• Luigi Sebastiano De Blasi

British F3 | Review: Ushijima Masters Silverstone

This weekend it was a matter of domination for Reece Ushijima, who was beaten only by… the reversed-grid start of Race 3, it could be said. The Japanese from Hitech GP brings home a double Pole position and the race wins in the first two races. This is how he did it.


Reece Ushijima (JP) - Hitech GP | © Jakob Ebrey


Qualifying & Race 1 – Hitech’s Reece Ushijima (JP) claimed pole position just sixty-one thousandths of a second in front of Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan (GB). Furthermore, there were eleven cars covered in less than one second. At the start of Race 1, Hitech’s Bart Horsten (AUS) got Fortec’s Frederick Lubin (GB) at Village for third, with Elite’s Javier Sagrera (ES) following suit for fourth. Right after that, Lubin started to suffer issues which dropped him down the order, while Elite’s Tom Lebbon (GB) stopped on track and retired. The big pressure O’Sullivan was putting on Ushijima was not enough for claiming a victory, which otherwise the Japanese claimed for the first time in his British F3’s career.


Qualifying Results | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


Race 1 Results | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


The Start of Race 2 – Ushijima’s second fastest lap implied he was bound to start Race 2 on pole, too. During the formation lap, Elite’s José Garfias (MEX) found himself in the grass with no further consequence. At the start of the race – quite curiously – Lubin found himself losing two places as it happened in Race 1, but on the following lap he recovered one place on Carlin’s Christian Mansell (AUS) for P4. The tension then arose for P10 at the 8th minute with Hitech’s Sebastián Álvarez (MEX), Douglas’ Dexter Patterson (GB) and Carlin’s Bryce Aron (USA). Patterson launched at the inside of Álvarez at the Loop, slowing the Mexican down and also allowing Aron to go through. Contact was then made at Luffield between Aron and Patterson, with the latter one breaking his front wing.


Each Driver’s Second Fastest Lap | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


The End of Race 2 – At the 14th minute here was a much-crowded group of drivers going for P5: the already quoted Mansell, Sagrera, Lebbon and Horsten with the addition of Arden’s Alex Connor (GB). Bart Horsten was the one getting the most of the situation as he went round the outside of Lebbon at Brooklands and then took profit from Mansell’s struggles: he found himself P7 which was then P6 at the checkered as Connor lost four places in the last lap while not being taken on camera. It was a good drive for Horsten, who recovered 9 places as he started P15.


Race 2 Results | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


The Penalties of Race 2 – At lap 8 Álvarez was inflicted a five-seconds’ time penalty for exceeding track limits. But worse things came after the race: due to the same reason, Frederick Lubin received a ten-seconds’ penalty. Quite amazingly though, he still maintained P4 as he had a 10.2 seconds’ gap on Sagrera who ended P5. Patterson was then disqualified from Race 1 & 2 and prevented to take part in Race 3 for “C1.1.9 Abusive language or behaviour”, with the reasons behind this penalty still not being shared to the public.


The Start of Race 3 – Reversed grid from Qualifying meant Douglas’ Saudi Arabian Reema Juffali was bound to start on Pole. She was then overtaken by Dittmann’s Max Marzorati (GB) round the outside at Maggots. Sagrera and Mansell were then involved in a clash for P12, with the Spaniard spinning and ending his race in the gravel at Becketts and the Australian luckily escaping damage.


The Moment of the Clash Between Marzorati & Aron

On the left: Simmons, Marzorati & Connor, on the right: Aron |

| © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


The Two Clashes – At the following lap, Marzorati’s team-mate Ayrton Simmons (GB) got the race leader at Brooklands, then Bryce Aron was following by trying to get a good exit round the outside of Marzorati at Woodcote. The latter one closed in on the American, which ended too wide with a broken front wing. His front wing had made contact with Marzorati’s left rear a few meters earlier, which implied the driver for Dittmann ended with a puncture. Two laps later Horsten dived down the inside of Fortec’s Mikkel Grundtvig (DK) at Brooklands and the pair ended crashing out. The Safety Car was deployed with incredible late, at least two minutes after the crash and the race was then restarted with four minutes to go.


Inside the Green Circle: Mikkel Grundtvig & Bart Horsten |

| © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


The Results of Race 3 – Ayrton Simmons brought home his second win of the season in front of Alex Connor and Fortec’s Roberto Faria (BR). It was a strong effort from the Brazilian, who got the most additional points from each place gained: 7. In the last stages of the Race there was a nice battle for P8 involving Álvarez, Mansell, Aron and the two championship contenders O’Sullivan and Ushijima. It was the Mexican ending in front at the end, with Zak finally managing to get in front of Reece this weekend and then followed by the two Carlins of Mansell and Aron. The American was then disqualified, as a sanction to his clash with Marzorati.


Race 3 Results | © 2021 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


Here is what Ushijima said about the weekend: (ed.- after Race 1) It’s taken three years to get to this point, it’s been a lot of hard work but we finally got there. We started racing a bit late but I’m glad we can finally compete and get out the front, I’m happy with the result.

(ed.- after Race 2) I knew that once we got the first win, the second was bound to come so I’m glad we could get that done and hopefully we can repeat this performance at Donington. When you’re in the lead it’s quite comfortable to just drive around. There’s a lot we can improve on with the pace though, and we’ll look over that tonight so we can lead even further next time.”


Reece Ushijima (JP) - Hitech GP | © Jakob Ebrey


In the following, Race 3’s winner Ayrton Simmons: “This win is not only for me but for the team. They’ve been working crazy hours, I think I’ve been carrying damage that we couldn’t fix from Brands Hatch. The team has been working day and night, they’ve had the car in bits on numerous occasions and they were here last night until stupid hours. I’m very happy for me, very happy that in a damage limitation weekend we still managed to come away with a win.”


Ayrton Simmons (GB) – Chris Dittmann Racing | © Jakob Ebrey


The Standings – The two championship contenders O’Sullivan and Ushijima now have a good margin (33 points) to the group of the others, which is led by Bobby Faria. The absent Fortec’s Ollie Bearman (GB) still manages to keep a very respectable position in 10th, while there is a clear gap separating the midfield group from the back-group between Álvarez P13 and Grundtvig P14.


Drivers’ Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021


Constructors’ Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021


You can re-watch the sessions at these links:

-Race 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGXyoz4uSaU ;

-Race 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzz3CyT0ctI .

Next round will be at Donington Park on July 10th.


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

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