Devlin DeFrancesco proved he deserved to still be a championship contender after topping practice. The F4 British Championship racer had been involved in controversy last round, but made a strong statement on Friday at Rockingham.
The first half of the morning session was largely dominated by one driver, Sennan Fielding. He knew a strong end to his season was vital if he was to challenge for the title and remained the man to beat throughout the first stage.
With 20 minutes to run though, he was finally trumped by the championship leader, Max Fewtrell in his Carlin. Fielding had spent 30 minutes in the pits, but went back out soon after his time was beaten. A few minutes later he went top with a time four tenths quicker.
It would be James Pull who would top the session though. He’d remained quiet for the first half, but was one of the best performers towards the end, beating Fielding and Fewtrell who completed practice one behind him.
Fewtrell continued his morning success by starting second practice at the front. As the session went on, a number of drivers topped the time sheets, including Ayrton Simmons. The TRS Arden driver had been fourth in the first practice session and looked on course for a strong weekend.
The majority of second practice saw DeFrancesco lead the way, hoping to make a strong comeback after a poor Knockhill round. Despite some pressure from Fewtrell towards the end he ended as fastest overall with a time of 1min 19.034.
Petru Florescu had caused controversy after his incident in the second race at Knockhill, but was not prepared to give up his chance of winning the championship. He finished second practice in second, with the third overall time behind morning leader, Pull.
In the overall times, Fewtrell was fourth, narrowly beating Fielding and Rafa Martins who was one of the surprises of the afternoon. Simmons and Zane Goddard would round out the top eight as they look to continue momentum from the last weekend.