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Championship leader Palmer fastest in Saturday practice

Saturday, August 01 2015

Will Palmer was over a second faster than his nearest rival in Saturday’s 20 minute practice session on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, as the weekend’s Duo BRDC Formula 4 action got underway in Kent. Lanan Racing’s Rodrigo Fonseca made it the same order in practice as the championship standings as the Mexican was 1.200s slower than Palmer. Local racer Tom Jackson was third fastest for Chris Dittmann Racing.

With limited testing on the legendary Grand Prix track, the 19 drivers in the BRDC F4 field were able to get to grips with the circuit ahead of qualifying. Maidstone-based Tom Jackson was initially on top of the timesheets, his lap of 1m26.751s setting the early pace.

HHC Motorsport’s Will Palmer soon knocked him off top-spot however with a lap time of 1m25.828s. Jackson was pushed down further as Fonseca moved into second place, as he posted a new personal best. Ciaran Haggerty then got in the top-three mix for Ecurie Ecosse/GBR as he slotted in behind Palmer and Fonseca, 1.162s slower than the pace-setter at that stage.

On the next tour, Palmer, Jackson and Haggerty all improved, with Palmer lapping the 2.433-mile track in 1m24.874s, well under lap record pace. At the halfway stage of the session, it was that trio that formed the top-three. Further down the field, Jordan Albert moved into the top-five for Sean Walkinshaw Racing with Sisa Ngebulana vaulting into fourth for HHC Motorsport.

Improvements became scarcer as the session edged towards its conclusion but Fonseca bucked the trend and posted a 1m25.581s to move into second, with Palmer responding by dropping the best time in the session to a 1m24.381s, opening a gap of 1.200s to Fonseca. Jackson and Haggerty exchanged personal best laps in the final stages with the Chris Dittmann man coming out on top by just 0.017s to claim the third fastest time.

As the chequered flag flew to end practice, Jack Bartholomew moved into fifth for Lanan Racing but he was relegated to sixth by HHC Motorsport’s Harri Newey who posted his quickest time on his final tour. Jordan Albert finished seventh with Sisa Ngebulana, Jack Lang and Chris Mealin rounding out the top-10.

The 20 minute qualifying session that determines the grid for race one begins at 12:15pm and you can follow all the action through live timing and text updates on the official Formula 4 website.

Duo BRDC Formula 4 - Brands Hatch GP - Practice

1. Will Palmer, HHC Motorsport, 1m24.381s
2. Rodrigo Fonseca, Lanan Racing, +1.200s
3. Tom Jackson, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.224s
4. Ciaran Haggerty, Ecurie Ecosse/GBR, +1.241s
5. Harri Newey, HHC Motorsport, +1.600s
6. Jack Bartholomew, Lanan Racing, +1.702s
7. Jordan Albert, SWR, +1.872s
8. Sisa Ngebulana, HHC Motorsport, +1.886s
9. Jack Lang, Lang Sport/Gorse Motors, +1.895s
10. Chris Mealin, Lanan Racing, +1.999s
11. Michael O'Brien, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.097s
12. Ameya Vaidyanathan, Hillspeed, +2.137s
13. Omar Ismail, Chris Dittmann Racing, +2.164s
14. Zubair Hoque, SWR, +2.278s
15. Akhil Rabindra, Douglas Motorsport, +2.727s
16. Fernando Urrutia, Douglas Motorsport, +3.604s
17. Faisal Al Zubair, Hillspeed, +3.704s
18. James Reveler, 23 Racing, +5.830s
19. Joe Stables, JR Racing, +7.193s