Honda junior Toshiki Oyu was the surprise pacesetter in the first Euroformula Open free practice session at Silverstone.
The Japanese driver, driving in place of Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda at Motopark, was one of several championship debutants in the field and one of the only ones never to have driven at the British Grand Prix venue.
For much of the session, it was the BRDC British Formula 3-experienced drivers that set the pace, with Carlin’s Nicolai Kjaergaard first to hit the front.
He was then bettered by championship returnee Enaam Ahmed, who was driving the car of points leader Marino Sato for Motopark. The 2017 British F3 champion only had a small advantage to Oyu, and when they both returned to the pits it was reigning British F3 champion Linus Lundqvist who took the advantage to set a ever-quickening pace up front.
During their second runs, Ahmed and Lundqvist swapped top spot until the closing minutes when Oyu leapt ahead. The Japanese F3 racer then improved on his time, only having had advantage up front shrank to 0.132 seconds by a last-minute lap from Kjaergaard.
Kjaergaard, Ahmed and Lundqvist were covered by a similar margin to that between the top two, with Carlin’s Christian Hahn and Billy Monger completing the top six.
Some distance behind them were Motopark’s Cameron Das and the debuting Dennis Hauger, neither whom featured heavily in the session, and Fortec Motorsports duo Calan Williams and Manuel Maldonado.
The latter pair looked to have the pace to fight at the front early in the session, but sank down the order in the final minutes.
Niklas Krutten, replacing Julian Hanses at Motopark for the rest of the year, beat the sole Teo Martin Motorsport car of Lukas Dunner to 11th. Dunner, Sato’s closest rival in the standings, is without his usual team-mate Aldo Festante for one weekend.
Propping up the order were W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, contesting free practice with Double R Racing before flying to Monza to fulfil her development driver role for the Williams Formula 1 team, and CF Racing’s Stuart Wiltshire.
Free Practice results
|4||Linus Lundqvist||Double R Racing||+0.288s|
|9||Calan Williams||Fortec Motorsports||+1.039s|
|10||Manuel Maldonado||Fortec Motorsports||+1.248s|
|12||Lukas Dunner||Teo Martin Motorsport||+1.336s|
|13||Rui Andrade||Drivex School||+1.917s|
|14||Jamie Chadwick||Double R Racing||+2.400s|
|14||Stuart Wiltshire||CF Racing||+4.699s|