Leading the way in Sydney

CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship leader Luis Leeds has set the early pace in Friday practice at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The two practice sessions saw the drivers head out on Hankooks used at the Australian Grand Prix in March, with Leeds’ quickest time set in the morning’s first practice session.

Leeds has effectively picked up where he left off in his last run in a Formula 4 car around Sydney Motorsport Park in 2016, where he won that weekend’s third and final race.

“AGI had the car absolutely hooked up, I couldn’t really ask for too much more,” Leeds said.

“Balance was good, track was getting a bit hot towards the end of practice two, but looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and get some pace in qualifying.”

Antonio Astuti and Lochie Hughes effectively traded times to be the second and third quickest across both sessions respectively. Though Hughes did enough to be second fastest in the final session, the Team BRM driver spun and caused a red flag after being stuck in the Sydney Motorsport Park gravel.

“I was pushing the limits a bit, got too much on a kerb, and it sent the car into a spin,” Hughes explained.

“That’s what practice is for. Hopefully we can put the car in P1 for qualifying. Hopefully a few more steps up the podium, that’s the goal.

Ryan Suhle, who is juggling Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge commitments alongside Formula 4 this weekend, was fourth fastest across both sessions.

Jackson Walls and Tommy Smith will be eager to pick up the pace on a new set of Hankook tyres tomorrow, with Emerson Harvey making big gains in his first competitive visit to the Sydney circuit.

In what is Harvey’s second circuit race meeting, Harvey has come to grips with the transition from karting to the Formula 4.

“The track’s unreal,” Harvey said.

“It’s a crazy feeling with the g-forces, it’s flat out and the car treats you well through turn one.”

Crews will battle for the Castrol Pole Position, where AGI Sport have claimed two pole positions since 2015 versus Team BRM’s one pole. Qualifying (10:10am AEST) and Race One (1:10pm) will feature on the free live stream at formula4.com.au.

Practice One
1. Luis Leeds – 1:31.0340
2. Antonio Astuti +0.5423
3. Lochie Hughes +0.5538
4. Ryan Suhle +1.0718
5. Jackson Walls +1.9541
6. Emerson Harvey +2.2832
7. Tommy Smith +2.5849

Practice Two
1. Luis Leeds – 1:31.3241
2. Lochie Hughes +0.5126
3. Antonio Astuti +0.5970
4. Ryan Suhle +1.3368
5. Emerson Harvey +1.5229
6. Jackson Walls +2.0338
7. Tommy Smith +2.3901