• Luigi Sebastiano De Blasi

British F3 | Review: Carlin Drivers on the Right Foot at Brands

The BRDC British Formula 3 season finally got away in a cold and rainy weekend at Brands Hatch, Kent, with three different winners out of three different races.

Zak O'Sullivan Winning Race 2 | © Jakob Ebrey

Qualifying - The first weekend of BRDC British Formula 3 did not deprive the fans of plenty of action and eventful moments. Going in order, Qualifying started in mixed conditions as on Practice the track was wet, but all the drivers were coming out on slicks for the start of the new session. Dittmann’s Ayrton Simmons (GBR) got Pole Position and broke the Formula 3 Qualifying lap record with a 1:20.298 in the latest stages of the session. It was then realised that he also had got pole for Race 2 as his second fastest lap was also quick (the Starting grid system for the three races is better explained here).

Results From Qualifying | © Timing Solutions Ltd. 2015-2021

Start of Race 1 - At the start the Carlin duo made by Bryce Aron (USA) and Christian Mansell (AUS) were going wheel to wheel at Graham Hill Bend (turn 3) for P12, with Mansell eventually coming out in front. At the following lap, the Elite car of José Garfias (MEX) went off at Sheene and out of the race.

Second Half of Race 1 - Moving onto the second half of the race, we had Mansell on a mission: he passed Elite’s Tom Lebbon (GBR) first and then had an intense duel with Dittmann’s Alex Fores (GBR) and got P8 at the checkered. In the meantime Fores was being attacked from Fortec’s Roberto Faria (BRA), too and it did not end quite well as the two of them then crashed at the last lap. Simmons won in front of Fortec’s Oliver Bearman (GBR) and Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan (GBR), with the podium group having a five seconds’ gap on P4, Hitech’s Bart Horsten (AUS).

Results From Race 1 | © Timing Solutions Ltd. 2015-2021

Starting grid for Race 2 based on the second best Qualifying lap-times|

| © Timing Solutions Ltd. 2015-2021

Fores’ Crash in Race 2 - On Sunday, the action for Race 2 had already started on the formation lap with Fores losing his car and going in the barriers at the exit of Stirlings (turn 8). This was due to the slight rain starting to fall on the track, which then did not affect the rest of the session anymore. The drivers had then been waiting for at least ten minutes stuck on the starting grid in what was looking a very much weird (and not that warm looking at the weather) situation.

Simmons & Horsten Crashing | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Simmons & Horsten Coming Together in Race 2 - The action got then finally underway with the race distance reduced from 12 laps to 10. After the lights came out, Horsten’s magnificent get-away - with which he had overtaken two cars - turned into a distant memory in the space of two corners. The poleman Simmons moved aggressively on his line at the exit of Druids (turn 2) and the pair collided, with Simmons spectacularly going over Horsten’s car and removing its engine cover. Thankfully, both came out unharmed. O’Sullivan took advantage from it and moved onto the lead. In the early stages Bearman tried to move closer to Zak for P1, but he had to settle for second yet again as O’Sullivan brought home is first race victory in Formula 3.

Results From Race 2 | © Timing Solutions Ltd. 2015-2021

Starting grid for Race 3 based on the inversion of Qualifying lap-times|

| © Timing Solutions Ltd. 2015-2021

Start of Race 3 - Qualifying order, reversed! The Saudi Arabian girl Reema Juffali (KSA) is now starting on Pole. But her first start from Pole does not go well as Dittmann’s Max Marzorati (GBR) moved aggressively on her line a few meters after the start with the two of them making contact. Marzorati suffered the biggest damage, ending his race straight in the pits. Juffali got then tangled by Fores a couple of laps later at Stirlings, with both ending their race in the gravel. Hitech’s Sebastián Álvarez (MEX) had also crashed at Paddock Hill Bend (turn 1) at the start.

Mansell (below) overtaking (from left to right) Grundtvig, Sagrera, Garfias & Patterson |


Mansell Mania in Race 3 - A “Dream Start” is how you would call Mansell’s get-away from P7: he moved straight onto the left where a group of four cars in front of him had left an enormous room and then got advantage from the first row starters (Juffali & Marzorati) making contact. This was worth him enough to win the race. Another good performance from a Carlin driver needs to be highlighted and that is the one of Zak O’Sullivan: started P17, finished P7, getting those additional 10 points of Race 3 for the positions gained, and flying onto the lead of the championship.

Drivers' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021

Teams' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021

This is what the championship leader said: “Qualifying gave us a good start to the weekend and even though I didn’t have the best start in race one, I was still pleased to get the podium. For race two I inherited the lead when the leaders crashed but we were still able to capitalise on the pace. The full reverse grid race three was a bit exciting! I didn’t want to be too risky but there were a few gaps I went for and was then up to seventh from 17th. Overall a really good start to the year.”

He went then more in-depth on his Race 2 victory: "I made a pretty atrocious start off the line, and I got a shock when Bart was suddenly in the middle of us. I conceded turn one pretty quickly and then focused on settling down but I looked up at turn two and the two in front collided. So in a way it was a bit of a gifted win but I think from there I could just manage the pace and manage the tyres.”

TikTok Recap | © sebmotors.info 2021

If you want to re-watch the action:

-Race 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M0m_G-tOnE&t=1301s ;

-Race 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ynvq6uzM2w&t=647s .

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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