At the end of the F4 British Championship test from Croft, it would be Jack Doohan who left as the fastest overall. The rookie set the benchmark during a cool, but dry morning of running. His TRS Arden teammate Dennis Hauger would not improve during the afternoon, ending that session on top.
The Arden’s were quick to lay down their challenge and although Kiern Jewiss led the majority of FP1, a quartet of red machines soon lined up behind him on the timing screens as a late starting Doohan eventually found his rhythm.
With a final lap effort the Red Bull Junior driver would go top with a time of 1min 21.124, a mere 0.117 ahead of the Double R Racing driver. Behind them, Johnathan Hoggard also joined the battle late on to end up third in the opening session, just 0.004 seconds ahead of Patrik Pasma who will be looking to continue his strong momentum from Oulton Park.
As the afternoon broke, it proved to be a similar story in the opening half an hour as Doohan and Jewiss continued to set the pace.
Despite only finishing seventh during the morning, Hauger hit back in the closing stages and along with Seb Priaulx soon took over at the top. Jewiss would respond, demoting Priaulx to third in FP2, but it was not enough to deny Hauger in the closing stages. Doohan meanwhile would finish fourth from Hoggard.
The track temperature had been eight degrees hotter in the afternoon, but Hauger could not better Doohan’s morning benchmark, ensuring the Australian led the overall times from Jewiss, Hauger, Hoggard and Pasma.
“This morning I was able to go quickest on the new tyre,” said Doohan. “There was still a little bit of work to do on older tyres so we were trying some things to find some race pace in the afternoon, but that meant we didn’t show the same kind of pace on the new tyre.
“All in all, it’s been a good day because when you look at the whole picture we’ve now found good pace on both new and old tyres.”
Ayrton Simmons, Jewiss’ closest championship challenger struggled today, failing to trouble the top six. The JHR Developments driver eventually finished twelfth out of fourteen in the overall standings.