DeFrancesco masters Oulton Park for maiden British F4 pole

  • DeFrancesco leaves it late to win pole position battle by less than half a tenth from Carlin team-mate Florescu.
  • Thrilling qualifying session which saw Alex Quinn and Jamie Caroline take the fight to Carlin.
  • Several championship protagonists have it all to do after difficult session.

OULTON PARK 4 JUNE, 2016 – Carlin’s Devlin DerFrancesco claimed a brilliant pole at Oulton Park ahead of team-mate Petru Florescu and Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn.

In an entertaining qualifying, Quinn was the man who broke the Carlin stranglehold with six minutes remaining – their four drivers jockeying at the top of the timesheets for much of the session.

Quinn posted a 1m 22.741s to put him just under two tenths clear of Florescu and with the clock ticking down it looked as though the Racing Steps Foundation driver’s time wouldn’t be beaten, but DeFrancesco and Florescu had other ideas.

As the chequered flag fell on the session DeFrancesco posted a lightning lap of 1m 22.612s to storm his way to pole. Florescu leapt up from fourth to second to bag another front row start this season. He will also line up on pole in race three courtesy of his second fastest time being the best of the field.

Commented an ecstatic DeFrancesco: “This pole feels unbelievable. It was an unbelievable job by the team. The first few laps the car just kept on getting better and better and I knew there was more performance to come from the tyre. I really hooked up that last lap. I stayed cool, calm and collected to get the job done when it mattered. Things are coming together and we can definitely bridge the gap in the championship to be on top come the end of the year.”

Added Florescu: “It was a really tight qualifying, but I’m happy for my team-mate. The car was really quick. All the Carlins are quick. I’m looking forward to a good fight in race one and then to have pole for race three is great. With all my championship contenders behind me it’s a good chance to score more points than them.”

It looked as though Quinn might have the last laugh with his final flyer as he lit up the timing screen once more in the first part of the lap, but he was left ruing an encounter with traffic: “It was a good session. P3 is ok, but the potential was there for P1. I just got caught out by a little bit of traffic on my last lap when I was going quicker, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m looking forward to the races now because we’ve got excellent pace in the car.”

Pirtek Racing Jamun star Jamie Caroline, as well as Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and James Pull were in the mix for pole throughout, all taking turns at the sharp end of the provisional grid as the session evolved. The trio ended up fourth, fifth and sixth respectively and are sure to be key players in this weekend’s races.

Next up came TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons and Rafael Martins. The former had a fantastic pre-race test suggesting he had every chance to be inside the top 10. He well and truly delivered. Martins was also pleased with the step the team had made overnight with the car and cast an eye on a strong showing for the remainder of the weekend.

Said Martins: “We have improved the car a lot since yesterday. We went with a setup that we weren’t quite sure how much performance it would give us, but it proved to be a good step. We will try to do a good result in race one and then build on that to get really strong finishes tomorrow.”

Arden team-mate and championship protagonist Luis Leeds had a frustrating qualifying, damaging a rear suspension link after a heavy impact with a kerb. It brought a premature end to a session in which TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield was confident of a strong result for the Red Bull Junior racer: “We got off to a bit of a rough start this weekend, but we have made some big steps since yesterday.”

“I think the circuit is just highlighting the relative inexperience of our drivers. Ayrton has done a great job and we weren’t expecting him to be so quick early on. It’s a really fantastic performance. It was shame about Luis not being able to complete the session because it looked like he was going to be really strong, but I’m happy with the progress we have made as a team so far.”

Billy Monger was another whose session was cut short, spinning on oil leaking from his car and ending up in in the gravel trap.

It was a session to forget for championship leader and JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding. An experimental spring setup change backfiring terribly, meaning he will have to start from 14th.

JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen caught the eye with a series of quick laps late on to see him climb up several places and just miss out on a top 10 grid slot. However, the Dane was confident of breaking into the top positions during the weekend: “I’m happy with how qualifying has gone here. It’s getting better and better as the season progresses.

