• Devlin DeFrancesco maintains Carlin’s run of form in Thruxton test.
  • Luis Leeds and Max Fewtrell prove to be Canadian’s closest challengers, with Rafael Martins and Billy Monger also impressing.

THRUXTON 07 APRIL, 2016 – Devlin DeFrancesco took advantage of the best of the day’s weather to top the times for Carlin in Ford MSA Formula testing at Thruxton. The test was beleaguered by damp and cold conditions, as drivers sought to lay down a marker ahead of the Thruxton race weekend on 7-8 May.

After a quiet start, the Canadian bettered his morning time by over a second to post a 1:13.500 in the dying minutes of the second session. It was a time that would remain unbeaten as more inclement weather set in at the 2.4 mile Hampshire circuit.

His closest challengers were TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds who was within two tenths of the DeFrancesco’s time and Max Fewtrell who once again impressed in the final session when the track was at its wettest.

There was drama 20 minutes into the second session as Ayrton Simmons, who had just recorded his fastest time of the day, got caught out while pushing on slick tyres through Goodwood on the damp asphalt. The Essex-based driver hurtled into the tyre barriers but walked away unscathed, testament to the safety of the FIA F4 homologated Ford EcoBoost-powered racer.

A number of drivers elected to sit out the final session due to the bad weather including pacesetter DeFrancesco. JHR’s experienced pairing of Jack Butel and Sennan Fielding also followed suit, the former breaking into the top 10 overall and 2016 race winner Fielding finishing the day a strong sixth.

Fellow JHR Developments driver Billy Monger caught the eye throughout, ending both the morning and late afternoon sessions in third. Whilst TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins was star of the show in the first session going fastest and ending the day fourth, with Carlin’s James Pull less than a tenth away in fifth.

It was a difficult day for Fortec Motorsports, with early leader in the Rookie Cup Alex Quinn posting their fastest time of 1:14.334 to go ninth. Team-mate Ross Martin found himself stuck in the pits for much of the first session due to technical problems, while Frank Bird had a frustrating end to the test, bringing out a red flag after making contact with the barrier at Club.

Ford MSA Formula teams now have a week’s respite before testing at Donington Park gets under way on Thursday, 14 April, ahead of the next three rounds of the Ford EcoBoost-powered series.

Ford MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by EcoBoost

Leading testing times Thruxton 7 April 2016 (Sessions 1 / 2 / 3)
1 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CAN / Carlin 1:14.887 / 1:13.500 / No time set
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / TRS Arden 1:15.012 / 1:13.665 / 1:21.248
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 1:14.803 / 1:13.713 / 1:20.030
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / TRS Arden 1:14.683 / 1:13.909 / 1:21.666
5 James PULL / GBR / JHR 1:16.053 / 1:13.995 / 1:20.141
6 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 1:14.945 / 1:14.047 / No time set
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 1:15.148 / 1:14.065 / 1:21.298
8 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 1:14.859 / 1:14.120 / 1:20.455
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 1:16.738 / 1:14.334 / 1:21.565
10 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR 1:15.990 / 1:14.404 / No time set etc.