Home Formula 3GB3 Louis Sharp: Win on GB3 debut “gives us momentum”

Louis Sharp: Win on GB3 debut “gives us momentum”

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Mat Acton

Rodin Motorsport’s Louis Sharp says his victory in the GB3 season opener at Oulton Park “was the hardest one to get”.

The reigning British Formula 4 champion made the perfect step up by taking a double pole in qualifying and converting the first of those into a win on debut after handling a first-corner challenge from JHR Developments’ John Bennett and a safety car restart.

“I really couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Sharp told Formula Scout. “Double pole was a big achievement, a big relief that all the hard work we’ve put in during the winter has paid off. After practice I knew the pace was there, but wasn’t expecting to be on pole by three tenths.

“It wasn’t the best getaway. John had a good run on me and was able to attack me into turn one but thankfully I did just enough to keep him behind. After that it was just about keeping it clean and making no mistakes. The restart was good – my first safety car restart in GB3. I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I went quite early which paid off.

“You never quite know what to expect so to get that win this early on is a big confidence boost. The first win of the season is always the hardest one to get, so to get that out of the way in race one is pretty cool and gives us that momentum for the rest of the year.”

Sharp finished second in a wet-weather sequel after being passed by Bennett early on. In similar conditions he then climbed from 12th to fifth in the reversed-grid contest to end his first GB3 weekend with a 15-point championship lead.

“I think we expected it to be a lot more dry than it was,” he revealed about his race two strategy. “It was very wet so I think that caught us off guard a little bit, the car wasn’t as good and we had to settle for second, the pace wasn’t there.

“In the third race the guys did a really good job and the pace was really strong. I could have been more aggressive to try and get a few more positions but at the end of the day that’s not what wins the championship, it’s having consistent points and finishing every race in a good position.

“It’s been a good first weekend, we’ve come out with the championship lead so I can’t complain too much considering it is my first weekend in GB3.”

The New Zealander, who has just begun his coaching programme with the Alpine Formula 1 team – one of the prizes that British F4 organises for its champion – is expecting a close battle next time out at Silverstone.

“There’s a few other teams who are quick at Silverstone so I’m expecting it to be close. We were in the top three in testing there so I’m confident but I think it’s going to be another big challenge.”