“I’m able to push the car harder and harder which is great. The key around here is being able to carry the speed through the corners. It’s something that I’ve been working on and I’m definitely getting stronger in this area.”

With the likes of Fielding, Leeds and Monger sure to battle their way through the field, while Messrs Quinn, Caroline and the Carlin quartet provide fireworks out front, the first race of the weekend at 1445 is one no will want to miss.

Provisional qualifying times Oulton Park 4 June 2016
Grid order for round 10
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:22.612
2 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:22.644
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:22.741
4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:22.761
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:22.780
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:22.982
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:23.165
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:23.224
9 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:23.287
10 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:23.361

Round 12 grid order (based on second fastest times) Florescu – DeFrancesco – Fewtrell – Caroline – Quinn – Pull – Simmons – Martins – Kjaergaard – Bird etc.

Full times

 

Carlin’s fantastic four dominate British F4 pre-race test

  • Carlin puts in ominous pre-race testing performance at Oulton Park.
  • Romanian Petru Florescu ends the day top of the pile.

OULTON PARK 3 JUNE, 2016 – Carlin got its Oulton Park race weekend off to the perfect start by dominating both practice sessions. All four of their drivers locked out the top spots on the timing sheets. Of the Carlin quartet it was Petru Florescu and James Pull who really stole the show, the former recording the fastest time of the day.

Having spent free practice one experimenting with his setup, it was in the second session where Florescu set out to dial his car in for qualifying. An entertaining skirmish at the top of times ensued between himself and Pull who had been the morning’s standout performer with the quickest time.

At the halfway stage of free practice two it was Pull who led proceedings, but with just over 10 minutes remaining Florescu set about reeling in his team-mate; eventually getting within seven hundredths of Pull. However, Pull responded by increasing his margin at the top with a 1m 22.685s, only for Florescu to flash across the line moments later with a 1m 22.615s lap to put him top of the pile.

Said pacesetter Florescu: “In the morning I tried some different setups. I’m really happy with my pace and to be P1. I really like this track and I’m pleased that I was able to put a lot of fast, consistent laps together. I’ve worked so hard over the last year and the car feels so good out on track. For the rest of the weekend the key will be to concentrate and not make any mistakes.”

Commented Pull: “It’s been a really good day. I love the track. It suits my driving style and Carlin are so dominant here. I didn’t optimise my best run of the day because I did a couple of mistakes on my new tyres so I know there is more in the bag for qualifying. It’s so close at the front and that’s what makes British F4 so exciting.”

Devlin DeFrancesco, rounded out Carlin’s fantastic four at the top, just over a tenth slower than Max Fewtrell. Racing Steps Foundation star Alex Quinn was next up in fifth. The Fortec Motorsports driver not only finding himself in his customary position of quickest rookie, but also quickest of the non-Carlin runners and confident of taking the fight to the reigning champion team.

Meanwhile, TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons was all smiles having posted a top 10 lap time and showing the kind of pace which suggests he could challenge Quinn in the Rookie class this weekend.

“We were quite quick. The car feels really good and I improved throughout the day. We’ll analyse the data tonight to make another step forward,” explained Simmons.“It’s nice that we are battling at the front of the Rookie class, but we are focused on what we are doing and trying to get the best out of the car. The results will come. We’re up against some of the best drivers in the UK so to be high up the order shows that the hard work is paying off.”

Championship leader Sennan Fielding had a solid day in his JHR Developments car; posting the seventh fastest time around the circuit where he recorded his maiden British F4 victory in 2015. He finished just two tenths off of championship rival Luis Leeds.

Aussies Leeds and Goddard were both pleased with their performances as they got to grips with the 2.2 mile Cheshire track for the first time. Said Goddard: “I’ve been really looking forward to this weekend. Today has been all about getting used to a new track, but I’m happy. There are little aspects we need to improve upon, but they will come.”

Pirtek Racing Jamun’s Jamie Caroline wound up closest to the Carlin runners in the morning, only to fall away in FP2. “I’m unable to get the most out of the new tyres at the moment and I don’t know why. On old tyres our pace is really good, but we’re just not finding the lap time gain on new tyres. I think the track will be less rubbered in tomorrow for qualifying so there will be less grip which plays to my strengths and our race pace is absolutely mega.”

