Home Formula 4British F4 Loake tops GB3 action, Alibhai the fastest F4 driver in Brands Hatch test

Loake tops GB3 action, Alibhai the fastest F4 driver in Brands Hatch test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

GB3, GB4 and British Formula 4 were all in action today for a test on Brands Hatch’s Grand Prix layout.

The 24 GB3 drivers had their own sessions, while the first and second-generation F4 cars of GB4 and British F4 shared the track for their three sessions.

Arden VRD’s James Hedley was fastest in the first 40-minute session for GB3, setting a 1m20.061s on his final lap to beat JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake by 0.114 seconds.

Loake had gone to the top with his final lap a minute before that, toppling team-mate Matthew Rees’ long-standing 1m20.194s benchmark by 0.019s.

Rees had set that time less than six minutes in, after several drivers traded top spot. Douglas Motorsport’s Tymek Kucharczyk was fastest on the opening laps, then Loake and Rees beat him by lapping in the 1m21s.

Elite Motorsport’s McKenzy Cresswell was next to the top, but only was in front for seven seconds before Rees went almost a second faster.

The laptimes were quicker from the off in session two, with Kucharczyk again the early pacesetter. Hedley was the first driver into the 1m20s, and half a minute later Cresswell set the fastest lap of the day. When Rees crossed the line he brought the pace down into the 1m19s, which was bettered by Loake, Cresswell and then Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne who set a 1m19.611s.

There was then no change at the top for almost 18 minutes, with Rodin Carlin’s Callum Voisin eventually beating Dunne with a 1m19.563s. He improved two more times to end the session with a 1m19.281s, putting him 0.102s up on Dunne and 0.13s ahead of Cresswell.

Voisin was one of six drivers who failed to go faster in session three, dropping him to fifth overall. Kucharczyk once again set the early pace, then Cresswell was on top for over half an hour before Loake set a 1m19.075s on his final lap of the day to usurp him by 0.013s. Dunne and Rees were also within 0.1s of Loake, while fifth-placed David Morales was half a second back.

JHR’s Deagen Fairclough topped the first F4 session, a 1m25.619s putting him 0.08s ahead of Double R Racing’s recent single-seater debutant Freddie Slater. Fox Motorsport’s Liam McNeilly was the fastest GB4 driver in ninth, 0.524s off the pace.

McNeilly then lowered the pace in session two. He set a 1m25.007s, which was 0.014s faster than British F4’s new points leader Louis Sharp who went second quickest on his final lap. Slater was third, a further 0.011s behind.

Every British F4 entry bar Argenti Motorsport’s Yuanpu Cui – a Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior and karter making his F4 test debut – improved in session three, with Virtuosi Racing’s Aqil Alibahi ending on top with a 1m24.787s after three red flag periods.

Hitech’s Kanato Le was next best, 0.037s behind, Sharp was 0.043s back in third and Slater was fourth. KMR Sport’s Tom Mills was the top GB4 driver in ninth, but ended his day in the Paddock Hill Bend gravel and could not better McNeilly’s session two time.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Joseph Loake JHR Developments 1m19.075s 53
2 McKenzy Cresswell Elite Motorsport 1m19.088s +0.013s 45
3 Alex Dunne Hitech GP 1m19.137s +0.062s 45
4 Matthew Rees JHR Developments 1m19.163s +0.088s 42
5 Callum Voisin Carlin 1m19.281s +0.206s 48
6 David Morales JHR Developments 1m19.584s +0.509s 49
7 Costa Toparis Carlin 1m19.654s +0.579s 54
8 James Hedley Arden VRD 1m19.699s +0.624s 52
9 Jarrod Waberski Fortec Motorsports 1m19.700s +0.625s 44
10 Tymek Kucharczyk Douglas Motorsport 1m19.924s +0.849s 48
11 Michael Shin Hitech GP 1m19.949s +0.874s 25
12 Zak Taylor Chris Dittmann Racing 1m19.978s +0.903s 48
13 John Bennett Carlin 1m20.071s +0.996s 53
14 Oliver Stewart Elite Motorsport 1m20.159s +1.084s 50
15 Souta Arao Hitech GP 1m20.283s +1.208s 50
16 Edward Pearson Fortec Motorsports 1m20.286s +1.211s 51
17 Max Esterson Fortec Motorsports 1m20.302s +1.227s 43
18 Gerrard Xie Hillspeed 1m20.305s +1.230s 43
19 Nico Christodoulou Arden VRD 1m20.309s +1.234s 49
20 Lucas Staico Douglas Motorsport 1m20.361s +1.286s 50
21 Shawn Rashid Douglas Motorsport 1m20.522s +1.447s 55
22 Arthur Rogeon Chris Dittmann Racing 1m20.997s +1.922s 45
23 Jack Sherwood Chris Dittmann Racing 1m21.049s +1.974s 49
24 Daniel Mavlyutov Hillspeed 1m21.527s +2.452s 40
1 Aqil Alibhai Virtuosi Racing 1m24.787s 43
2 Kanato Le Hitech GP 1m24.824s +0.037s 45
3 Louis Sharp Carlin 1m24.830s +0.043s 51
4 Freddie Slater Double R Racing 1m24.901s +0.114s 51
5 Liam McNeilly Fox Motorsport Gen1 1m25.007s +0.220s 40
6 Deagen Fairclough JHR Developments 1m25.023s +0.236s 43
7 James Piszcyk Hitech GP 1m25.023s +0.236s 40
8 Mika Abrahams Fortec Motorsports 1m25.071s +0.284s 49
9 William Macintyre Hitech GP 1m25.071s +0.284s 41
10 Tom Mills KMR Sport Gen1 1m25.170s +0.383s 45
11 Colin Queen Fortec Gen1 1m25.249s +0.462s 41
12 James Higgins Fortec Motorsports 1m25.278s +0.491s 51
13 Gabriel Stilp Hitech GP 1m25.297s +0.510s 35
14 Zack Ping VRD Gen1 1m25.506s +0.719s 34
15 Dion Gowda Carlin 1m25.516s +0.729s 48
16 Josh Irfan Carlin 1m25.554s +0.767s 48
17 Jack Clifford KMR Sport Gen1 1m25.789s +1.002s 50
18 Patrick Heuzenroeder Argenti Motorsport 1m25.904s +1.117s 43
19 Sid Smith Fox Motorsport Gen1 1m25.966s +1.179s 42
20 Aditya Kulkarni Fortec Gen1 1m25.966s +1.179s 42
21 Douwe Dedecker Virtuosi Racing 1m26.116s +1.329s 48
22 Harry Burgoyne Jr Graham Brunton Racing Gen1 1m26.344s +1.557s 40
23 Erik Evans Arden Gen1 1m27.136s +2.349s 48
24 Yuanpu Cui Argenti Motorsport 1m27.148s +2.361s 39
25 Jayden Kelly Virtuosi Racing 1m29.255s +4.468s 39