F3 Cup arrives at Brands Hatch for races four and five of the 2018 season
F3 Cup arrives at Brands Hatch for the second weekend of the 2018 season. The iconic Grand Prix circuit always produces incredibly close racing from the rapid grid of close-to-contemporary (pre-2017) Formula 3 cars.
Last time out at Donington Park, three different winners took the spoils in a weekend which set the scene for a fantastic season ahead. Newcomer Stephen Daly secured pole position in a thrilling qualifying session, but was unable to capitalise on it as reigning champion Jacopo Sebastiani claimed the first win of the weekend in his new Dallara F312. The following day Daly made good on his early promise, taking a confident win in race two. The final race of the weekend went the way of University of Wolverhampton Racing’s Shane Kelly, who was eager for the victory after taking hat-tricks of wins at Donington in the past two years.
While Sebastiani and Kelly return this weekend at Brands Hatch, Daly makes way for his dad Martin in their F308 as he makes his F3 Cup debut, as does Team Fox Racing team mate Stephen Fitzpatrick. Joining Sebastiani at CF Racing will be regular team mates Stuart Wiltshire, Tony Bishop and George Line. Wiltshire enjoyed a strong weekend at Donington, with two second place finishes, and will be keen to claim some silverware again. Bishop was hampered by a DNF in race two but showed good pace, while Line was well on the way to regaining his 2016 championship-winning form after being plagued by mechanical issues last year.
Chris Dittmann Racing will field a four car entry in Kent, with BRDC British F3 driver Tristan Charpentier running his car in the Invitation Class, alongside Philip Jeans, Cian Carey and Baptiste Leonard in the Cup Class. Jeans ran well at Donington, but Carey was marred by engine issues resulting in two DNFs. The team worked overtime to rectify the problems before the last race however, and Carey’s trademark pace earned them a hard-won podium finish. Leonard returns to F3 Cup after a fleeting visit in 2017, and will certainly be one to watch this weekend.
Stanbridge Motorsport made a welcome return to the championship at Donington after a long absence. Team Manager James Simons had an unfortunate start to the weekend in his Trophy Class car, as his engine blew in race one. A new car is on the cards for this weekend however, and he lines up alongside Roberto Tirone, who enjoyed some exciting mid-field battles at the East Midlands circuit. Completing the grid is independent driver David Gillett, who was scheduled to race at Donington but was unable to take part at the eleventh hour.
Live timing and race updates will be available across the weekend at www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE, and you can follow the championship on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @F3Cup.