• Luigi Sebastiano De Blasi

British F3 | Preview: Brands Hatch Inaugurates Spectacular 2021 Campaign

Updated: May 20

The first meeting of the BRDC British F3 Championship is taking place in support of British GT’s first meeting at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit and the on-track show is looking astonishing just as the circuit itself.

The BRDC British F3’s season finally begins with 19 drivers confirmed and a great level of talent included. Among the drivers who have already added racing titles to their CV, there are for instance: Fortec’s Ollie Bearman (GBR) - just turned 16 years old - who won the IAME Karting Euro Series as well as its international final; Douglas’ Dexter Patterson (GBR) Sauber junior driver, who won the WSK Super Master Series and the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship; Elite’s Tom Lebbon (GBR), who last year won the Ginetta Junior Championship.

British F3 at Brands Hatch last year | © Jakob Ebrey

Other than these, there are still further many great and young talents. It must also be considered that six out of the total are Under 17, as sebmotors.info usually have a special mention for the best one from this category in the other championships, too. A very special prize is then awarded to the winning driver: a two-day FIA Formula 3 test, with a day each at Carlin and Hitech GP.

Talking about “test”, the latest pre-season testing session - which took place at Brands Hatch - saw Carlin's Zak O’Sullivan (GBR) on top, four tenths clear on Hitech’s Bart Horsten (AUS). With the other very young guns - Carlin’s Christian Mansell (AUS) and Arden’s Frederick Lubin (GBR) - being both really quick and making it into the top 5.

Frederick Lubin | © Jakob Ebrey

With the introduction of the teams‘ title this year, an interesting fight looks to be set with both Elite Motorsport and Arden Motorsport joining this year. And while it is a new experience with single-seaters for Elite, Arden bring a good history of racing in single-seaters. Arden are also racing in FRECA this year. Two teams were then scheduled to take part in the championship and they are now missing in the entry list for Brands Hatch: Hillspeed Racing & JHR Developments. While no news was released by the latter ones, Hillspeed had troubles with the fact that neither of their 2020 drivers could find any fund whatsoever in order to continue. “We continue to work hard and hopefully we will return to the championship vey soon” claimed Hillspeed’s Team Principal, Richard Ollerenshaw.

What happened in the days preceding the race is that Mikkel Grundtvig (DAN) and the already mentioned Bearman (just for selected rounds) both joined Fortec Motorsport, which completed their line-up. In the meantime, Sky Sports F1 UK journalist Natalie Pinkham has announced that an interview with Douglas’ Reema Juffali (KSA) will be released on Sky very soon. Juffali is the first Saudi women ever to take on a racing challenge in a Formula 3 category, as she also was the first one in getting a driver license in her country four years ago.

The weekend format was revised for the new year: we will have one session of Practice, another one of Qualifying and then the three races. Race 1 will normally start with the grid order set by Qualifying. Race 2 will then take its starting order from each driver’s second fastest time from Qualifying. Race 3 will then reverse the grid order set by Qualifying completely and in addition to the normal points’ system, each driver will then gain a point for each position gained. In the following graphics you will find, respectively: the explanation of the weekend format, the points’ scoring system and the streaming timings for the weekend (UK time).

© sebmotors.info 2021

Here there are some words from the drivers: “(Let’s) Wait and see,” said Zak O’Sullivan: “The Hitech boys have looked fast and did a good job last year and are largely second year drivers, so they should be strong. Also, the grid is filling up nicely – it will be good to race against a full grid of cars and it will certainly make the reverse grid races more interesting.”

Zak O'Sullivan | © Newsline Press & Public Relations Ltd

Then, Bart Horsten: “In terms of my ambitions for the season, ultimately I want to be proud of myself out there. As long as I stay focused, apply myself all the time, work very hard, don’t give in and do what I know is right, then I will achieve this aim. (…) With the series as competitive as it is and with the margins so small, you have to respect the fact that anyone could achieve anything in terms of good and bad results. It will be an unpredictable year, and as long as you understand that then I think you will be able to deal with it, not think about it too much and just focus on your own driving.”

Starting from Race 2 on Sunday, you can watch everything live on these links:

-BRDC British F3's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BRDCBritishFormula3ChampionshipMSV/videos ;

-BRDC British F3’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BRDCBritishF3 ;

-BRDC British F3's website: https://www.britishf3.com/ .

Do not forget to follow sebmotors.info for the rest of the British F3 season also on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook & other social platforms here: https://linktr.ee/sebmotors.info !

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