Recap: F4 British Championship Launch
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is the UK’s premier single-seater series, the only championship open to 15-year-old drivers and the first step on the FIA single-seater pyramid to F1.
Trackside members joined 16 young drivers for the media day and launch of the 2020 season at Leicestershire's Donington Park. Members mingled among a record-high media attendance took the opportunity to greet and interview the ‘Class of 2020’ and their newly-liveried 2020 challengers ahead of the new campaign. Trackside visitors then enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the morning's test session from race control, meeting with the track manager, marshals, and learning about track limits. The morning ended with Trackside members joining British F4 teams to watch testing from the pit wall.
The day also provided the next batch of Ford-powered rising stars with an opportunity to test extensively at the 1.9-mile East Midlands circuit. Fortec motorsport led the way across the six hours of combined running in mixed conditions with their series returnees Roberto Faria and Luke Browning.
Faria’s best lap time of 1:07.409 – two tenths quicker than the existing qualifying lap record set by Dan Ticktum in 2015 – proved enough to edge out Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor by 0.127 seconds and Browning behind in third.
A quartet of Ginetta graduates came next, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan fourth, inaugural Scholarship winner Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport) fifth, reigning Ginetta Junior champion James Hedley sixth for JHR and Arden’s Roman Bilinski in seventh.
Carlin duo Christian Mansell and Marijn Kremers, along with the third Fortec machine of Rafael Villagomez, rounded out the top ten.
Browning hit the ground running after the lunch break, lowering the benchmark further to a 1:07.354 from O’Sullivan, Connor and Faria.
“The car felt awesome, I’m so happy to be on top of the times at Media Day,” said Browning. “It feels especially great after being out of the car for months. A pretty special first day back. Big thanks to everyone at Fortec Motorsport.”
FEED Racing France winner Kremers fifth despite an off at the final chicane, the Dutch racer among several drivers to get caught out in the inclement weather conditions.
Bilinski put himself up into the top six, with Matias Zagazeta (Carlin), Stevenson, Mansell and Villagomez completing the top ten.