Home Featured Browning clinches GB3 title as Lebbon wins Donington race two

Browning clinches GB3 title as Lebbon wins Donington race two

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Hitech GP’s Luke Browning sealed the GB3 crown with a race to spare as Tom Lebbon dominated a thrilling race two at Donington Park on a drying track.

Browning finished 1.952 seconds behind Elite Motorsport’s Lebbon, while Joel Granfors slipped back to 13th and out of title contention.

With the circuit still damp from overnight rain, the majority of drivers started on wet-weather tyres, with Matthew Rees, Tommy Smith , Bryce Aron and Cian Shields gambling on slicks.

Voisin bogged down from pole at the start and slipped back to third, with Granfors climbing from fourth to sweep around the outside of Lebbon into the lead at Redgate. Browning lost out to Elite’s John Bennett and Carlin’s Javier Sagrera and dropped to sixth.

An early collision between Voisin and Bennett at Melbourne put the latter out with suspension damage.

Lebbon drove around the outside of Granfors at Melbourne early on before snatching the lead into Goddards. Having recovered from third, Browning immediately tried a move on his title rival Granfors into Redgate but backed out.

As the pair continued to battle out of Melbourne on the next tour, Voisin dived inside Browning at Goddards to regain third.

Voisin then drew alongside Granfors out of Coppice before taking second into the Fogarty Esses, with Browning pouncing into Goddards to demote the Swede to fourth.

As conditions improved, Granfors dramatically lost pace, losing further places to Max Esterson, Adam Christodoulou and Zak Taylor before slipping out of the top ten.

Already in position to seal the title, Browning reclaimed second from Voisin, with Lebbon holding a comfortable lead.

Douglas Motorsport’s Esterson and Chris Dittmann Racing’s McKenzy Cresswell were soon past Voisin as well into the third and fourth, but it was the slick-shod Hitech duo of Aron and Shields who were now on the move, lapping almost 3s quicker than the rest.

Esterson and Cresswell were defenceless against Aron who climbed to third at the finish. Cresswell held off Shields by 0.1s at the chequered flag to take fourth, as a 5s penalty demoted Esterson to eighth.

Rees recovered from an early spin at Redgate to finish sixth ahead of Christodoulou, while Voisin struggled late on and came home ninth.

Taylor finished 10th ahead of Arden’s David Morales and Elite’s Ayato Iwasaki. Smith also retired early on after a spin, with Alex Connor the final finisher after pitting for a new front wing.

Race result (13 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Tom Lebbon Elite Motorsport 20m07.788s
2 Luke Browning Hitech GP +1.952s
3 Bryce Aron Hitech GP +2.684s
4 McKenzy Cresswell Chris Dittmann Racing +5.655s
5 Cian Shields Hitech GP +5.756s
6 Matthew Rees JHR Developments +8.180s
7 Nico Christodoulou Arden +9.125s
8 Max Esterson Douglas Motorsport +12.988s
9 Callum Voisin Carlin +13.379s
10 Zak Taylor Chris Dittmann Racing +20.233s
11 David Morales Arden +22.886s
12 Ayato Iwasaki Elite Motorsport +31.353s
13 Joel Granfors Fortec Motorsports +33.501s
14 Roberto Faria Carlin +33.889s
15 Nick Gilkes Hillspeed +35.125s
16 Javier Sagrera Carlin +39.606s
17 Mikkel Grundtvig Fortec Motorsports +48.708s
18 Alex Connor Arden +49.069s
Ret Tommy Smith Douglas Motorsport
Ret John Bennett Elite Motorsport
Fastest lap: Rees, 1m27.540s

Championship standings
1 Browning 489   2 Granfors 441.5   3 Voisin 359   4 Lebbon 352.5   5 Faria 315.5   6 Rees 297.5   7 Esterson 292.5   8 Bennett 261.5   9 Sagrera 249.5   10 Connor 235.5