Matias Zagazeta and Roman Bilinski shared the headlines after posting the quickest times in the two F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost practice sessions held at Thruxton yesterday [8 April].

Ford’s rising stars descended on the high-speed Hampshire circuit, set to host the season-opening triple-header next month, for their final official test sessions of a packed winter schedule.

The sessions – held in lieu of Friday testing at the opening race event – also gave the next generation of racers another opportunity to get better acquainted with the UK’s fastest circuit.

Argenti Motorsport racer Zagazeta, who topped the first official test at Brands Hatch back in early March, posted the quickest time of the morning session – and the day overall – with the Peruvian setting a 1:12.878s.

That put him just under a tenth clear of JHR’s Abbi Pulling, who led the majority of first practice until Zagazeta went quicker on his final run.

Pulling’s team-mate McKenzy Cresswell was third fastest, despite causing a red flag stoppage after an off at Goodwood. Although Cresswell was unhurt, the damage to his car proved too extensive to complete any further running on the day.

Those times stood up after the afternoon’s running, with Bilinski – quickest in FP2 on a 1:13.123s – fourth overall for reigning Teams’ champions Carlin.

His advantage over Fortec Motorsport’s Oliver Gray was just 0.008 seconds, with the Brit having the same in hand over team-mate Joel Granfors behind.

They made up the top three after lunch and took positions fourth through sixth overall.

Carlin pairing Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and Kai Askey were bookended by Matthew Rees and Joseph Loake in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively, with Dougie Bolger (Carlin) a further hundredth of a second back.

James Hedley’s spot on the grid for a second season remains unconfirmed, but the Hampshire local posted the 12th quickest time in a Fortec car, clocking up nearly 50 laps on the circuit at which he took all three race victories in 2020.

The remaining two Argenti cars of Marcos Flack and Eduardo Coseteng were next, with the 17-car field completed by Zak Taylor (Arden), Georgi Dimitrov (Richardson) and Thomas Ikin (Arden).

The 2021 season begins back at Thruxton on 08-09 May.