With the top 10 drivers from today’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford pre-race test covered by less than a second, Carlin are unlikely to have things their own way. All the signs suggest that there will be a fiercely contested Ford EcoBoost-powered battle for both pole and the podium places tomorrow.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Oulton Park 3 June 2016 (FP1/FP2)
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:23.441 / 1:22.615
2 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:23.259 / 1:22.685
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:23.283 / 1:22.830
4 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:23.445 / 1:22.974
5 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:23.653 / 1:23.049
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:24.068 / 1:23.206
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:24.077 / 1:23.453
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:23.509 / 1:23.465
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 1:23.684 / 1:23.488
10 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:24.165 / 1:23.493 etc.

Full TSL timesheets

DeFrancesco leads the way in British F4 testing at Croft

  • Devlin DeFrancesco maintains rich run of form to top the timesheets.
  • Alex Quinn fastest in the morning session with late flyer.
  • Electrifying pace from much of the field, as majority covered by less than a second.

CROFT 31 MAY, 2016 – Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco set the pace in an entertaining first day of testing at Croft in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford. The test saw nine drivers lap the 2.125-mile North Yorkshire circuit quicker than last season’s pole time of 1m 21.369s. It underlined the depth of talent on this year’s grid, as well as the performance gains made by Ford with its EcoBoost technology and Mygale with the British F4 chassis.

DeFrancesco wasted no time in trying to seize the initiative, just over three weeks after his popular maiden victory at Thruxton. Despite his best efforts in the morning the Canadian wound up fourth fastest, but it was in the afternoon where he really excelled.

There was a tussle for supremacy shortly after Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu staked his claim at the top, with DeFrancesco and TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds deposing the Romanian from top spot with 40 minutes left on the clock.

Leeds posted his quickest time of the day, a 1m 20.791s to put him fractionally ahead of DeFrancesco’s first flyer. However, DeFrancesco made his second attempt count with a blistering 1m 20.671s which would see him end up outright fastest.

It was a good day for British F4’s Aussie contingent with both Leeds and Double R’s Zane Goddard topping the times at various stages. Leeds’ eye-catching afternoon performance was backed up by third fastest in the morning, whilst Goddard recorded an impressive 123 laps on his way to seventh. A tally second only to JHR’s Jack Butel, who racked up a staggering 125 laps.

Racing Steps Foundation driver Alex Quinn stamped his authority on the morning session to go quickest with just four minutes remaining. Although he was unable to better his time in the afternoon, the Rookie class leader is sure to be pleased with his day’s work, finishing just a quarter of a second off of DeFrancesco’s time.

Like Quinn, Carlin’s Max Fewtrell was another who couldn’t better his morning’s effort which saw him head into the lunchbreak second. The 16-year-old having to settle for fifth overall, just behind team-mate Petru Florescu.

Championship leader Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet day in sixth, but is sure to have plenty more in his locker having shown flashes of front running pace, particularly in the morning.

Fortec Motrosports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard showed the greatest rate of improvement, bettering his morning time by nearly six tenths of a second with a flying lap late in the day.

Finally, Jack Martin put in one of his best testing performances of the season so far to be fastest Rookie class driver in the afternoon and finish the day comfortably inside the top ten.

Day two of testing at Croft commences at 0900 tomorrow and with the Ford EcoBoost-powered field so evenly matched, it’s going to be fascinating to see who ends the test on top.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Croft 31 May 2016 (am/pm)
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:21.082 / 1:20.671
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1.21.066 / 1:20.791
3 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:20.921 / 1:21.343
4 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:21.207 / 1:20.940
5 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1.20.951 / 1:21.246
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:21.150 / 1:21.395
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:21.371 / 1:21.212
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:21.486 / 1:21.213
9 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:21.682 / 1:21.248
10 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:21.482 / 1:21.572 etc.

