F4 British Championship

Alex Connor takes double British F4 pole position at Silverstone to kickstart his weekend in style

2 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebery Photography

As we head into the sixth race weekend of the condensed 2020 British F4 Championship, Luke Browning was leading the standings by 57 points over Zak O’Sullivan after both endured a difficult weekend last time out in Thruxton. But what better place to write another chapter in this thrilling campaign than at the Silverstone National circuit.

And with the wind gusting strongly at Silverstone and the lights going green at the end of the pit lane, it was last weekend’s triple winner James Hedley that ventured on to the track with the ten other competitors to begin the 20 minute qualifying session.

After the first few minutes, it was Fortec Motorsport’s Luke Browning that set the early pace with a 57.451 as the other drivers were taking an extra warm up lap on the national circuit. Argenti Motorsport’s Casper Stevenson got within a second on his first flyer, but was looking for more pace after being one of the most consistent drivers in recent weekends.

Hedley then set an almost identical lap time, within three hundredths of Browning, before Browning himself lowered the bar further to a 56.481 – an impressive lap time for the championship leader.

Reema Juffali was the nest driver to set a representative time, with the Saudi driver two seconds off the pace for now, but looking for more pace after what was her best weekend of the season so far in Thruxton last weekend, scoring points and involved in close battles with the likes of Rafael Villagomez and Mathias Zagazeta.

At the half way mark of the session, the running order in the top five was Browning, Stevenson, Connor, Hedley and Abbi Pulling in fifth. Frederick Lubin was the fastest rookie at this point in sixth, with quite a gap ahead of the Carlin duo of Christian Mansell and Zagazeta down in tenth and eleventh respectively.

Alex Connor would set the fastest lap with just seven laps remaining, two tenths faster than Browning. Meanwhile, Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan was looking to get his championship charge back on track and was running in third place after some strong pace on Friday. James Hedley was having lap times removed for track limits as the JHR Developments racer was struggling down in tenth place.

Abbi Pulling moved up to fourth late on, running just two tenths within Alex Connor’s storming lap time, and the top nine all running within less than half of a second of each other in a super tight session.

But as the chequered flag flew, it was Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor that claimed pole position for race one and race three, setting the best and second best laps of the session. Casper Stevenson will line up alongside Connor on the front row, with Zak O’Sullivan and Luke Browning on row two in third and fourth. Last weekend’s triple winner James Hedley will line up in fifth place next to JHR team mate Abbi Pulling in sixth. Lubin was the fastest rookie in seventh next to Arden team mate Roman Bilinski, with Reema Juffali out-qualifying Carlin’s Christian Mansell and Mathias Zagazeta.

Qualifying Classification:

1Alex ConnorArden Motorsport56.256
2Casper StevensonArgenti Motorsport+ 0.031
3Zak O’SullivanCarlin+ 0.175
4Luke BrowningFortec Motorsport+ 0.225
5James HedleyJHR Developments+ 0.231
6Abbi PullingJHR Developments+ 0.238
7Frederick LubinArden Motorsport+ 0.369
8Roman BilinskiArden Motorsport+ 0.386
9Reema JuffaliArgenti Motorsport+ 0.404
10Christian MansellCarlin+ 0.600
11Mathias ZagazetaCarlin+ 0.877

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British Formula 4 correspondent and occasional F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag.
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