Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne admits catching up is “going to be difficult” after suffering a blow to his GB3 title hopes at Brands Hatch.
Dunne was involved in a collision with Matthew Rees at the start of race one as he attempted to make up ground from sixth on the grid and spun into retirement in the gravel trap.
Rees was handed a three-place grid penalty for the subsequent race, the stewards deeming that the JHR Developments driver’s car “was slightly unsettled by the kerb”, resulting in him making contact with Dunne.
“I think it’s pretty clear to see,” Dunne told Formula Scout. “Going into turn one I left him enough room and he made a mistake and hit me, so my race was over.
“In practice and all weekend we’ve been in the top three every time, so I think in qualifying it didn’t really go our way. It made the weekend a little more difficult.
“I got off the line really well and went into turn one hoping to make up a couple of places and then came out of turn one in the gravel.”
His main title rivals Joseph Loake and Callum Voisin went on to finish first and second in that race, with Voisin then winning race two ahead of Loake while Dunne climbed one place to fourth.
Dunne had led the standings following his dominant double-win at Spa-Francorchamps in June and, despite a couple of tricky rounds at Snetterton and Silverstone that followed, was just one point off the championship’s summit heading to Brands Hatch.
“At Snetterton the pace was super-strong, we had the fastest lap in some of the races. It’s just in qualifying we tried a different strategy which didn’t really work out. At Silverstone we just lacked pace. For whatever reason there was something we were missing in sector one, me and Souta [Arao]. That weekend was the best we could do.
The pace [at Brands Hatch] has been good. Testing here before the season started I think we struggled slightly. But when we came back here we found something, and we’ve been in the top three the whole time. In qualifying we just got a little bit unlucky.”
Dunne has now slipped to third in the standings, with a 42-point deficit to make up to Voisin in the final two rounds.
“I do think it’s going to be difficult,” Dunne said of his title hopes. We are at the point in the season where everyone’s at the sharp end and I don’t think you’re going to see Callum or Joseph making a mistake where they are not going to finish a race. Even when racing each other they’re both quite calm.”
“So I’m just going to have to do my best and try and bring back what I can. I just need to hope everything goes our way and everything gets pieced together. I’ll just try to maximise on what’s possible and hopefully then we catch back up.”