Full TSL timesheets

Quinn for the win in Ford MSA Formula at Donington

  • Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn converts pole to maiden victory.
  • Win sees Quinn take his championship challenge up a gear and pull further clear in Rookie Cup.
  • Petru Florescu performs brilliant comeback drive to hold onto championship lead.

DONINGTON PARK 16 APRIL, 2016 – Alex Quinn pulled off a fantastic lights to flag victory in wet conditions following a hail storm at Donington Park. The Rookie driver made a perfect getaway off the line, making amends for a series of difficult starts at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago, and kept TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Carlin’s Max Fewtrell at bay for the duration.

Said the Racing Steps Foundation backed winner: “It feels amazing to get my first win. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend. It was quite tricky with the changeable weather, but I knew I could go quickly in the wet just like I did in the dry earlier in qualifying.

“I built a good gap to start with, but then I relaxed perhaps a little too much. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes and didn’t push too hard. This meant it got quite close at the end and I had to defend, but it was a really good race and I couldn’t be happier.”

The race was brought to a premature end with under four minutes remaining when a red flag was thrown because of Patrick Matthiesen’s stranded JTR at Coppice, denying spectators a thrilling three way fight for win. However, take nothing away from Quinn. This was a top drawer performance from a Rookie who has underlined his Ford British F4 title credentials.

Second place man Leeds commented: “It was hard to pass in the wet. The track was so slippery, but it was a fun race and I’m happy. Arden have done a great job to get a really good wet setup sorted.

“I was sizing up Quinn towards the end, but then the red flag came. That’s the way it goes sometimes and he deserved to win. It’s great to bring these points home and my aim is to maintain this consistency.”

Said Fewtrell of his third place: “It’s a really good result. The pace was so strong. I was able to match the guys in front, it’s just really hard to overtake in those sorts of conditions. If you’re on the wrong line it’s like driving on ice and when you are behind someone the spray makes it difficult to see.

“I’m happy to get another podium and this great haul of points. I’ll start on pole tomorrow in race three and I’m excited to see what I can do from there.”

Behind Fewtrell were team-mates James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco, whilst Petru Florescu bounced back from last on the grid to sixth after a qualifying beleaguered by technical problems. His comeback drive enough to retain his championship lead by a single point over Pull.

Home favourite Sennan Fielding had a relatively quiet race in seventh, but will start on pole in race two tomorrow and look to add to his victory tally.

Finishing just behind the Chesterfield racer was Jamie Caroline who provided his customary instalment of on-track entertainment. An opening lap charge saw him climb from 15th to sixth, but he came undone at Redgate on the following lap as he took a trip through the gravel.

Fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Billy Monger was unable to follow-up his superb fourth in qualifying, but he’s sure to hit back later in the weekend, especially in drier conditions.

JHR’s Jack Butel came unstuck on lap three, having to retire due to a technical problem; whilst Zane Goddard was another non-finisher following a skirmish early on with TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins.

Round five of the season gets underway at 1005 tomorrow with home hero Sennan Fielding on pole, and Carlin’s quartet of drivers behind him on the grid hungry for more success. At 1510 the lights will go out on round six which will be shown live on ITV4, when Alex Quinn will aim to make another lightening start from the front row.

Ford British F4 – Certified by FIA, Powered by EcoBoost

Provisional results Round 4, Donington Park 16 April, 2016
11 laps / 27.77 miles
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 15m 14.253s / 85.57 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +0.599s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +0.790s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +3.040s
5 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +13.997s
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +17.239s
7 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +17.849
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +21.106s
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR +25.536s
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +26.320s etc
Fastest lap Pull 1:20.947 / 88.01 mph
Rookie Class 1 Quinn; 2 R Martin; 3 J Martin; 4 Kjaergaard

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Florescu 58; 2 Pull 57; 3 Leeds 50; 4 Fewtrell 49; 5 Quinn 45; 6 Fielding 41; 7 Caroline 30; 8 Martins 29; 9 Goddard 18; 10 DeFrancesco 17 etc
Rookie Class 1 Quinn 100; Kjaergaard 60; J Martin 57; R Martin 51

Super-quick Quinn takes Ford MSA Formula pole at Donington

DONINGTON PARK 16 APRIL 2016 – Rookie Alex Quinn put in a barnstorming performance at Donington Park to take his maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered pole for Fortec Motorsports and fly the flag for the Racing Steps Foundation.

