BRDC FORMULA 3 SILVERSTONE
After the trip to Cheshire two weeks ago, BRDC British Formula 3 headed to Silverstone for rounds 13/14/15 as the season moved into the home stretch.
Pole-sitter Thomas Randle started fastest off the grid for race one, with Matheus Leist falling to third behind the fast-starting Lando Norris, but the stalled car of Enzo Bortoleto was collected by Krishnaraaj Mahadik leading to a red flag. Bortoleto suffered some bruising but both drivers were otherwise unharmed.
With the restarted race being run over six laps, Leist made a better start, leading Randle and Norris through Copse. Norris slipstreamed into second on the Wellington Straight and set after Leist, but ran wide a lap later at Becketts, damaging his suspension and retiring into the barriers.
Tarun Reddy took over third place and worked hard to hold off Ricky Collard behind him, as Leist took the victory ahead of Randle, saying: “I made a great getaway and was able to take the lead and hold on until the end. I’m pleased to get my third win of the season.”
The weekend’s second race started on a damp track, Jan Jonck leading from pole with Collard flying into second after starting fifth, and passing Jonck at Stowe. But he ran wide on the exit, falling back to fourth place, with Toby Sowery nipping through to take the lead. Sisa Ngebulana then passed Jonck for second at Abbey with the pole man falling back down the field while Collard couldn’t regain his initial pace.
Norris, having started 17th, produced a stunning drive and caught Leist and Ngebulana who were fighting for second, quickly dispatching both on the outside of Stowe and Abbey respectively, with Sowery just over 9 seconds ahead.
As the drizzle increased, Collard battled alongside Randle down the Wellington Straight and Quinlan Lall tried to sneak inside both at Luffield. However the American slid on the inside kerb, collecting Collard and sending them into the gravel.
With Lall’s machine in a dangerous place the safety car was deployed and a delay in removing it meant the race finished under yellows, Sowery thankful to take the victory.
“The car felt awesome, the team did a great job of setting it up. You know Lando is always going to be fast and when you see him behind after the safety car from 17th you think ‘oh god’,” he said.
Norris didn’t feel he had the ultimate pace, but was happy to secure a podium spot: “It was going be tough coming from the back but there wasn’t much chance of me catching Toby.”
And Sowery is set for the rest of the season: “We’ve got Rich Energy on board now, we’re close with them and they’re good guys so we’re going to grow together.”
Race 3? Well a passing storm which dumped torrential rain over the circuit for some 45 minutes caused the eventual abandonment of the rest of the meeting, meaning that round 15 may have to be rescheduled later in the year…