Reigning British Formula Ford Champion, Scott Pye, topped the single of testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday.
The Australian Double R driver became the first to break the Carlin stranglehold in testing this year and also became the first driver to run quickest with a Mercedes engine.
Indeed, it was a busy day for Pye, who had completed a sterling 63 laps by the final chequered flag.
Pye’s fastest lap – 1:27.621, set half-way through a short stint in the morning – was more than enough to keep Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport) in 2nd spot; however the 20-year-old registered his quickest turn on ageing Cooper tyres.
Carlos Huertas (3rd) finished the day as the leading Carlin driver, nearly half-a-second slower than Pye. For the rest of the day, no one was able to improve on Pye’s time in spite of the excellent weather conditions.
Pietro Fantin took 4th for Hitech Racing, albeit seven-tenths back the top spot. The Brazilian just edged ahead ahead of Rupert Svendsen-Cook (5th, Carlin), Pipo Derani (6th, Double R Racing) and title favourite Felipe Nasr (7th, Carlin) by mere thousandths in the final session.
Kevin Magnussen claimed 8th spot with a best of 1:28.402 during a 58-lap day, while the Fortec pairing of Lucas Foresti and Harry Tincknell rounded up the top-ten, albeit one second off the pace.
Riki Christodoulou took 11th for Hitech, a few hundredths ahead of the leading Sino Vision runner, Hywel Lloyd (12th). Next up were Will Buller (13th, Fortec) and the Carlin duo, Jazeman Jaafar and Jack Harvey, who registered the 14th and 15th best times respectively.
Adderly Fong could do no better than 16th, 1.888 seconds down on Pye, yet it was still enough to pip Yann Cunha (17th, T-Sport) and the Rookie Class pair of Bart Hylkema (18th, T-Sport) and Kotaru Sakurai (19th, Hitech).
Accidents for Jaafar and Sakurai brought temporary stoppages for those entries; however Fong’s day was brought to an abrupt end thanks to a more serious incident. A big crash during the second session, knocked out the Hong Kong native for a short time.
Following precautionary checks at the hospital, Fong was given the all clear and released.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Scott Pye Double R 1m27.621s 2. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport 1m27.989s 3. Carlos Huertas Carlin 1m28.093s 4. Pietro Fantin Hitech 1m28.332s 5. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin 1m28.339s 6. Pipo Derani Double R 1m28.346s 7. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m28.402s 8. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m28.481s 9. Lucas Foresti Fortec 1m28.643s 10. Harry Tincknell Fortec 1m28.701s 11. Riki Christodoulou Hitech 1m28.716s 12. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision 1m28.769s 13. Will Buller Fortec 1m28.962s 14. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m29.117s 15. Jack Harvey Carlin 1m29.139s 16. Adderly Fong Sino Vision 1m29.509s 17. Yann Cunha T-Sport 1m29.807s 18. Bart Hylkema T-Sport 1m30.618s 19. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech 1m31.771s