Home Formula 3GB3 Esterson leads Donington GB3 test, Taylor quickest in GB4

Esterson leads Donington GB3 test, Taylor quickest in GB4

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Douglas Motorsport’s Max Esterson set a blistering pace on Friday afternoon to end GB3’s two-day pre-event test at Donington Park on top.

The American was 0.444 seconds faster than JHR Developments’ Matthew Rees, with Carlin’s Roberto Faria and Arden’s Alex Connor also within half a second of the pace – all recording their best laps in the final session. Connor’s team-mate Nico Christodolou was fifth ahead of his GB3 debut.

Esterson led the opening 35-minute session on Thursday with an early 1m24.215s lap. But Hitech GP’s Luke Browning recorded a late effort of 1m23.989s to top the timesheet by 0.024s from Faria.

Connor briefly went fastest late in session two, but Browning almost straight after set a 1m23.622s to end the morning on top. That lap was not beaten in the afternoon session, topped by Fortec Motorsports’s Joel Granfors, which was stopped twice due to a spin for Elite Motorsport’s James Hedley and a car issue for Douglas’s Marcos Flack.

Faria beat Browning’s benchmark in Friday morning’s 40-minute session, before Esterson and Elite’s Tom Lebbon went quicker still. Browning posted a 1m23.230s on his penultimate lap to be top again, but then crashed at Old Hairpin in the afternoon, with resulting barrier repairs curtailing session two, which was headed by Granfors.

Esterson dominated the final session, shaving 0.3s off Browning’s earlier pace, and then found a further 0.2s to end on a 1m22.705s. Only four of the 22 drivers failed to improve.

Points leader Alex Walker was the driver to beat in GB4’s Thursday test running, the Elite driver topping all three sessions.

Walker posted a 1m31.189s to be 0.644s clear of Kevin Mills Racing’s Jarrod Waberski in the morning session. He then improved to 1m30.341s in session two before lapping 0.140s shy of his best in the final session.

Valour Racing showed impressive pace in session two in its first appearance in single-seaters, with Danny Harrison only pipped to the fastest time by Walker with five minutes remaining. His 1m30.477s lap put him second for the day, ahead of Waberski.

Harrison’s team-mate Daryl DeLeon Taylor was fourth, logging his best effort in session two. The only GB4-related red flag came in session two when Logan Hannah’s Graham Brunton Racing-run car shed a wheel at Macleans.

Waberski caused an early red flag in Friday’s opening session by going in the gravel. Once action resumed, Walker traded fastest laps with Hillspeed’s Megan Gilkes, with times significantly faster than on Thursday.

But it was Walker’s team-mate Jack Sherwood who topped proceedings with a 1m29.698s, before he caused the session to end prematurely by sliding into the gravel at MacLeans.

GBR’s Chloe Grant was another to find the Macleans gravel, causing a brief stoppage in the first of two afternoon sessions. Fortec Motorsports’ Nikolas Taylor bettered Sherwood’s effort by 0.015s, improving further to a 1m29.592s on his final lap to be 0.5s clear of Walker in session two.

He also quickest in session three with a test-topping time of 1m29.344s, with Walker also finding more time to end up 0.085s behind. Hillspeed’s Max Marzorati and Waberski also improved, resulting in the top four being separated by 0.288s. Sherwood and Gilkes were fifth and sixth, having been the only two to not lap quicker in the afternoon.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Max Esterson Douglas Motorsport 1m22.705s 101
2 Matthew Rees JHR Developments 1m23.149s +0.444s 104
3 Roberto Faria Fortec Motorsports 1m23.171s +0.466s 103
4 Alex Connor Arden Motorsport 1m23.200s +0.495s 109
5 Nico Christodolou Arden Motorsport 1m23.224s +0.519s 101
6 Tom Lebbon Elite Motorsport 1m23.227s +0.522s 100
7 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m23.230s +0.525s 94
8 Joel Granfors Fortec Motorsports 1m23.281s +0.576s 116
9 Callum Voisin Carlin 1m23.368s +0.663s 49
10 James Hedley Elite Motorsport 1m23.538s +0.833s 92
11 Marcos Flack Douglas Motorsport 1m23.635s +0.930s 103
12 John Bennett Elite Motorsport 1m23,636s +0.931s 100
13 Javier Sagrera Carlin 1m23.652s +0.947s 107
14 Tommy Smith Douglas Motorsport 1m23.910s +1.205s 108
15 McKenzy Cresswell Chris Dittmann Racing 1m23.918s +1.213s 101
16 Zak Taylor Fortec Motorsports 1m23,926s +1.221s 106
17 Nick Gilkes Hillspeed 1m24.080s +1.375s 114
18 David Morales Arden Motorsport 1m24.171s +1.486s 91
19 Cian Shields Hitech GP 1m24.186s +1.481s 101
20 Branden Lee Oxley Chris Dittmann Racing 1m24.292s +1.587s 104
21 Bryce Aron Hitech GP 1m24.301s +1.596s 111
22 Mikkel Grundtvig Fortec Motorsports 1m24.627s +1.922s 102
1 Nikolas Taylor Fortec Motorsports 1m29.344s 104
2 Alex Walker Elite Motorsport 1m29.429s +0.085s 88
3 Max Marzorati Hillspeed 1m29.545s +0.201s 103
4 Jarrod Waberski Kevin Mills Racing 1m29.632s +0.288s 82
5 Jack Sherwood Elite Motorsport 1m29.698s +0.354s 72
6 Megan Gilkes Hillspeed 1m29.764s +0.420s 91
7 Daryl DeLeon Taylor Valour Racing 1m29.981s +0.637s >74
8 Tom Mills Hillspeed 1m30.028s +0.684s 92
9 Danny Harrison Valour Racing 1m30.251s +0.907s >80
10 Jessica Edgar Fortec Motorsports 1m30.532s +1.188s 105
11 Logan Hannah Graham Brunton Racing 1m30.892s +1.548s 93
12 Christian Lester RossoVerde Racing 1m31.587s +2.243s >83
13 Chloe Grant Graham Brunton Racing 1m31.628s +2.284s 94