Epping’s Ayrton Simmons finished off his 2019 British Formula 3 campaign at Silverstone with an impressive first ever F3 win for both him and his team, Chris Dittmann Racing. The weekend had begun following a challenging round 2 race weekend at Snetterton which saw him smash the circuit record. He then gathered some good points but a poor qualifying session meant that no podiums were gained, however a fastest lap proved his pace.
Ayrton arrived to an extremely wet Silverstone and set the fastest lap time prior to qualifying.
After qualifying for race 1 in 2nd Ayrton soon dropped to 3rd place behind the experienced American Neil Verhagen. There was then an incredibly fierce battle between the two drivers where their precision driving going wheel to wheel meant that no contact was made. Just before the mid-way point Ayrton went around the outside of Silverstones famous Stowe corner and overtook Verhagen but was then penalised with a post race 4 second penalty which saw him relegated back to 3rd. Ayrton was both confused and disappointed by the stewards decision as onboard footage showed that there was very little he could have done any different, nevertheless both a podium and fastest lap were achieved.
Race two (reversed grid) saw Ayrton start 2nd from last in 17th position. He made the very best of this situation slicing through the field to complete the race with 12 places gained and into 5th position.
Race 3 saw Ayrton start in 3rd with the American Verhagen on pole and French Swiss driver Novalak just in front in 2nd and British driver Hoggard just behind in 4th. A good start and first part of the race saw the top four easily pull away from the rest of the field. Just after the midway point, Verhagen and Novalak received warning flags for abuse of track limits. On lap 6 the leader Verhagen was given a 5 second penalty which was followed 2 laps later by Novalak receiving the same penalty. This now meant that ,although Ayrton was in 3rd position on the track, he was actually the race. Ayrton received the signal on his pit board that he was leading and controlled his pace until the chequered flag to take his first ever victory in BRDC Formula 3, again with the fastest lap of the race.
An emotional podium showed what the victory had meant to him and all of the Chris Dittmann Racing team. Ayrton remains 3rd in the championship.
For more information on the BRDC British F3 Championship, visit the official championship website www.britishf3.com.