Drivers had anticipated a leap in pace thanks to a new track surface and the fastest eight today were all beneath the race lap record.
Young, sporting a stunning new Eddie Stobart sponsorship livery on his MRM-run car, topped the times in a soaking wet first free practice session (FP1) this morning. Second fastest was Team HARD’s Jamie Bond who had held the top spot for much of the session.
Underlining just how much grip the newly laid surface is producing, times were only three seconds off a quick lap in the dry…
However conditions for FP2 this afternoon had dried significantly and it was in this session that every driver (bar Team HARD’s Jade Edwards who was afflicted by a gear selector issue) set their best times of the day.
At the end of it, Young was again top of the heap with a stunning lap of one minute, 30.137 seconds – some 1.5s better than the best ever seen in a race and around one second up on the current qualifying record.
“I’m really happy with my day as I’ve never driven Croft before and I couldn’t even get it on my simulator at home to practice on!” said 17-year-old Young.
“However I’m wary – I know some people haven’t shown their full hand today so if the conditions are dry again tomorrow then I think in qualifying we could be into the 29s…”
Pushing him hardest again, albeit 0.333s adrift in P2, was the impressive Bond while Team HARD team-mate Max Coates – very much the local hero at Croft – was next up in third.
MRM’s Brett Lidsey was fourth as championship returnees James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport) and Nathan Edwards (MRM) completed the top six.
Notably the gap from Bond in second to Colburn in fifth was just 0.080s; Colburn also missed out on matching fourth-placed Lidsey’s time by 0.001s!
Leading times, Friday testing, Croft Circuit:
1. Jack Young (MRM), 1m31.137s (84.87mph)
2. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +0.333s
3. Max Coates (Team HARD), +0.370s
4. Brett Lidsey (MRM), +0.412s
5. James Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.413s
6. Nathan Edwards (MRM), +0.708s
7. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +0.867s
8. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.875s
9. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.553s
10. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +4.248s
11. Jade Edwards (Team HARD), no representative time
FULL TIMES & ANALYSIS HERE