Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco was the driver to beat today as Ford MSA Formula testing resumed at an ever changing Thruxton circuit.
Contending with a mixture of dry, damp and fully wet sessions the three Carlin drivers on track were continuing their strong pace that had been displayed during the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch. DeFrancesco set his fastest lap time in the second session, which was incidentally the driest of the day, clocking an unbeatable 1:13.500 – Max Fewtrell was close behind in third while James pull rounded off the top five nicely for the team.
With three sessions lined up for the day and the weather looking likely to play a major factor, getting as many dry laps in was vital this morning before the bad forecast hit later in the day. The slightly damp track saw Fewtrell on form to finish second overall with DeFrancesco fourth and Pull 11th.
However it was the second free practice group in which the times really began to fall as the field had their first chance to take to a fully dry circuit with new tyres. This session soon provided the fastest lap times and was an opportunity to really work well around the 3.7km circuit. DeFrancesco led the way with the quickest lap time ultimately of the day while team mates Fewtrell and Pull ensured a strong team result to finish third and fifth respectively.
DeFrancesco was to miss the final session due to upcoming race commitments this weekend however his benchmark time remained unbeaten as the rain fell heavily over the Hampshire circuit. Despite the conditions, Fewtrell and Pull continued to bank important laps in their Ford MSA Formula cars. The pair ensured that despite a red flag ending the session early, they finished at the top with Fewtrell taking honours and Pull just behind in second.
Speaking of the day DeFrancesco said, “It’s really good to come straight off the back of a race weekend and be quick in testing. This was my first time driving around Thruxton in the dry so it’s great that we were able to show such strong and true pace today. Round one of the Championship didn’t go completely to plan so the focus was always to get back up at the top for this test which we did – so overall I’m extremely pleased and can’t wait for round two at Donington.”