Home Formula 3GB3 Simmons takes double BRDC British F3 pole at Brands Hatch opener

Simmons takes double BRDC British F3 pole at Brands Hatch opener

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: Jakob Ebery Photography

Aryton Simmons took a double pole position in qualifying at the opening round of the BRDC British Formula 3 season at Brands Hatch.

The Chris Dittmann Racing driver posted a time of 1m20.298s lap around the circuit’s Grand Prix layout to secure pole for Saturday’s first race, almost 0.3 seconds clear of Fortec Motorsports’ Ollie Bearman and Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan.

Simmons’ second-best lap time was good enough to take pole for race two on Sunday, and he will be joined on the front row by O’Sullivan in that encounter.

After the morning’s wet free practice, drivers took the track on slick tyres for qualifying on a dry track, Simmons set an early benchmark of 1m24.526s before improving his time further, with CDR team-mate Alex Fores briefly moving into second.

O’Sullivan and Hitech GP’s Bart Horsten both enjoyed a brief spell at the top, before Simmons responded to go quickest once more. But O’Sullivan beat Simmons’ latest effort to lead the way before the session was halted with seven minutes remaining, after an off for Elite Motorsport’s Javier Sagrera.

Simmons lower the benchmark by almost 0.3s once the session resumed. O’Sullivan was unable to fight back, despite improving on his best time, and he was pipped to second in the final moments by Formula 4 racer Bearman.

Fortec’s Roberto Faria was fourth fastest ahead of Horsten and Hitech’s Reece Ushijima. Arden pairing Frederick Lubin and Alex Connor were seventh and eighth, ahead of Elite’s single-seater debutant Tom Lebbon and Hitech’s Sebastian Alvarez.

Douglas Motorsport’s Reema Juffali will start Sunday’s third race from pole, the results of qualifying reversed forming the grid.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Ayrton Simmons Chris Dittmann Racing 1m20.298s
2 Ollie Bearman Fortec Motorsports +0.273s
3 Zak O’Sullivan Carlin +0.279s
4 Roberto Faria Fortec Motorsports +0.318s
5 Bart Horsten Hitech GP +0.382s
6 Reece Ushijima Hitech GP + 0.397s
7 Frederick Lubin Arden +0.664s
8 Alex Connor Arden + 0.695s
9 Tom Lebbon Elite Motorsport +0.830s
10 Sebastian Alvarez Hitech GP +1.095s

Race 2 grid
1 Simmons 1m20.499s
2 O’Sullivan +0.155s
3 Horsten +0.200s
4 Bearman +0.570s
5 Lubin +0.619s
6 Ushijima +0.629s
7 Lebbon +0.651s
8 Connor +0.745s
9 Faria +0.796s
10 Alvarez +1.030s

Race 3 grid
1 Reema Juffali Douglas Motorsport
2 Max Marzorati Chris Dittmann Racing
3 Mikkel Grundtvig Fortec Motorsports
4 Javier Sagrera Elite Motorsport
5 Dexter Patterson Douglas Motorsport
6 Christian Mansell Carlin
7 Bryce Aron Carlin
8 Alex Fores Chris Dittmann Racing
9 Alvarez
10 Lebbon