- Championship leader Max Fewtrell gets weekend off to brilliant start.
- TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins masters the wet to top the morning session.
- Top 15 covered by one second at the home of British motorsport.
SILVERSTONE 16 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – Championship leader Max Fewtrell got his Silverstone weekend off to a flying start in F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford pre-race testing. The Carlin driver came out on top in an incredibly competitive test with the top 15 drivers covered by a second.
Fewtrell was one of only two drivers to break into the 56 second bracket, building on a strong showing in the morning. His time of 56.808s just 0.046s quicker than Zane Goddard’s best.
Said pacesetter Fewtrell: “It’s nice to be P1 again. It’s a good confidence booster going into qualifying. I’m sure people will do a lot of work overnight so I need to keep pushing for tomorrow too.
“If the team and I keep working how we have been all year it should go well this weekend. It’s also really important to carry the momentum over from Rockingham which was really good for us.
“Everyone is so close. Qualifying is going to be key because it’s going to be tricky to overtake around here. It’s going to be about getting that lap in, but also a quick second fastest lap too. I want to be up there on the grid.”
Explained Double R’s Goddard: “We had good speed straight away. We used a new set of tyres towards the end. Max just pipped us, but we know where we need to find the time. We’ll find it and hopefully we will have a battle for pole on our hands. If we can have a good qualifying we can set ourselves up for some great results.
“Having confidence through the high speed corners and then getting a good exit onto the straights because they are so long here is crucial. If you can get this combination you are on for a good lap.
“It’s very cool to be able to say we are racing at Silverstone where Formula 1 comes to race.”
The tussle for testing supremacy was fierce with TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Rafael Martins, as well as Carlin’s Petru Florescu and James Pull also getting in on the act at the top in the dry afternoon session. Leeds proved to be the closest of Fewtrell’s title challengers.
Martins was the star of the show in the morning session. Torrential rain meant a delayed start, but it was more than worth the wait. The young Brazilian star clearly revelling in the wet conditions.
Said Martins: “We have struggled a little bit in the wet in the last few races so it’s good to see that we are competitive in the wet as well now. In the dry I did a pretty good lap, but I think we put on the second set of new tyres a little bit late in the session, so I couldn’t get the maximum from them. We’ll see how much we can improve for tomorrow, but I think it’s looking good.
“So many great drivers have raced at Silverstone over the years and that makes this weekend very special.”
Fellow TRS Arden runner Ayrton Simmons was quickest of the Rookie class drivers and will look to carry on this strong form around the Northamptonshire circuit.
Simmons’ performance capped off a positive day for TRS Arden, suggesting that Carlin will have their work cut out to bring home the F4 British Championship Teams’ Cup this weekend.
Fortec Motorsports and JHR Developments had a comparatively quieter day’s testing. Rookie class leader Alex Quinn proved to be fastest Fortec driver and inside the top ten, whilst JHR’s Billy Monger was just over a tenth quicker than team-mate Sennan Fielding.
The latter is sure to put on an even stronger showing when it really matters tomorrow in his bid for the title.
Fortec’s Jamie Caroline and JTR’s Patrik Matthiesen appeared to fare better in the rain, ending the morning session eighth and ninth respectively.
Other notable performances included Frank Bird (Fortec) and Carrie Schreiner (Double R) who were within a second of the quickest time. Meanwhile Andrew Richardson impressed in his first pre-race test behind the wheel of a Ford EcoBoost-powered racer this season for Richardson Racing.
Commented Schreiner: “The morning session was difficult because it was my first time driving around Silverstone in the wet, but in the second session I was able to improve a lot and there’s still more to come. I can be happy with my testing performance. I have tested here in the dry so that was a big help in the afternoon and I felt increasingly confident in the car.”
F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford qualifying gets underway at 1030 tomorrow, with the lights due to go out for Round 25 of the championship at 1510. Two further races follow on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 from 1515.