Home Formula 3GB3 Hedley quickest in GB3’s pre-event test at Oulton Park

Hedley quickest in GB3’s pre-event test at Oulton Park

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Velocity Racing Development by Arden’s James Hedley topped GB3’s pre-event test for this weekend’s Oulton Park season opener.

His best lap came in the two-day test’s final session when conditions were at their most favourable, and he was 0.04 seconds clear of Rodin Motorsport’s Louis Sharp, with Elite Motorport’s McKenzy Cresswell just 0.063s shy of the pace in third.

Hedley led the way for part of Thursday’s opening session with a 1m42.925s before laptimes tumbled in the last 10 minutes. Sharp beat Hedley’s improved effort of 1m36.303s with five minutes remaining, and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Flynn Jackes and VRD’s Noah Ping then had brief spells at the top.

John Bennett went quickest late on for JHR Developments with a 1m33.096s, and improved to 1m32.758s as he took the chequered flag to retain top spot by 0.211s from Sharp, with Jackes edging Ping, Fortec Motorsports’ Colin Queen and Hedley to third by less than 0.1s.

Bennett’s benchmark was soon beaten in session two, with Sharp exchanging first place with Hedley, Ping and Rodin’s Ugo Ugochukwu. Sharp held the advantage with 10 minutes to go, but Hedley beat him by 0.024s to end quickest with a 1m30.709s, and Bennett was third ahead of Ugochukwu.

Rain prevented Hedley’s benchmark from being challenged in Thursday’s final session, which was topped by Hitech GP’s William Macintyre with 1m40.890s ahead of Sharp and Hedley.

A partly damp circuit and two red flag periods hampered session four on Friday morning, with again no drivers improving their pace. Rodin’s Arthur Rogeon caused the first stoppage after seven minutes, with Hedley leading the way over Ugochukwu with a 1m32.444s.

Another seven minutes of green flag running followed before running was ended prematurely due a crash for CDR’s Rishab Jain at Druids. His team-mates Jackes and Seb Murray beat Hedley’s effort moments beforehand to secure first and second, with Jackes fastest by 0.6s with a 1m31.231s.

The final session took place in dry and sunny conditions, and it didn’t take long for Hitech’s Gerrard Xie to set a new benchmark of 1m30.429s to lead Sharp by 0.2s. The pair then went even faster, with Sharp setting a 1m30.419s to edge Xie by 0.01s at the halfway stage as most of the field headed to the pitlane for fresh tyres.

Bennett moved ahead of Cresswell into third and within 0.067s of the pace, which was then lowered by Tymek Kucharczyk with a 1m30.302s. Sharp bettered the Pole’s effort by 0.468s, Hedley climbed to second and Kurcharczyk then set a new personal best to reclaim third from Macintyre.

Hedley posted a 1m29.794s with four minutes remaining, with nobody able to beat him due to an off for Macintyre at Cascades bringing testing to a premature end.

Cresswell improved to third before the red flag, while Kucharcyzk was fourth ahead of Macintyre and Jarrod Waberski – the trio separated by less than 0.1s. Ugochukwu was seventh ahead of Noah Ping, John Bennett and Xie.

Nikita Johnson isn’t old enough to race this weekend, but the 15-year-old ended the test 11th quickest for VRD, and within 0.8s of the pace. Jackes and Jain were the only two drivers to not improve on their personal bests from day one.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 James Hedley VRD by Arden 1m29.794s 74
2 Louis Sharp Rodin Motorsport 1m29.834s +0.040s 73
3 McKenzy Cresswell Elite Motorsport 1m29.857s +0.063s 64
4 Tymek Kucharczyk Hitech GP 1m30.057s +0.263s 71
5 Will Macintyre Hitech GP 1m30.117s +0.323s 71
6 Jarrod Waberski Elite Motorsport 1m30.140s +0.346s 64
7 Ugo Ugochukwu Rodin Motorsport 1m30.196s +0.402s 74
8 Noah Ping VRD by Arden 1m30.332s +0.538s 72
9 John Bennett JHR Developments 1m30.372s +0.578s 67
10 Gerrard Xie Hitech GP 1m30.429s +0.635s 69
11 Nikita Johnson VRD by Arden 1m30.559s +0.765s 69
12 Shawn Rashid VRD by Arden 1m30.703s +0.909s 69
13 Josh Irfan Rodin Motorsport 1m30.758s +0.964s 72
14 Patrick Heuzenroeder JHR Developments 1m30.953s +1.159s 66
15 Seb Murray Chris Dittmann Racing 1m30.961s +1.167s 66
16 Arthur Rogeon Rodin Motorsport 1m30.972s +1.178s 74
17 Flynn Jackes Chris Dittmann Racing 1m31.180s +1.386s 68
18 Hugo Schwarze Elite Motorsport 1m31.324s +1.530s 62
19 Colin Queen Fortec Motorsport 1m31.378s +1.584s 62
20 Edward Pearson Fortec Motorsport 1m31.546s +1.752s 60
21 Aditya Kulkarni Hillspeed 1m32.197s +2.403s 62
22 Rishab Jain Chris Dittmann Racing 1m33.208s +3.414s 53