New GB3 champion Luke Browning described his 2022 as a “flawless year” after wrapping up the title at Donington Park last weekend.
The Hitech GP driver was crowned in race two on Sunday in challenging conditions, with overnight rain leading to the majority of drivers starting on wet tyres on a drying circuit.
Browning passed main rival Joel Granfors early on, and finished second behind Elite Motorsport’s Tom Lebbon. Needing to finish fourth to keep his title hopes alive, Fortec Motorsports’ Granfors could only manage 13th after his tyres overheated.
“There was a bit of chaos the first couple of laps,” Browning told Formula Scout. “I knew it was going to be all about tyre management, and obviously it worked out. I couldn’t be more happy with the result.
“I wasn’t aware how far Joel dropped back but I was aware I was in second and needed him to be in fourth. So I just thought I’ll keep on pushing and see where it ends up. I saw on the pitboard ‘P1 2022’ and they gave me some notifications as I was coming up to it that I was going to be champion. It felt pretty special the last couple of laps.”
Granfors was quick to congratulate his rival afterwards, the pair having had several close battles through 2022.
“After two laps I started feeling the rears going more and more, and then the rear tyres were absolutely gone,” said Granfors. “Then everyone got past me. I’ve never had that much oversteer in my whole career.
“Congratulations to Luke. It’s been a fair and tight fight all year so he deserves it.”
Browning pinpointed consistency as a factor in his title, having finished on the podium in races one and two – where grids are set by qualifying positions – at every round except for the first one at Donington where he crashed out through no fault of his own and in the second Silverstone round after Hitech’s exclusion from qualifying left him recovering lost ground.
“With all the setbacks we’ve had I think we finished outside of the top three once, bar starting [almost] last in every race at Silverstone,” Browning reflected.
“It’s been pretty special. The consistency in the races has been insane, I don’t think I’ve made a mistake this year, truly, in the races. A few mistakes in qualifying here and there, where we should have been further up than we were. But racing, we’ve had a flawless year, really.”
Hitech won the teams’ championship for the first time after rival Carlin suffered the misfortune of all three of its cars being caught up in an incident at the Fogarty Esses in the season’s final race.
“That was unexpected, and I do feel for Carlin,” said Hitech team manager Phil Blow.
“When things like that happen, you take them. The amount of work they’ve all put in, the engineers, everyone. I’ve always said there’s no one person in a racing team. To get the teams’ championship, it’s down to them all.”