Peruvian sophomore season hopeful Matias Zagazeta topped the timesheets at Brands Hatch on the first official test day of 2021, with all drivers and teams present and completing a combined total of 2,952 laps on a busy day around the Indy Circuit.
After setting the early pace in the morning session, it was Argenti Motorsport new boy Zagazeta that once again topped the timesheets in the afternoon session with a time of 45.734 to be just two tenths clear of Abbi Pulling, who will be looking for a championship charge herself with the JHR Developments squad in 2021.
The third and fourth fastest times belonged to two of the promising rookies that’ll grace the championship year, with Australian Marcos Flack tucking in just behind Zagazeta and Pulling in third, with Mckenzy Cresswell in fourth just half a second off the pace.
In fifth place was the first Carlin of Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak, completing 169 laps and finishing just 0.504 seconds off the session setting time of Zagazeta. The Thai driver will be looking for a full season in British F4 after a promising performance in the F4 UAE Championship earlier in the year, finishing fifth in the final points standings and scoring four podiums along the way.
Another second season driver, Roman Bilinski was sixth in the second Carlin just one hundredth behind Inthraphuvasak, with Edoardo Coseteng in seventh being the highest placed driver that set their fastest time of the day in the morning session – the Filipino driver seemingly being evaluated by the Argenti team.
British F4 new boys Joel Granfors and Matthew Rees set the eighth and ninth fastest times respectively, with the 2019 Ginetta Junior champion James Hedley rounding out the top ten for Fortec Motorsport in what appears to be a switch to the Daventry-based squad for 2021 in an attempt at a title push, mirroring last season’s champion Luke Browning in joining the team.
Japanese hopeful Dougie Bolger impressed for Carlin, setting the eleventh fastest time and lapping 182 circuits, coming within his 2 tenths of more experienced team mates of Inthraphuvasak and Bilinski. JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake had a much better afternoon following an engine change after an off in the morning session, completing 74 laps and setting the twelfth fastest time and just eight tenths from the ultimate pace.
Newly announced Fortec Motorsport rookie Oliver Gray was thirteenth fastest ahead of Richardson Racing’s Georgi Dimitrov, with Carlin’s Kai Askey in fifteenth after lapping an impressive 117 laps during the morning session. The two Arden Motorsport drivers of Thomas Ikin and Zak Taylor finished in sixteenth and seventeenth resprestively, with the whole 17 car field separated by just nine tenths of a second, in what’s shaping up to be an extremely close and exciting season.
The next official test day takes place at the Season Launch at Silverstone, Northamptonshire, on Saturday 27 March.
|1||Matias Zagazeta||Argenti Motorsport||45.734||174 Laps|
|2||Abbi Pulling||JHR Developments||45.963||188 Laps|
|3||Marcos Flack (R)||Argenti Motorsport||46.084||137 Laps|
|4||Mckenzy Cresswelll (R)||JHR Developments||46.236||207 Laps|
|5||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Carlin||46.238||169 Laps|
|6||Roman Bilinski||Carlin||46.250||165 Laps|
|7||Eduardo Coseteng||Argenti Motorsport||46.279||177 Laps|
|8||Joel Granfors||Fortec Motorsport||46.365||189 Laps|
|9||Matthew Rees (R)||JHR Developments||46.391||186 Laps|
|10||James Hedley||Fortec Motorsport||46.397||171 Laps|
|11||Dougie Bolger (R)||Carlin||46.482||182 Laps|
|12||Joseph Loake||JHR Developments||46.553||91 Laps|
|13||Oliver Gray (R)||Fortec Motorsport||46.574||163 Laps|
|14||Georgi Dimitrov||Richardson Racing||46.608||189 Laps|
|15||Kai Askey (R)||Carlin||46.614||186 Laps|
|16||Thomas Ikin (R)||Arden Motorsport||46.615||207 Laps|
|17||Zak Taylor||Arden Motorsport||46.675||174 Laps|