F4 British Championship 2020 Season Launches at Donington Park
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost stepped up preparations ahead of the 2020 season with the official Season Launch at Donington Park, Leicestershire, yesterday (9 March).
A record-high media attendance took the opportunity to greet and interview the ‘Class of 2020’ and their newly-liveried 2020 challengers ahead of the new campaign.
It also provided the next batch of Ford-powered rising stars with an opportunity to test extensively at the 1.9-mile East Midlands circuit ahead of the season-opening triple-header back at Donington at the end of the month [28/29 March].
Fortec Motorsport led the way across the six hours of combined running in mixed conditions with their series returnees Roberto Faria and Luke Browning.
Faria’s best lap time of 1:07.409 – two tenths quicker than the existing qualifying lap record set by Dan Ticktum in 2015 – proved enough to edge out Arden Motorsport’s Alex Connor by 0.127 seconds and Browning behind in third.
A quartet of Ginetta graduates came next, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan fourth, inaugural Scholarship winner Casper Stevenson (Argenti Motorsport) fifth, reigning Ginetta Junior champion James Hedley sixth for JHR and Arden’s Roman Bilinski in seventh.
Carlin duo Christian Mansell and Marijn Kremers, along with the third Fortec machine of Rafael Villagomez, rounded out the top ten.
Browning hit the ground running after the lunch break, lowering the benchmark further to a 1:07.354 from O’Sullivan, Connor and Faria.
“The car felt awesome, I’m so happy to be on top of the times at Media Day,” said Browning. “It feels especially great after being out of the car for months. A pretty special first day back. Big thanks to everyone at Fortec Motorsport.”
FEED Racing France winner Kremers fifth despite an off at the final chicane, the Dutch racer among several drivers to get caught out in the inclement weather conditions.
Bilinski put himself up into the top six, with Matias Zagazeta (Carlin), Stevenson, Mansell and Villagomez completing the top ten.