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GB3 RACE 1: Bearman dominates to head home Fortec 1-2

Saturday, August 07 2021

Fortec's Oliver Bearman claimed his first GB3 Championship victory in the first race of the weekend at Snetterton.

The British driver headed home Brazilian teammate Roberto Faria, with Arden's Roman Bilinski completing the podium with a battling drive to third place.

Hitech GP's Sebastian Alvarez fought back from his five place grid penalty to claim fourth ahead of Chris Dittmann Racing's newcomer Branden Lee Oxley.

The Anglo-Thai headed home teammate Ayrton Simmons, who climbed from 16th on the grid to sixth.

Carlin's Christian Mansell was seventh ahead of series returnee Frederick Lubin (Arden), with Jose Garfias (Elite) ninth.

Despite not setting a lap in qualifying, Bart Horsten completed the top-10, having started 18th.

Changeable conditions in the hour leading up to the race added further drama to an already jumbled grid. Faria was the only driver to head to the assembly area with slick Pirelli tyres, but with the track drying rapidly, every other driver opted to follow suit, leading to frenzied scenes pre-race as the teams rushed to change tyres.

The decision was vindicated as the rain stayed away almost for the entirety of the race.

Bearman made a good start from pole position, as Faria shot up to second, deposing Elite's Tom Lebbon, who suffered a puncture on the opening lap and dropped to the tail of the field.

Bearman's lead was over two seconds at the end of the first lap, but Faria trimmed that to 1.2 seconds as the race approached it's mid-way point. The British driver then stretched his advantage to 2.3 seconds on lap seven, only for Faria to close the gap back down to 1.1 seconds at the flag, with Fortec taking a second consecutive 1-2 finish.

Bilinski's drive to third was combative. The Polish driver started ninth but was already up to fifth on lap one. He then dispatched championship leader Zak O'Sullivan on lap two, and Elite's Javier Sagrera on the next lap, the Spanish driver suffering with minor front wing damage that would eventually drop him to 11th at the chequered flag.

By the time he'd finished his battles though, the Fortec pair were already well clear, with the Polish driver finishing 13 seconds in arrears.

It was a disappointing race for title contenders O'Sullivan and Hitech's Reece Ushijima. The pair had been circulating in fifth and sixth places, but apparent contact between the two sent the Japanese driver off into the barriers, while O'Sullivan pitted to replace a tyre and resumed at the tail of the field, finishing 17th and last.

The second race of the weekend starts at 11.55 on Sunday, with live streaming and timing available all day.

GB3 Championship, Snetterton, provisional race one result:
1. Oliver Bearman, Fortec Motorsports, 10 laps
2. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +1.141s
3. Roman Bilinski, Arden Motorsport, +13.389s
4. Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP, +13.811s
5. Branden Lee Oxley, Chris Dittmann Racing, +17.107s
6. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +17.466s
7. Christian Mansell, Carlin, +18.596s
8. Frederick Lubin, Arden Motorsport, +22.327s
9. Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport, +25.558s
10. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, +25.836s
11. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +28.209s
12. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +31.037s
13. Tommy Smith, Douglas Motorsport, +35.259s
14. Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport, +36.680s
15. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports, +45.618s
16. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +1m23.192s
17. Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin, +1m41.567s
DNF. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, 2 laps completed

For more championship information visit www.gb-3.net