British F3 | Preview: Shuffled Packs Of Playing Cards In Spa-Francorchamps
Updated: Jul 27
Update of July 22nd: 16 years old 2020 US F4 champion Hunter Yeany (USA) joins Fortec Motorsport as third driver for a one-off.
Plenty of turn of events as both British F3 & FRECA meet up together for the first time in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), in support of British GT’s meeting. Someone is suddenly moving from one championship to another…
British F3 at Spa-Francorchamps in 2019 | © Jakob Ebrey
With the fourth out of eight rounds planned for the 2021 calendar, the Belgian round of Spa-Francorchamps seals the end of the first half of the season. There are some curious aspects about this Belgian weekend: first and foremost, the friends from FRECA will also be there, marking the first time this year in which two of the championship which this blog follows will be racing in the same place.
Another curious thing is that it is the only British F3 race overseas on the calendar, a fact which is exciting many, including Arden’s Roman Bilinski (POL): “[…] It’s my first trip to race overseas, and what better place to do it than Spa? It’s such a historic circuit, and it’s really satisfying to drive. I’ve only lapped it on the sim so there will be a certain amount of getting ‘up to speed’, but I think that’s the case for the majority of the field.”
Arden’s Roman Bilinski (POL) in Donington | © Jakob Ebrey
The Pole brings even more excitement to the race weekend, as - after being just a temporary replacement for his team-mate Frederick Lubin (UK) - he is now confirmed to be taking part in this one plus other three rounds (Snetterton, Oulton Park, Donington Park Season Finale), all but one: British F3’s second Silverstone meeting on August 15th, which clashes with British F4 at Knockhill. Roman is in fact still prioritising his Formula 4 commitments.
This is what he had to say on the announcement: “[…] We enjoyed such a strong outing at Donington Park, so I’m feeling confident we’ll be able to fight up at the sharp end again. Scoring three top-six finishes at Donington has definitely given me a platform to build from, but I’m still not setting any specific goals heading into the weekend. The key here is: we keep learning, keep improving and put ourselves in the best possible position when it comes to making decisions at the end of the season. If we can achieve all that, then we’ll be in a good place.”
Christian Mansell (AUS) at Spa-Francorchamps for the Euroformula Open | © 2018 GT Sport
The other curious thing is that the only two drivers to ever have raced in Spa are Dittmann’s Ayrton Simmons (UK) and Carlin’s Christian Mansell (AUS). This is due to the fact that Belgium had been missing in last year’s calendar. Simmons raced in the Ardennes’ Forest two years ago, always with BRDC British F3. He brought home a pole position and a victory. While Mansell raced there… just one month ago in Euroformula Open! The Australian was given a chance to race there with Carlin, and he always ended in the top-6 in every race session he took part in.
Last round in Donington Park left the fans with a dominating Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan (UK), a Fortec’s Mikkel Grundtvig (DK) winning for the first time in Formula 3 and a penalty: the title contender Hitech’s Reece Ushijima (JP) will serve a five-place grid penalty in Race 1 for crashing with his fellow title contender, O’Sullivan in Donington’s Race 3.
Dexter Patterson |
| © Monolite Racing’s Instagram Page: instagram.com/p/CRi4RXht_Br/
A further turn of events preceded the Belgian weekend: on Tuesday morning FRECA’s “Monolite” team and Dexter Patterson (UK) – racing for Douglas in British F3 – announced they were going to join forces together for the remainder of the FRECA season. The driver - in the meantime - had already been included in British F3’s official entry list for this weekend. All of this caused confusion and uncertainty, as Douglas had not (and still has not for the time being) released anything.
Things were cleared when a source from British F3 told sebmotors.info he is not planned to take part in this weekend’s British F3 racing activities. Due to this, it remains still unknown whether this is a one-race absence or a permanent departure for Patterson, with the second hypothesis being more probable, looking at how it all unfolded.
Just for purposes of clarification: contrary to what stated somewhere else, Patterson is of course not going to race in two championships simultaneously. His fans will see him on the same track competing in FRECA with Monolite Racing instead.
[Update of July 22nd: 16 years old 2020 US F4 champion Hunter Yeany (USA) joins Fortec Motorsport as third driver for a one-off.] Is another announcement coming up? Fortec Motorsports suggests so in the British F3 entry list for Spa-Francorchamps:
3 Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport
4 Roman Bilinski, Arden Motorsport
7 Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports
10 Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport
12 Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP
13 Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP
18 Ayrton Simmons, CDR
21 Christian Mansell, Carlin
23 Bryce Aron, Carlin
34 Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport
43 Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports
50 Bart Horsten, Hitech GP
51 Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin
81 Max Marzorati, CDR
99 Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport
? Hunter Yeany, Fortec Motorsports
You can find the sessions’ times below, with the streaming times yet to be determined. The streaming will be available here:
-BRDC British F3's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BRDCBritishFormula3ChampionshipMSV/videos ;
-BRDC British F3’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BRDCBritishF3 .
The Sessions' Timings | © sebmotors.info 2021
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