Kevin Mills Racing’s Australian charger Jack Clifford had his first taste of GB4 machinery this week at Silverstone, with his maiden two-day test concluding yesterday (Thursday).
The 17-year-old made rapid progress throughout the test, and ended it with a lap time 0.004 seconds faster than teammate Jeremy Fairbairn.
“It’s been an incredible couple of days” Clifford said at the end of the running. “It’s been a massive learning curve going from Formula Fords that don’t have slicks and wings to now being in a car that’s full slicks, full wings, on a track as big as Silverstone!
“It’s been a massive learning curve with the changes in technique, so I’ve just been chipping away at it and we’re getting a lot closer to the pace and improved throughout the whole two days.”
Clifford’s times improved in each period of track running, starting with rapid progression in wet conditions on Wednesday, and continued progress in the dry on Thursday, setting his best time of the two days in yesterday’s third session.
“It’s really confidence building when you’re able to be going quicker every session, and the delta on the dashboard is going green every time you’re going out which builds a lot of confidence. It’s all going in the right direction and I’m getting a lot closer to the pace.”
For Clifford, it wasn’t just his first taste of GB4, but his first experience of the UK too, having only arrived in the country for the first time a few days ago. He admitted that going from Australian summertime to a near freezing and very wet Silverstone posed additional challenges.
“It’s taken me a few days! I’ve been getting out of the car and I’m still cold so I’m wrapped up in ski jackets!
“But I can’t wait to get out there again and learn some of the new tracks that the UK has to offer, we’ve got a few more days planned until the first round at Oulton Park in April and plenty of miles for me to practice what I’m being taught.”
Fortec’s Colin Queen was again fastest in yesterday’s test, posting a quickest effort of 2m01.451s, 1.7s clear of Clifford and Fairbairn.
Fortec ran an additional car for an aspiring driver, and while both Fortec and KMR have concluded their testing for the week, Fox Motorsport are in action at the circuit today (Friday).
GB4 Championship, Silverstone GP, Thursday pre-season test result:
1. Colin Queen, Fortec Motorsport, 2m01.451s
2. Jack Clifford, Kevin Mills Racing, +1.799s
3. Jeremy Fairbairn, Kevin Mills Racing, +1.803s