Petru powers to British F4 pole with Ford EcoBoost at Thruxton

  • Florescu leads Carlin top three in qualifying.
  • The Romanian driver doubles-up with pole for round nine courtesy of his second fastest time.

THRUXTON 7 MAY, 2016 – Petru Florescu hit back with a blazing pole lap at Thruxton following a frustrating outing at Donington Park several weeks ago. Carlin team-mates Devlin DeFrancesco and Max Fewtrell will line up second and third, whilst JHR’s Sennan Fielding was the leading non-Carlin charge in fourth.

Championship leader Fewtrell was first of the Carlin cohort to stake his claim for pole with a 1m 13.781s to put him less than five one hundredths ahead of Florescu.

However, the Romanian responded with just over half the session remaining with a 1m 13.609s that would see him take the second Ford EcoBoost-powered pole of his career.

At the same time Sennan Fielding finally ventured onto the circuit for his qualifying assault. The JHR Developments driver was in fine form yet again and posted the fourth fastest time.

Commented Fielding: “I’m going to try my best to take the fight to Carlin. We only used one set of tyres and waited in the pits for quite a while. Around here it’s not necessarily about being on the front row. With the slipstream down the back straight anything is possible.”

DeFrancesco and Billy Monger were be particularly pleased with their efforts as both were able to maintain the strong pace they showed in testing at the 2.3 mile Hampshire circuit a month ago.

Said front row qualifier DeFrancesco: “This is a great way to show our speed and bounce back from Brands Hatch and Donington. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes. I really cannot thank my family, my sponsors and the team enough. There’s a few bits and pieces to work on before the race, but we’re in a very strong position.”

Added fifth place man Monger: “P5 is a good way to start the weekend. I would obviously like to be P1, but I was struggling with the balance of the car slightly which meant I wasn’t actually expecting to finish so high up the grid.

“I’m sure the team will be able to sort out the balance for the races this weekend and we can definitely aim for podiums and wins. I love this circuit so I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend since testing last month. I’m buzzing to be here.”

One man who couldn’t carry his performance in testing through to qualifying was Rafael Martins who ended up 17th, meanwhile TRS Arden’s fastest man Luis Leeds could only manage tenth, with British F4 debutant Ayrton Simmons 16th and Jack Martin 18th.

Said TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield: “We’re not really sure at this point what caused the lack of pace. We potentially didn’t get the best laps in during the optimum window with tyres which was the first four or five laps. We’ll look into it to try to come out on top in the races.”

As has been commonplace during the season, Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn was quickest of the Rookies in seventh: “We’ve got good pace and we can definitely do well from where we are on the grid. The tyres are in really good condition too so I’m really happy heading into the rest of the weekend.”

Quinn will line up alongside Double R’s Zane Goddard who put in his best qualifying display of the year to go eighth ahead of Jamie Caroline; clearly enjoying the warmer track conditions akin to his experience of racing in the Australian F4 Championship.

With the three leading protagonists in the championship at the sharp end of grid, round seven of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at 1505 this afternoon promises to be an enthralling affair.

Provisional qualifying times Thruxton 7 May, 2016
Grid order for Round 7
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1m 13.609s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1m 13.739s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1m 13.781s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1m 13.837s
5 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1m 13.962s
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1m 14.071s
7 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1m 14.092s
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1m 14.135s
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1m 14.177s
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1m 14.197s etc

Round 9 grid order (based on second-fastest times)
Florescu – Fewtrell – Fielding – DeFrancesco – Monger – Quinn – Pull – Caroline – Leeds – Goddard etc

Full times