Quinn’s time of 1:08.012 came with four minutes of the session remaining and at the time put him over half a second clear of the field, as drivers endeavoured to get their Hankook slicks up to temperature around the chilly Leicestershire circuit.

Said the pole sitter: “The team did well to get a good setup and all I had to do was optimise my lap. I knew the times would come at the end and what I was capable of. We timed everything perfectly and got the maximum out of the tyres.

“I didn’t know I was over five tenths up on the field. The team didn’t tell me because they wanted me to keep pushing. I’m just so happy with this qualifying result.”

Added Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “We woke up this morning and the conditions were exactly what we wanted. Alex did the job and it’s a great team effort. Frank Bird is 11th and Ross Martin fifth. The team has come a long way since Brands.”

Quinn’s closest challengers proved to be Red Bull Junior Luis Leeds, Carlin’s Max Fewtrell, JHR’s Billy Monger and team-mate Ross Martin. Leeds saved his best for the very end of the session, climbing from 13th to second with 30 seconds remaining and at one point looked set to steal pole following a the fastest first sector on his final flyer.

Said Leeds: “It was an up and down session, but I got the lap together when it mattered at the end. I didn’t warm the tyres properly and I struggled with oversteer. I’ve never driven around a track this cold, so it’s all learning really.”

Max Fewtrell was also pleased with his morning’s work: “The time came quite late as the track was getting better. It was so cold out there. It took about four laps to get tyres working. I’m happy with third in race one and the consistency of my laps means pole for round six.”

After a difficult pre-race test Billy Monger was back with a vengeance in qualifying, consistently fighting at the top of the times. A fourth place grid slot in round four and third in round six a just reward for a driver rapidly getting to grips with his Ford EcoBoost racer.

Monger enthused: “Today was a big step in the right direction and I think there is more to come. It’s all a learning process. I’m making little steps each weekend, trying to get further up the grid. After the great test we had at Thruxton we’ve proved that it wasn’t a fluke. We’re here to be at the front and win trophies.”

Aside from Fewtrell, Carlin’s drivers struggled to show their full potential, with pre-race test pacesetter James Pull having to settle for sixth and Devlin DeFrancesco seventh. Championship leader Petru Florescu suffered an incredibly frustrating session hampered by technical problems which means he will line up at the back of the grid.

Qualifying also promised so much for Jamun’s Jamie Caroline who was disputing for top spot early on; only to fall foul of track limit violations and an off later in the session.

Home hero Sennan Fielding qualified eighth for JHR and will look to battle up the order this afternoon, as will TRS Arden’s Jack Martin and Rafael Martins.

Lights will go out for round four of the Ford British F4 season at 1500 this afternoon. With the majority of the field covered by just a second so many drivers are in with a chance  of the podium places.
Provisional qualifying top 10 Donington Park 16 April, 2016
Grid order round 4:
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:08.012
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:08.116
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:08.175
4 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1:08.212
5 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec 1:08.355
6 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:08.405
7 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:08.442
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:08.566
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:08.631
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:08.808
Round 6 grid order (based on second fastest times)
Fewtrell – Quinn – Monger – Leeds – R Martin – Fielding – DeFrancesco – J Martin – Pull – Martins

 

Full times

Pull leads the way in Ford MSA Formula pre-race test at Donington Park

  • James Pull heads incredibly evenly matched Ford EcoBoost-powered field.
  • Alex Quinn and Luis Leeds at the front of the chasing pack.

DONINGTON PARK 14 APRIL, 2016 – Carlin’s James Pull topped the times in Ford British F4’s pre-race test at Donington Park today, just as he did at the Brands Hatch opener a fortnight ago. He headed a super-close field where the top 15 drivers were covered by just a second.

