Luis Leeds has made a sensational return to Australia by breaking the Formula 4 lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park during Friday practice.
Previously set by Jordan Lloyd in 2015 (1:31.6565), the returning DREAM Motorsport pilot’s 1:31.5514 was the quickest across Friday’s three practice sessions.
With Leeds enjoying a brief return home during the British F4 mid-season break, the Red Bull Junior Team driver was enjoying his time back in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
“DREAM have had the car hooked up really to be honest. Just bring this form into tomorrow and it should be good hopefully,” Leeds said.
“It’s really good to get back, to be in Sydney with all my old mates from go karts. To be able to go out and have some fun and enjoy it is my main goal really.”
Fellow British F4 pilot Harry Hayek has also thrived upon his return home, with the Team BRM Laing+Simmons pilot barely a tenth behind Leeds to be also the top Team BRM placed car.
“It’s been good to get back with BRM, catch up with all the boys,” Hayek said.
“Had good practice sessions, so Friday went really good. Went fastest in Practice Two. Looking forward to tomorrow and see what happens.”
DREAM Motorsport CoolDrive’s Simon Fallon was the fastest rookie driver, despite issues with an exhaust interrupting Fallon’s first two practice sessions.
“It was a bit of a hard day, up and down,” Fallon said.
“First session didn’t really get out much because of the issues with the exhaust. Second session only got two laps out, but it was good to get the final session out of the way and just get some good laps and show we had some pace.”
Championship leader Jordan Love was left to rue Friday Practice, with the Team BRM driver only managing to be the tenth fastest driver all day.
“Probably not the best way to end the day,” Love said.
“Haven’t had the best day but we’ll bounce back for tomorrow. Struggled a little bit to do with me and then a lot to do with tyres, with the tyre restrictions you have to run with the tyres from the previous round in practice.
“We didn’t have much tyres left, but I guess that’s same for everyone. I think when we bolt on new tyres it’ll be a different story, well I hope so!”
Love’s nearest championship rival Will Brown was fourth fastest overall, but ahead of his own nearest rival Nick Rowe.
“Had an alright day,” Brown said.
“Proven a little difficult due to tyres… It’s been hard but we finished up top three for most of the day. We’ll push forward for qualifying and see how we go.”
Rowe was second quickest in the opening practice session, but spun in the final session attempted to take Corporate Hill flat having been egged on by his fellow drivers.
“Just tried to do it flat. Spun out!” Rowe said.
“But we didn’t do any damage I think! We’ll get back tomorrow and we’ll all good.”
JRD’s Tyler Everingham enjoyed a spirited Friday aboard his striking new helmet, with the diminutive 15-year-old from Dubbo placing the sixth fastest overall time.
“We were up there in the ranks, we were starting to get faster, starting to get straight on it on the first lap,” Everingham said.
Teams and drivers will qualify for the U Race It Pole Position tomorrow morning from 9:40am, with Race One to follow at 1:04pm for a ten lap sprint.
|2||26||Harry Hayek||Team BRM||1:31.7089||0.1575|
|4||99||Will Brown||Team BRM||1:32.0343||0.4829|
|5||97||Nick Rowe||AGI Sport||1:32.1346||0.5832|
|8||23||Brenton Grove||Team BRM||1:32.4932||0.9418|
|9||91||Josh Denton||Team BRM||1:32.5861||1.0347|
|10||79||Jordan Love||Team BRM||1:32.6822||1.1308|
|11||68||Jack Smith||AGI Sport||1:32.8793||1.3279|