F4 British Championship

James Hedley takes debut pole position in British F4 at Donington Park

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Credit: Jakob Ebery Photography

After a long and gruelling four month wait due COVID-19, the 2020 British F4 Championship finally roared into life for the opening round at Donington Park.

There was the small matter of qualifying to take care of first for the 16 drivers. With more overcast and cooler conditions compared to yesterday’s practice running, the 15 drivers would have to quickly adapt to the temperature changes and be on the limit immediately during this 20 minute qualifying session.

It was the JHR Development trio of James Hedley, Abbi Pulling and Nathanael Hodgkiss that quickly set the early pace straight put of the box on their opening flying laps. The Carlin drivers of Matias Zagazeta, Christian Mansell and Zak O’Sullivan all ran installation laps and returned to the pit lane, appearing to check the conditions after the big change in climate from yesterday.

One of the championship favourites, Luke Browning, was promptly up to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:08.772, usurping the previous benchmark set by Ginetta Junior champion James Hedley. The Fortec Motorsport man will be looking to title glory this season after a strong campaign for Richardson Racing in 2019, amassing two wins and finishing fifth in the driver’s standings.

Scholarship winner, Casper Stevenson was also stating his intent for Argenti Motorsport with a quick time that left him less than three tenths behind Browning to leave him in third place just behind Arden Motorsport‘s Alex Connor, who returns to British F4 in 2020 with the intention of using his experience to have a run at the championship.

But with just five minutes to go, it was Fortec’s Roberto Faria that was setting the times alight with a 1:08.269 that placed the Brazilian at the top of the leaderboard.

But with two minutes to go, it was James Hedley that bolted to the top of the times with stunning lap of 1:08.184 to take his maiden pole position in British F4, starting the season off in the perfect way. Roberto Faria held on to second place, closely followed by Luke Browning in third, Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan in fourth and Alex Connor in fifth for Arden.

Race one will take place 14:45 BST later this afternoon.

Qualifying Classification:

1James HedleyJHR Developments1:08.184
2Roberto Faria Fortec Motorsport1:08.269
3Luke Browning Fortec Motorsport1:08.282
4Zak O’SullivanCarlin1:08.336
5Alex ConnorArden Motorsport1:08.394
6Abbi PullingJHR Developments1:08.554
7Casper StevensonArgenti Motorsport1:06.655
8Roman BilinskiArden Motorsport1:08.776
9Christian MansellCarlin1:08.874
10Mathias Zagazeta Carlin1:08.877
11Rafael VillagomezFortec Motorsport1:09.041
12Frederick LubinArden Motorsport1:09.041
13Nathanael HodgkissJHR Developments1:09.159
14Nico PinoArgenti Motorsport1:09.291
15Reema JuffaliArgenti Motorsport1:09.481
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