Fresh from a hat-trick of podiums at the season opener, Pull was fifth fastest in the morning and let loose in the afternoon, posting the quickest time of 1:08.195 halfway through the session.

It was a time that left Pull over three tenths clear of the field, but Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn and TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds hit back in the final minutes to see them finish second and third fastest respectively, with Quinn just over a tenth off of Pull.

Said Pull: “I really enjoy driving this circuit and it’s my favourite on the calendar. We hooked up a great lap. There’s still more in the bag, but it felt really good and I’m very happy.

“It’s all about getting in the groove at Donington. Finding a rhythm, staying smooth and not overdriving. The goal is to get the win this weekend. Qualifying will be tense. I just need to stay calm and focus.”

Quinn added: “I think we are quick enough to be fastest. In the second session I was really improving towards the end and the chequered flag came just too soon. I learnt loads at Brands and now it’s time to put it into action.”

Said TRS Arden team manager Ben Bloomfield of Leeds’ performance: “It was disappointing that Luis got held up in traffic at the end of his run, but from the sector times we know that we’ve got the pace in the car. He’s already feeling quite confident which is very impressive given that he’s never driven around this circuit before.”

An entertaining morning session saw the track move from wet to dry and it was Quinn who grabbed the attention by topping the times, but only just. JHR’s Sennan Fielding was less than three thousandths of a second away from the Racing Steps Foundation backed driver.

All drivers improved upon their morning’s best efforts thanks to far better track conditions, but Fielding was the exception to the rule due to technical problems.

TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins found himself third quickest in the morning and ended the day fifth fastest overall. “We were quick this morning”, said Martins. “I think a P2 or P3 grid slot is possible. We’ll obviously aim for pole, but James Pull was very fast today. We’ll look at the data to try to find something extra for qualifying and I’m sure our race pace will be even stronger.”

Harry Hayek was another who seemed to revel in the morning’s variable conditions ending up seventh and just dropping outside of the top ten by the time the chequered flag fell on the test, with his Jamun team-mate Jamie Caroline finishing several places ahead of him.

Said Hayek: “It’s been an up and down day. The first session was wet and then it was drying. We were right up there. In the second session we struggled a bit, but we’ll look at the data and aim to break into the top ten in qualifying.”

Championship leader Petru Florescu had a relatively quiet day in tenth, but after his emphatic performance just two weeks ago, it’s hard to believe that there’s not plenty more pace up the Romanian’s sleeve.

It was a premature end to the day for Patrik Matthiesen who brought out the red flags with 20 minutes remaining after beaching his car in the gravel at Coppice. Nevertheless, the Dane was quick early on suggesting he’s capable of bringing home his first points of the season.

With the field so evenly matched, everyone is eagerly awaiting qualifying at 1100 on Saturday and for the lights go out in the first of the weekend’s three races at 1500.

Leading testing times Donington Park 14 April, 2016 (am/pm)
1 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 1:09.297 / 1:08.195
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:08.966 / 1:08.337
3 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 1:09.205 / 1:08.407
4 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:09.515 / 1:08.571
5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 1:09.085 / 1:08.674
6 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 1:09.813 / 1:08.773
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:09.448 / 1:08.792
8 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden 1:10.537 / 1:08.827
9 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun 1:09.982 / 1:08.891
10 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 1:09.625 / 1:08.926 etc.

Full times

James Pull leads the way for Carlin in Ford MSA Formula test at Rockingham

  • Carlin’s quartet dominate day one of testing at Rockingham.
  • Max Fewtrell and Alex Quinn maintain strong testing form from Donington Park.

22 March, 2016 – The penultimate day of collective pre-season testing at Rockingham circuit was dominated by Carlin’s super-talented array of drivers, with the experienced James Pull taking top spot on the timesheet.

Pull, who raced for both JTR and Fortec Motorsports in the series last season, has taken little time to settle into his new surroundings at Carlin. He put in an assured performance at the Rockingham, where he already has a wealth of experience behind the wheel of Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery.

The 16 year-old was quickest of Carlin’s driver quartet in the morning session, but it was in the afternoon where he really came into his own, posting a time of 1:18.249 that would not be beaten.

