Piastri Tops Practice, as Snetterton Welcomes Fresh Faces


Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

It was Oscar Piastri who topped Practice ahead of the Snetterton round of the F4 British Championship. With the summer break over, Friday was a chance for many drivers to prove they hadn’t lost their edge as three new faces broke cover in the Norfolk countryside.

Piastri had been quick all day, regularly posting times towards the front during a sparsely populated opening session. He would eventually finish fourth for practice one, improving his time by two and half seconds in the final 45 minutes and ending the day with the fastest time of 1min 51.198.

In fact, all but one of the eighteen drivers improved their time in practice two, with Logan Sargeant‘s benchmark of 1min 52.945 only being good enough for twelfth in the afternoon. Fortunately for the American, he would also shave off a few seconds to go second overall, 0.268 behind Piastri.

Behind them, Linus Lundqvist, who’d been away racing the BRDC British F3 car a few weeks ago would finish third in the Double R Racing car, ensuring three teams were represented in the top three.

Ayrton Simmons failed to set a time in the morning, but was out in full force during the afternoon, ending fourth overall, in front of Oliver York, who has abandoned the Ford F4 Challenge Cup in order to commit to a full season.

Rounding out the top eight, were Alex Quinn, who remains in the TRS Arden, series leader Jamie Caroline and Olli Caldwell.

F4 will also welcome new faces this weekend, with Johnathan Hoggard joining the returning face of Alexandra Mohnhaupt at Fortec Motorsports alongside Hampus Ericsson.

Hoggard won’t be the only rookie this weekend though, as Formula Ford star Lucca Allen pairs up with Falcon Motorsport and Sam Smelt debut’s the GW Motorsport car.

GW will continue to have only one entry though, as regular driver Jacky Lui (along with fellow national Zhuo Cao) are busy racing in Asian Formula Renault 2.0. Elsewhere, JHR Developments has returned for the first time since Billy Monger‘s Donington crash, with second driver Manuel Sulaiman.

The 18-driver grid will be the equal largest the series has seen this year as the drivers all prepare for the second half the season. With York no longer in the Challenge Cup, momentum will swing towards Harry Webb who remains the highest ranked driver without a podium this season.

Caroline currently tops the standings with 238 points, with nearest rivals Piastri and Lundqvist on 170.5 and 152.5 respectively. Caroline though did not score a podium in Croft last time out and has failed to win since his flip at Oulton Park. With the Carlin driver only managing seventh in practice, all eyes will be on the 18-year-old going into qualifying tomorrow.