS Arden drivers, with Oscar Piastri and Ayrton Simmons lying in fourth and fifth overall as the chequered flag fell on the day’s running with team-mate Yves Baltas only a further several tenths adrift.
“This morning wasn’t completely perfect,” commented Quinn. “Jamie was very quick and we knew we had to try to beat his time. We made a change between the two sessions and we took a step forward with the car.
“It’s positive going into to tomorrow that we have improved so much today and I think we can make another step forward tomorrow.
“I think we worked really well as a team today to improve the car. It’s been a great start and hopefully all four TRS Arden cars can be at the front. That’s our goal and we’re working so hard towards it.”
Logan Sargeant was Carlin’s second quickest runner in sixth, with Double R Racing’s Karl Massaad in seventh having recorded the most laps during the day (96 in total).
Behind Massaad came this weekend’s Ford F4 Challenge Cup entrants. Billy Monger (JHR Developments) ending the day with bragging rights in eighth, ahead of Oliver York (Fortec Motorsports) and Harry Webb (Richardson Racing) in ninth and tenth respectively. With the three drivers separated by just a tenth, the battle for Challenge Cup honours looks incredibly close.
Monger’s team-mate Manual Sulaiman and Carlin’s Patrik Pasma were split by just 0.015s, both drivers just missing out on the top 10.
New teams Sharp Motorsport and GW Motorsport continued to make progress with their respective drivers, Jamie Sharp and Jacky Liu. They sandwiched Daniel Cao (Double R Racing) and Lucas Alecco Roy (Carlin) who were both within a second of the Lundqvist’s fastest time.
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford action at Brands Hatch starts at 0930 tomorrow with qualifying, followed by the first race of the season at 1510. A blockbuster Sunday is then in store with two further races at 1040 and 1620, the latter being broadcast live on ITV4.
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford
Leading testing times Brands Hatch Indy 31 March 2017 (am/pm)
1 Linus LUNDQVIST / SWE / Double R 46.264s / 45.841s
2 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Carlin 45.884s / 45.849s
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Arden 46.344s / 45.975s
4 Oscar PIASTRI / AUS / Arden 46.378s / 46.021s
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 46.344s / 46.063s
6 Logan SARGEANT / USA / Carlin 46.415s / 46.105s
7 Karl MASSAAD / LBN / Double R 46.498s / 46.139s
8 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 46.169s / 46.293s
9 Oliver YORK / GBR / Fortec 46.478s / 46.250s
10 Harry WEBB / GBR / Richardson 46.500s / 46.274s etc.