Hitech GP’s Gabriel Stilp was fastest on British Formula 4’s pre-event test day at Snetterton on Wednesday.
The first session of the day ran for three hour-and-15 minutes, and it took almost 10 minutes before the first laptimes were set by Hitech’s drivers.
James Piszcyk was first to the top, then team-mate William Macintyre lowered the pace by two seconds before Piszcyk’s next lap was another two seconds faster than that.
Virtuosi Racing’s Aqil Alibahi set a new benchmark with his next two laps, before Piszcyk brought the pace down into the 1m51s. Four different drivers then took turns at the top and 20 minutes in the first sub-1m50s lap was delivered by Sonny Smith.
The former Sauber junior raced for Argenti Motorsport in the season opener, but switched to JHR Developments for round two and has remained with JHR for this week’s Snetterton action.
Smith went unbeaten for 21 minutes before team-mate Deagen Fairclough went faster by 0.157s, then Piszcyk went a tenth of a second faster than that.
There were only two more improvements at the top in the next hour, with Rodin Carlin’s Louis Sharp setting a 1m49.108s and Fortec Motorsports’ James Higgins later setting a 1m48.581s.
Sharp reclaimed first place 71 minutes after that, and only by 0.150s. He was then shuffled back to second place just two minutes later as team-mate Noah Lisle set a 1m48.412s. As Lisle’s primary Spanish F4 programme does not clash with British F4 this weekend, he therefore plans to race at Snetterton.
In the final half-hour two drivers lowered the pace, with Higgins setting a 1m48.315s then Hitech’s Kanato Le posting a 1m48.093s with less than seven minutes left on the clock.
Later in the day there was a second session lasting three-and-a-half hours, and Argenti’s Patrick Heuzenroeder was the early pacesetter. Carlin’s Dion Gowda was first to go sub-1m50s after 24 minutes, and the 1m49s barrier was broken 13 minutes after that.
Although the second session was faster for almost everyone, it took almost three hours of running for the session one benchmark to be beaten by Stilp. He did that on his final lap of the day, but with 35 minutes left on the clock, and later improvements put Fortec’s Aiden Neate and Le into second third.
Higgins and Sharp’s best laptimes came from session one, while Smith missed session two. At the bottom of the timesheet was Monica Boulton Ramos, who earned a prize 2023 British F4 seat by winning the ROKiT Racing Star Esports contest but has missed the first races as she is yet to sign with a team. She was testing with JHR, for the third time since her contest win, and was 4.034s off the pace.
|1||Gabriel Stilp||Hitech GP||1m47.845s||77|
|2||Aiden Neate||Fortec Motorsports||1m48.037s||+0.192s||94|
|3||Kanato Le||Hitech GP||1m48.055s||+0.210s||73|
|4||William Macintyre||Hitech GP||1m48.116s||+0.271s||64|
|6||Daniel Guinchard||Chris Dittmann Racing||1m48.249s||+0.404s||81|
|7||James Higgins||Fortec Motorsports||1m48.315s||+0.470s||81|
|9||James Piszcyk||Hitech GP||1m48.344s||+0.499s||68|
|10||Patrick Heuzenroeder||Argenti Motorsport||1m48.408s||+0.563s||99|
|12||Deagen Fairclough||JHR Developments||1m48.475s||+0.630s||105|
|14||Gustav Jonsson||Chris Dittmann Racing||1m48.615s||+0.770s||87|
|15||Matteo De Palo||Argenti Motorsport||1m48.696s||+0.851s||96|
|16||Aqil Alibhai||Virtuosi Racing||1m48.992s||+1.147s||91|
|17||Jack Sherwood||Chris Dittmann Racing||1m49.032s||+1.187s||67|
|18||Jaden Pariat||Argenti Motorsport||1m49.083s||+1.238s||96|
|19||Ruhaan Alva||Fortec Motorsports||1m49.209s||+1.364s||71|
|20||Sonny Smith||JHR Developments||1m49.278s||+1.433s||31|
|21||Kai Daryanani||Virtuosi Racing||1m49.837s||+1.992s||96|
|22||Isaac Barashi||Argenti Motorsport||1m49.843s||+1.998s||96|
|23||Douwe Dedecker||Virtuosi Racing||1m50.115s||+2.270s||96|
|24||Monica Boulton Ramos||JHR Developments||1m51.879s||+4.034s||90|