Home Formula 3GB3 John Bennett takes maiden GB3 win from pole in Silverstone opener

John Bennett takes maiden GB3 win from pole in Silverstone opener

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rodin Carlin’s John Bennett held off points leader Joseph Loake to score a maiden GB3 victory in a very wet race one at Silverstone.

Bennett was promoted to pole ahead of Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne minutes before the start after Tymek Kucharczyk – and his Douglas Motorsport team-mate Lucas Staico – were excluded from qualifying and sent to the back of the grid for technical non-compliances with their cars.

Conditions were far worse than in the morning’s qualifying session. JHR Developments’ Loake made a great launch from fourth to move between the slow-starting Dunne and Bennett to lead into Copse, but Bennett made the better exit to regain the advantage immediately.

Loake then went off at Village but rejoined still in second ahead of team-mate Rees, who had moved ahead of Costa Toparis into third, while Dunne slipped back to fifth. Kucharczyk made up several places from 24th but then spun on the exit of Aintree and dropped to the back of the field.

Bennett held a 0.5-second advantage over Loake at the end of lap one, and survived a sideways moment on the kerb exiting Aintree to extend his lead by 0.2s on lap two.

The gap grew further to 1.6s, with Bennett later having another scare on the exit of Luffield on the penultimate lap as Loake reduced the deficit to 0.8s.

But Bennett inched away on the final tour to win by 0.907s from Loake, with Rees completing the podium a further 2.7s behind.

Dunne finished fourth after passing Toparis, who lost fifth at the chequered flag due to a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits and was demoted to eighth.

Elite Motorsport’s McKenzy Cresswell was promoted to fifth, 0.6s ahead of Carlin’s Callum Voisin, with Chris Dittmann Racing’s Zak Taylor seventh.

Arden VRD’s James Hedley was ninth ahead of JHR’s David Morales and Fortec Motorsport’s Jarrod Waberski, who was involved in a late collision under braking at Vale with Hitech’s Souta Arao, who lost control and clattered into Arden’s Nico Christodoulou – both drivers retiring as a result.

Kucharczyk recovered to finish 14th behind Arden’s Noah Ping and Fortec’s Max Esterson. Hitech’s Michael Shin and Douglas driver Shawn Rashid both spun through Maggotts and Becketts during the race, but were able to continue.

Race result (10 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 John Bennett Carlin 22m08.406s
2 Joseph Loake JHR Developments +0.907s
3 Matthew Rees JHR Developments +3.625s
4 Alex Dunne Hitech GP +4.828s
5 McKenzy Cresswell Elite Motorsport +11.619s
6 Callum Voisin Carlin +12.247s
7 Zak Taylor Chris Dittmann Racing +14.171s
8 Costa Toparis Carlin +14.537s
9 James Hedley Arden +16.489s
10 David Morales JHR Developments +21.743s
11 Jarrod Waberski Fortec Motorsports +24.634s
12 Noah Ping Arden VRD +29.485s
13 Max Esterson Fortec Motorsports +31.625s
14 Tymek Kucharczyk Douglas Motorsport +35.238s
15 Oliver Stewart Elite Motorsport +37.014s
16 Lucas Staico Douglas Motorsport +39.488s
17 Gerrard Xie Hillspeed +44.786s
18 Edward Pearson Fortec Motorsports +45.122s
19 Arthur Rogeon Chris Dittmann Racing +46.227s
20 Daniel Mavlyutov Hillspeed +50.502s
21 Michael Shin Hitech GP +50.819s
22 Ayato Iwasaki Elite Motorsport +52.039s
23 Shawn Rashid Douglas Motorsport +1m14.591s
24 Nico Christodoulou Arden VRD
25 Souta Arao Hitech GP
Fastest lap: Loake, 2m10.375s

Championship standings
Loake 105   2 Hedley 83   3 Rees 75   4 Voisin 70   5 Dunne 61   6 Shin 52   7 Bennett 49   8 Kucharczyk 49   9 Toparis 46   10 Waberski 43