The fastest man from last week’s test at Donington Park was once again a key player in proceedings. Max Fewtrell ended the day in second, less than half a tenth off of the time set by his teammate.

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn and TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins were the only drivers to break the Carlin stranglehold at the top; the former finishing third and the latter fifth.

When the chequered flag finally fell Martins found himself sandwiched between Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco, as well as the recently re-signed Petru Florescu.

Florescu provided additional excitement in the morning when carrying a little too much speed that sent him through the gravel and into a barrier at Pif-Paf, ultimately damaging the front of his car.

The day’s biggest improver was Richardson Racing’s Ben Sturge, improving upon his morning time by over a second in the afternoon. This proved to be enough to see him break into the top ten by close of play.

Testing resumes at Rockingham tomorrow with the 2016 Ford British F4 season launch also taking place. Today’s drivers will be joined by the likes of TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding who will no doubt be eager to knock the Carlin drivers off their perch.

Testing times Rockingham 22 March, 2016 (am/pm)
1 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.699 / 1:18.249
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.191 / 1:18.283
3 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost/ 1:18.436 / 1:18.736
4 Devlin DeFRANCESCO CAN / Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.123 / 1:18.518
5 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.992 / 1:18.706
6 Petru FLORESCU / ROM Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.209 / 1:18.731
7 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.306 / 1:18.838
8 Zane GODDARD / AUS Double R / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.196 / 1:19.201
9 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:20.432 / 1:19.323
10 Ben STURGE / GBR Richardson Racing / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:22.902 / 1:21.656 etc.

Torque Speed – Driver reaction from Donington Park Ford MSA Formula test

  • Fewtrell revelling in Ford British F4 experience and eager for first race of the season.
  • Goddard ecstatic with level of consistency.
  • Quinn enjoys highly productive day behind the wheel.

22 March, 2016 – After another enthralling collective pre-season test for the Ford EcoBoost-powered series, here are the thoughts of the drivers who topped the times.

The man who grabbed the Donington Park test headlines and top spot was Carlin’s Max Fewtrell:

“In the morning session I was just trying to find my feet because I hadn’t driven around the track for about five months.

“After lunch we looked at some data, made use of some new tyres and were straight on the pace right away which was really encouraging.

“It was very important to build up the temperature in the Hankook tyres properly to get the best lap time and not grain them straight away.

“I’m loving the car. I’m loving all the testing we are doing and I cannot wait for the first race.

“I feel really close to everyone in team and I’m enjoying working with everyone at Carlin. It really is a brilliant team.

“Hopefully we can maintain this momentum into the Rockingham test and beyond.”

A buoyant Zane Goddard finished the test second quickest. He was keen to underline the positives that both he and his Double R Racing team could take from away from Donington:

“We wanted to complete as many laps as possible and then see what we were capable of in the latter part of the test. The point of the day was to make sure everything with the car is in perfect order and that I fully understand the track.

“The car felt good and the team has done well. It’s now all about the little details which will no doubt make the difference with the field so close.

“P2 is a good result, although I would obviously like to go forward one more position, but we’ll hopefully do that when it really matters.

“Our consistency has been fantastic. It’s been really strong and that’s a major positive for us to take away from the Donington as we head to Rockingham. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we get on at that circuit.”

Third fastest man was Fortec Motorsports’ Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn who put into words what was a very enjoyable day behind the wheel of his Ford British F4 racer:

“The test went really well. I really enjoyed the Donington Park circuit. The first sector especially with the downhill element and Craner Curves.

“It took a little while to get the tyres in the zone, but we worked hard to prepare them properly.

“We did a lot of work with Sodemo in the morning, running the engine at 75 per cent to test some new sensors, but the Ford EcoBoost engine proved as reliable as ever.

“Then in the afternoon we really pushed the car which was a lot of fun.

“I’m really looking forward to the next test at Rockingham. It’s where the Racing Steps Foundation shootout took place so it brings back a lot of happy memories for me.”

You can find out how Alex Quinn and his Ford British F4 comrades will fare at Rockingham both today and tomorrow as the final collective test sessions of pre-season get underway.

