However, he was far from having things his own way, with a host of drivers taking turns to star at the top of the times. When the chequered flag finally fell, the ultra-competitive field was covered by less than a second, suggesting that this year’s Ford MSA Formula season is one no one will want to miss.
Red Bull Junior Team driver Leeds was in fine form, demonstrating speed and consistency out on track. His morning time was enough for third fastest and he was the only driver to break the 46 second barrier with a 45.974s lap.
Fellow Formula 4 Australia graduate Zane Goddard was similarly impressive for Double R Racing. Both Australians were clearly able to take advantage of their experience gained in the MSA Formula sister series, which uses the same 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine and Mygale chassis. Indeed, Goddard ended the morning session with the outright quickest time which only he and Leeds were able to better late in the afternoon.
2015 Ginetta Junior champion Jamie Caroline was quickest of the British contingent in third. An achievement made all the more remarkable given that his running was severely limited due to two off-track excursions on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend (both of which damaging his Jamun Racing prepared car).
Another former Ginetta Junior driver caught the eyes of many up and down the paddock with his rate of improvement as the test progressed. JHR Developments driver Billy Monger came alive in the afternoon to record the sixth fastest time.
Meanwhile, MSA Formula returnee Sennan Fielding made amends for a morning mired in the pits due to technical difficulties; to set a time that would see him leave the Kent circuit fourth fastest.
The next collective Ford MSA Formula test session will take place on 16 March at Donington Park.