Matthew Rees and McKenzy Cresswell claimed a pole position each in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost at Brands Hatch to extend JHR Developments’ qualifying hot streak and give their respective title bids a boost.
In one of the closest qualifying session in recent times, the pair were split by just 0.011 seconds at the top of the timesheets, with Rees claiming a fifth consecutive pole position and Cresswell his first, the British racer ahead on second-best times for Race 3.
The battle behind was equally as hard-fought, with that same margin – 0.011 seconds – blanketing Phinsys by Argenti pairing Matias Zagazeta and Eduardo Coseteng, plus JHR’s Joseph Loake in positions third through fifth on the grid.
Kai Askey was a career-best third for Carlin on second-fastest times and starts the opener from sixth, with Oliver Gray the leading Fortec Motorsport challenger in seventh behind. Gray’s team-mates Joel Granfors and James Hedley were eighth and tenth, the pair split by newcomer Aiden Neate (Argenti) after a stellar first competitive outing.
Hedley’s response in race trim will need to emphatic if he is to preserve his early championship lead; the gap to Rees currently stands at 25 points, with Cresswell only a further seven markers back in third overall.
JHR also zeroed in on Fortec’s advantage in the Teams Cup last time out at Snetterton, with Steven Hunter’s outfit looking good for another strong points haul around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit this time around.
Practice pace-setter Abbi Pulling was next in the final JHR challenger, still only two tenths adrift of a maiden pole position, such is the strength in depth of the competition amongst Ford’s rising stars in 2021.
Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak was twelfth-fastest for Carlin, the Thai racer leading Marcos Flack in the final Argenti machine. Zak Taylor led Arden Motorsport’s challenge in 14th, ahead of fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Roman Bilinski (Carlin).
Dougie Bolger was next, again for Carlin, with Thomas Ikin (Arden), Georgi Dimitrov (Richardson) and David Morales (Arden) completing the 19-car field. The latter will line up on reverse grid pole position for the opening race of the weekend in Kent at 15:50 (BST) this afternoon (26 June).
Grid for Race 2 (Round 8):
|1||Matthew REES||JHR Developments||46.292s|
|2||McKenzy CRESSWELL||JHR Developments||+0.011s|
|3||Matias ZAGAZETA||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.059s|
|4||Eduardo COSETENG||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.064s|
|5||Joseph LOAKE||JHR Developments||+0.070s|
|7||Oliver GRAY||Fortec Motorsport||+0.142s|
|8||Joel GRANFORS||Fortec Motorsport||+0.201s|
|9||Aiden NEATE||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.206s|
|10||James HEDLEY||Fortec Motorsport||+0.226s|
|11||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+0.256s|
|13||Marcos FLACK||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.294s|
|14||Zak TAYLOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.324s|
|17||Thomas IKIN||Arden Motorsport||+0.600s|
|18||Georgi DIMITROV||Richardson Racing||+0.679s|
|19||David MORALES||Arden Motorsport||+1.035s|
Grid for Race 3 (Round 9):
|1||McKenzy CRESSWELL||JHR Developments||46.330s|
|2||Matias ZAGAZETA||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.022s|
|4||Matthew REES||JHR Developments||+0.117s|
|5||Joseph LOAKE||JHR Developments||+0.119s|
|6||Eduardo COSETENG||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.127s|
|7||Joel GRANFORS||Fortec Motorsport||+0.177s|
|8||James HEDLEY||Fortec Motorsport||+0.191s|
|9||Abbi PULLING||JHR Developments||+0.222s|
|10||Oliver GRAY||Fortec Motorsport||+0.224s|
|11||Aiden NEATE||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.311s|
|13||Marcos FLACK||Phinsys by Argenti||+0.328s|
|15||Zak TAYLOR||Arden Motorsport||+0.394s|
|17||Thomas IKIN||Arden Motorsport||+0.576s|
|18||Georgi DIMITROV||Richardson Racing||+0.694s|
|19||David MORALES||Arden Motorsport||+1.007s|