Home Formula 3GB3 Rees takes maiden victory in GB3’s Brands Hatch opener

Rees takes maiden victory in GB3’s Brands Hatch opener

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Matthew Rees led from start to finish to score his and JHR Developments’ first GB3 win ahead of title contenders Luke Browning and Joel Granfors at Brands Hatch.

A great launch from pole enabled Rees to immediately pull out a two-second lead, as Granfors slipped to fourth behind Browning and Elite Motorsport’s John Bennett into Paddock Hill Bend.

Fortec Motorsports’ Granfors retook Bennett for third two corners later before challenging Browning through the Surtees and Hawthorns bends, but Browning reamined ahead.

Hitech GP driver Browning then closed to within 0.9s of Rees before a light rain shower arrived approaching half-distance.

The deficit was further reduced to 0.7s, but Rees maintained the gap in the race’s second half. Browning finished 7s ahead of chief rival Granfors, whose championship lead has been slashed to 6.5 points.

Despite running wide and losing time, Bennett held off Arden’s Nico Christodoulou for fourth by 0.3s. His team-mate Tom Lebbon started and finished sixth ahead of Alex Connor and Bryce Aron.

Following his qualifying crash, Callum Voisin produced a strong recovery from 19th to ninth, which included overtakes around the outside of Max Esterson and James Hedley at Hawthorns.

Carlin’s Javier Sagrera was the only retirement, having slid out of ninth place at Sheen Curve, while Chris Dittmann Racing’s McKenzy Cresswell spun on lap one and finished 16th.

Race result (14 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Matthew Rees JHR Developments 18m45.228s
2 Luke Browning CarlinHitech GP +0.723s
3 Joel Granfors Fortec Motorsports +7.846s
4 John Bennett Elite Motorsport +11.560s
5 Nico Christodoulou Arden +11.863s
6 Tom Lebbon Elite Motorsport +15.360s
7 Alex Connor Arden +15.784s
8 Bryce Aron Hitech GP +16.364s
9 Callum Voisin Carlin +16.904s
10 Max Esterson Douglas Motorsport +20.101s
11 James Hedley JHR Developments +20.420s
12 David Morales Arden +22.655s
13 Tommy Smith Douglas Motorsport +23.824s
14 Zak Taylor Chris Dittmann Racing +26.500s
15 Branden Lee Oxley Chris Dittmann Racing +34.939s
16 McKenzy Cresswell Chris Dittmann Racing +35.380s
17 Marcos Flack Douglas Motorsport +36.007s
18 Roberto Faria Carlin +36.889s
19 Nick Gilkes Hillspeed +37.131s
20 Mikkel Grundtvig Fortec Motorsports +39.566s
21 Cian Shields Hitech GP +39.906s
Ret Javier Sagrera Carlin
Fastest lap: Browning, 1m19.425s

Championship standings
Granfors 393.5   Browning 387   3 Voisin 304   4 Faria 277.5   5 Esterson 266.5   6 Lebbon 259.5   7 Rees 247.5   8 Bennett 216.5   9 Sagrera 199.5   10 Connor 189.5