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Hedley: “Results like this are our best chance” of continuing in GB3

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

James Hedley admitted his maiden GB3 win at Oulton Park was “emotional” after budget issues had previously left him unsure if he would be racing this year.

Despite some strong pace in pre-season testing, the Arden VRD driver only secured his place on the grid for the season-opener a few days before the first round, and so far isn’t confirmed for any further races in 2023 as he tries to find more sponsorship.

He made good use of his opportunity by passing polesitter Joseph Loake in the early stages of a very wet race two before pulling away and taking victory, with results across the weekend leaving him second in the points behind Loake. It marks a strong improvement after a difficult 2022 campaign in GB3.

“I came across the line and had a tear in my eye,” Hedley told Formula Scout after winning the second contest. “It was a bit emotional from everything that happened last year and not knowing if I was going to be racing this year. To kick off the season like this is, it’s pretty good.

“I got the lead which was crucial to see because it would have been really tough with all the spray. But the lead definitely helped that and one of the reasons I was able to pull away a bit. It was a fantastic result.

“He defended really well the first time into Druids and I braked early and tried to get the switchback,” he said of the Loake overtake. “So I knew he would be thinking maybe that’s what I’d be doing the next lap. I tried to go around the outside but he still outbraked me a bit but I just managed to get the switchback, get the car stopped and rotated, and the job was done from there.”

The 19-year old also finished fourth in the dry conditions of race one despite an early scare at Druids.

“I made a good move on [Souta Arao] and then lost it at Druids, maybe a bit of wind and my downshift causing the car to over-rotate. I did well to save it and even though I lost the position we did get it back in the end. 

“Even though we were close to a podium and I wanted to try something, I’ve been in this game long enough where now the points matter the most. If you are in the top five every time you are going to do well.”

Hedley remains optimistic of finding the budget to continue in GB3, admitting the win will have done his chances no harm.

“It’s always great to get a win but, as I’ve been saying, we’re only signed for this round. I think we can do a few more but we need to get the funding for the rest of the season, and the sooner we can do that the better.

“Results like this are our best chance of that happening. You can’t do any more. I’m sure something will happen, I’ve got to keep believing.”