Home Formula 4British F4 Fairclough fastest in snow-shortened British F4 test at Knockhill

Fairclough fastest in snow-shortened British F4 test at Knockhill

by Ida Wood

Photo: Hitech GP

Hitech GP’s Deagen Fairclough set the pace in British Formula 4 pre-season testing at Knockhill this week.

The two-day test was split into morning and afternoon sessions, and on Tuesday morning it was Fairclough who was on top.

Rodin Motorsport’s Alex Ninovic initially topped the times, setting a 58.037s on his first flying lap and improving to 54.812s before team-mate Jack Sherwood bettered him with a 54.415s. He set a 53.705s on his next lap, but a minute later Ninovic was back on top and with five improvements in his next six laps he brought the pace down to 52.397s.

Sherwood then very briefly occupied first place again with a 52.177s, but James Higgins – another of Rodin’s drivers – was able to go 0.02 seconds faster than him.

Fairclough was the first driver to lap sub-52s and then sub-51s, but there was more competition to be fastest once the pace was in the 50s ballpark. Sherwood set a 50.975s, Higgins, beat him by 0.05s, then Sherwood went fastest again by 0.061s. Fairclough knocked 0.142s off that benchmark, only for Sherwood to then go 0.118s quicker.

The response fom Fairclough a few laps later was a 50.512s, which kept him on top for 41 minutes before Virtuosi Racing’s Maxwell Dodds and Martin Molnar found room to bring the pace down further. Dodds was first to break the 50s barrier, and Molnar set a 49.632s which looked unbeatable for a short while.

His time on top was ended by Argenti Motorsport’s Rown Campbell-Pilling, who set a 49.453s, then JHR Developments’ Leo Robinson went 0.01s faster. His team-mate Joel Bergstrom knocked 0.104s off the fastest time, then Fairclough came back into play with 54 minutes to go of the three-hour session. He improved three times, bringing the pace down into sub-49s territory, then in the final 12 minutes improved twice more to end the sesion with a 48.425s.

That put him on top by 0.199s over team-mate Reza Seewooruthun, with Higgins, Campbell-Pilling, Sherwood, Molnar and Hitech’s Mika Abrahams all within half a second of the pace. The top 17 were covered by 1.457s, with Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Berg some 4.666s slower than Fairclough and only setting 25 laps while everyone else did more than 50.

Fairclough was fastest again in the afternoon session, which Fortec’s Nina Pothof began as the driver to beat. She was sitting on top with a 52.173s lap when toppled by team-mate Kai Daryanani, then 30 minutes later Robinson set a 51.252s to go fastest by 0.78s. A lap later he set a 50.644s, then a 49.535s, and kept improving until he set a 49.070s.

Higgins brought the pace sub-49s, and was on top for 14 minutes before Fairclough set a 48.691s. He improved five more times to 48.267s, which made him fastest by 0.362s over Seewooruthun and 0.371s over Abrahams. Sherwood and Robinson completed the top five.

Drivers did not get an opportunity to improve their pace on Wednesday, as both sessions were cancelled due to overnight snow covering Knockhill and not melting away in time for any track action to take place.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Deagen Fairclough Hitech GP 48.267s 78
2 Reza Seewooruthun Hitech GP 48.624s +0.357s 83
3 Mika Abrahams Hitech GP 48.638s +0.371s 88
4 James Higgins Rodin Motorsport 48.649s +0.382s 109
5 Jack Sherwood Rodin Motorsport 48.677s +0.410s 108
6 Leo Robinson JHR Developments 48.754s +0.487s 105
7 Rown Campbell-Pilling Argenti Motorsport 48.782s +0.515s 87
8 Yuanpu Cui Argenti Motorsport 48.836s +0.569s 98
9 Martin Molnar Virtuosi Racing 48.889s +0.622s 106
10 Joel Bergstrom JHR Developments 48.932s +0.665s 111
11 Alex Ninovic Rodin Motorsport 48.989s +0.722s 111
12 Nina Pothof Fortec Motorsports 49.336s +1.069s 115
13 Chloe Chong JHR Developments 49.346s +1.079s 111
14 Kai Daryanani Fortec Motorsports 49.387s +1.120s 137
15 Ella Lloyd JHR Developments 49.466s +1.199s 95
16 Maxwell Dodds Virtuosi Racing 49.478s +1.211s 93
17 Yuhao Fu Virtuosi Racing 49.882s +1.615s 90
18 Alex Berg Fortec Motorsports 49.921s +1.654s 81