Fewtrell fires warning shot in Ford MSA Formula test

  • 16 year-old Carlin driver Max Fewtrell quickest at Donington Park circuit.
  • Top 10 drivers covered by less than a second.

16 March, 2016 – The second collective Ford British F4 test of the season at Donington Park was a thrilling tale of two halves. Jamie Caroline lit up the timing screens throughout the morning; whilst Messrs Quinn, Goddard and Fewtrell stole the plaudits in the afternoon. The latter storming his way to the quickest time of the test.

Jamun Racing’s Jamie Caroline was the unquestionable star of the morning session, going fastest with a time of 1:07.866. He was the only driver to break into the 1:07s; clearly putting his previous experience at the circuit from Ginetta Juniors to good use. However, the Pirtek Racing and Keltbray backed driver’s morning time was only good enough for fourth when the chequered flag fell at the end of the day.

Max Fewtrell dominated much of the afternoon session. In the final 10 minutes he used a set of new tyres to stamp his authority all over proceedings with a 1:07.391. A time that was quicker than the 2015 Donington Park MSA Formula pole lap and a clear signal that both he and reigning champions Carlin will be a force to be reckoned with in 2016.

Fewtrell was also one of the test’s biggest improvers following a quiet morning which saw him lie seventh at the lunch break. Yet the driver who progressed the most in terms of sheer lap time was Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird who improved upon his best morning time by over a second and a half.

Bird’s teammate Alex Quinn shone throughout. The Racing Steps Foundation driver clearly revelling in the cold conditions at the circuit. The 15 year-old dropped to third with just four minutes remaining as Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard swooped in with a 1:07.719, claiming second just as he did at Brands Hatch several weeks ago.

Although Goddard once again missed out on the bragging rights, his tally of 190 laps for the day was second only to TRS Arden’s Jack Martin on 196. Both drivers demonstrating the sheer reliability of both the 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine and the Mygale chassis.

Ford British F4 heads to Rockingham on Tuesday 22 March for its next collective test.

Testing times Donington Park 16/03/16 (am/pm)

1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.284 / 1:07.391

2 Zane GODDARD / AUS Double R / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.166 / 1:07.719

3 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.465 / 1:07.818  

4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR Jamun / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:07.866 / 1:07.912

5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.171 / 1:07.896

6 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.033 / 1:07.966

7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.039 / 1:08.048

8 Devlin DeFRANCESCO / CAN Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.806 / 1:08.078

9 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.141 / 1:08:303

10 Billy MONGER / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.464 / 1:08.160 etc.

Full TSL timesheets

 

Racing Steps Foundation: Quinn wins RSF MSA Formula seat

Alex Quinn / Racing Steps Foundation

Report supplied by RSF

RACING STEPS FOUNDATION NEWS, 6 NOVEMBER, 2015 – Multiple British kart champion Alex Quinn has won Racing Steps Foundation backing to make the step up from karts to cars in the 2016 MSA Formula Championship.

The CRG factory driver from Camelford, Cornwall, scooped the fully-funded drive at the end of a three day, 10-driver assessment staged by the not-for-profit Foundation last month.

The rigorous evaluation – conducted by RSF co-ordinator Derek Walters in conjunction with iZone, Porsche Human Performance Centre and Fortec Motorsports – involved psychometric and simulator tests, a comprehensive physiological assessment and a day’s on-track evaluation at Rockingham.

Quinn – who picked up the racing bug from one-time, amateur rally driver dad Sam – will race in the British Touring Cars support series with Fortec. Quinn’s winter test programme gets underway later this month.

“Alex impressed the entire team of assessors with his all-round capabilities,” said RSF co-ordinator Derek Walters. “His times on the simulator and in the MSA Formula car at Rockingham were competitive from the word go and not so far off the datum set by one of our more senior drivers. Considering it was his first time in a single-seater, his feedback and set-up understanding were impressive too. It will be a tough championship for Alex to cut his teeth on but we’ll give him all the support he needs to hit the ground running.”