With a time of 1min 43.221, Kiwi Marcus Armstrong was the fastest driver on Friday in the BRDC British F3 Autumn Trophy. The time, which was set in the second practice, remained the benchmark to beat all afternoon with Armstrong setting a lap to also top the final session with the same time as Dan Ticktum.
The 16-year-old only made his racing debut this season and despite minimal running, mostly in Formula Renault, has immediately made an impact in a car that few of his competitors have raced in before.
Armstrong’s time was the fastest of the weekend so far, though is only 0.006 seconds ahead of Thursday’s best effort, set by Ben Hingeley. The Fortec Motorsport driver, who is one of only three competitors to have raced this season, was quickest in three of the four sessions yesterday, before topping practice 1 today.
Both Enaam Ahmed and Armstrong were within a hundredth of a second of the Formula Jedi champion and continued their pace in practice 2, where Armstrong was quickest. The Double R Racing driver was followed by team-mate Ticktum and ADAC Formula 4 champion, Joey Mawson.
With the track outside of its optimal conditions, the drivers struggled to improve on their time as Ticktum ended up quickest from Armstrong and Tarun Reddy in practice 3. This top three would be repeated in the final session after a late lap from Armstrong saw him go equal with Ticktum to the thousandth of a second.
The overall standings mostly followed the order of the second session with Armstrong and Ticktum leading the way. Mawson had been in the top five for every session and was ahead of Hingeley and Ahmed. The top eight was rounded out by Callan O’Keeffe, Reddy and Jordan Cane.
Notably, Cane, who’s been running for Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing, hasn’t been announced for this weekend, but may be a late addition considering he is signed for a full campaign in 2017. Elsewhere, Nicolai Kjaergaard tested with Fortec on Thursday, but did not appear today suggesting he won’t be competing this weekend.
The BRDC British F3 Autumn Trophy kicks off tomorrow at Snetterton.