Home Formula 4British F4 Fortec’s James Higgins claims double British F4 pole at Brands Hatch

Fortec’s James Higgins claims double British F4 pole at Brands Hatch

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

James Higgins took a double pole position for the second round of the 2023 British Formula 4 seaon on Brand Hatch’s Indy layout. 

The Fortec Motorsports driver topped the order early on in a damp qualifying, setting a 48.176s lap. There would be little improvement over the course of the session, and nobody was able to beat Higgins’ early benchmark. 

Hitech GP’s William Macintyre came closest, going 0.120s slower than Higgins in second place. Chris Dittmann Racing’s Daniel Guinchard was one of the few to improve later in qualifying, jumping up to fourth behind Hitech’s Kanato Le.  

Most of the field were in the pits when red flags were brought out with three minutes left on the clock. An incident for Isaac Barashi sent the Argenti Motorsport driver into the gravel in the first sector. It was initially covered by yellow flags, but reds were needed to remove his car. 

With no improvements prior to that and only a limited amount of time left in the session, it was decided to end qualifying early. 

Higgins’ fastest lap put him on pole for race three of the weekend, and he will also line up on pole for race one where the grid is set by drivers’ second-fastest laps from qualifying.

The Fortec driver was comfortably ahead of the competition in that classification, and will share the race one front row with Guinchard, whose relatively late personal best meant his earlier time was enough to put him second on the grid ahead of Le.

Jaden Pariat was fifth quickest overall in qualifying, ahead of Gustav Jonsson and James Piszcyk. Jack Sherwood, Aqil Alibhai and Gabriel Stilp completed the top 10.  

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 James Higgins Fortec Motorsports 48.267s
2 Daniel Guinchard Chris Dittmann Racing +0.371s
3 Kanato Le Hitech GP +0.372s
4 Gustav Jonsson Chris Dittmann Racing +0.491s
5 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +0.498s
6 William Macintyre Hitech GP +0.587s
7 Jaden Pariat Argenti Motorsport +0.613s
8 Jack Sherwood Chris Dittmann Racing +0.831s
9 Louis Sharp Carlin +0.947s
10 Gabriel Stilp Hitech GP +0.952s

Race 3 grid
1 Higgins 48.176s
2 Macintyre +0.120s
3 Le +0.123s
4 Guinchard +0.273s
5 Pariat +0.320s
6 Jonsson +0.324s
7 Piszcyk +0.539s
8 Sherwood +0.654s
9 Aqil Alibhai Virtuosi Racing +0.655s
10 Stilp +0.767s