Ginetta Junior points leader Freddie Slater will make his single-seater racing debut in this weekend’s British Formula 4 round at Donington Park.
The highly-rated Briton turned 15 earlier this month, making him old enough to compete in British F4. He is driving for the returning Double R Racing team, which last appeared in the series back in 2020 when first-generation F4 cars were used.
It marks a return of the Double R name to single-seater competition. The team competed in Euroformula two years ago, and its sister company Fine Moments ran all of W Series’ cars for the 2021 and ’22 seasons. Since then Double R has continued to operate as a test team, running drivers in a variety of single-seaters at circuits across the UK.
“This is a new team for me, but a well known team so I know I have the people behind me too challenge at the top,” Slater said to Formula Scout.
“It’s just all an experience to learn the most, I definitely have the speed but have never been to Donington Park in F4 so going to have to crack on quickly and then can be challenging for the top three for sure or even the win.”
Slater is in a position where he could become champion of the entry-level Ginetta Junior series with a round to spare, having won 16 out of 21 races so far this season. He has also combined his maiden car racing campaign this year with a rookie season in shifter karting, coming second on his KZ2 debut in the WSK Champions Cup then following that up with sixth in the WSK Super Master Series and winning the CIK-FIA European championship.
That is the latest in a string of major karting successes for Slater, who won the European and World championships on OK-Junior karts as well as the WSK Open Cup, South Garda Winter Cup and Champions of the Future series. During his time in the category he also came third in the WSK Euro Series and fourth in WSK SMS.
Last year he stepped up to OK karts, coming second in the single-event Italian championship, third in WSK SMS, fifth in the World championship and 11th in CotF. After that he came second in a post-season British F4 test at Snetterton with Rodin Carlin, then made his car racing debut in the Ginetta Junior Winter Series and took the title with three wins from four races.
Slater returned to a single-seater cockpit this March, contesting a pre-season British F4 test at Silverstone, then in June drove for Van Amersfoort Racing in an Italian F4 test at Monza. He told Formula Scout that he is not sure if he will make further F4 outings this year.
In the first practice session at Donington this morning, on the circuit’s full Grand Prix layout, Slater was eighth fastest.
The pace was set by Fortec Motorsports’ Mika Abrahams, who with a 1m28.294s laptime set with just under nine minutes to go of the 45-minute session usurped Rodin Carlin’s Louis Sharp by 0.116 seconds.
Sharp was later shuffled down to third by Hitech GP’s Gabriel Stilp, who got within 0.065s of Abrahams, and late on Sharp improved to finish 0.075s off Abraham’s pace.
Also in action were GB4 points leader Tom Mills with JHR Developments and Spanish F4 regular Alvise Rodella with Argenti Motorsport. Neither has been announced as racing.
Free practice 1 results
|1||Mika Abrahams||Fortec Motorsports||1m28.294s||26|
|2||Gabriel Stilp||Hitech GP||1m28.359s||+0.065s||21|
|4||William Macintyre||Hitech GP||1m28.474s||+0.180s||22|
|5||James Higgins||Fortec Motorsports||1m28.656s||+0.362s||25|
|6||James Piszcyk||Hitech GP||1m28.682s||+0.388s||22|
|7||Gustav Jonsson||Chris Dittmann Racing||1m28.684s||+0.390s||25|
|8||Freddie Slater||Double R Racing||1m28.742s||+0.448s||23|
|9||Deagen Faiclough||JHR Developments||1m28.754s||+0.460s||22|
|11||Tom Mills||JHR Developments||1m28.906s||+0.612s||23|
|13||Aqil Alibhai||Virtuosi Racing||1m28.978s||+0.684s||23|
|14||Patrick Heuzenroeder||Argenti Motorsport||1m28.980s||+0.686s||23|
|15||Griffin Peebles||Argenti Motorsport||1m29.045s||+0.751s||25|
|16||Jack Sherwood||Chris Dittmann Racing||1m29.062s||+0.768s||21|
|17||Kanato Le||Hitech GP||1m29.228s||+0.934s||20|
|18||Douwe Dedecker||Virtuosi Racing||1m29.469s||+1.175s||23|
|19||Alvise Rodella||Argenti Motorsport||1m29.491s||+1.197s||22|
|20||Kai Daryanani||Virtuosi Racing||1m29.555s||+1.261s||25|
|22||Isaac Barashi||Argenti Motorsport||1m29.660s||+1.366s||21|