Epping’s Ayrton Simmons took the new resurfaced Silverstone GP circuit last weekend still pushing for more British Formula 3 success. During a recent test day the Chris Dittmann Racing driver struggled somewhat to adapt to the new surface which was re-layed to improved drainage during wet races.
The Epping racer and his team had been working tirelessly to get a better understanding of new grip levels at the British Racing Headquarters. Having adjusted the car to hopefully suit the circuit along with minor driving changes, the team were reasonably optimistic for qualifying. Ayrton qualified in P3 for race 1 and P2 for race 3 ( race 2 being the reverse order of the race 1 result ).
After a poor start for race 1 Simmons lost out whilst trying to fend off a charging Hoggard and finished lap one in P7. A mature a controlled comeback saw him climb to P4 which was helped when U.S.A. driver Verhagen received a 10 second penalty for a jump start.
With a downpour prior to race 2 all teams were forced to use rain ( wet ) tyres. Simmons would be starting the reversed grid in P12. Yet another poor start saw Ayrton drop to P15, the pressure was now on. After a disappointing first lap due to insufficient tyre temperatures, Ayrton knuckled down to give a stunning display of wet driving techniques. Wet racing is known as an ‘evener’ in racing both race engineers and spectators were stunned alike when Ayrton cut through the field in only 9 laps to finish an incredible P4 with a fastest lap amazingly almost 2 seconds quicker that the entire field.
Race 3 saw Ayrton start second on the grid. A lot of hard work was put in to get the start procedure improved as it needed to be right this time. Ayrton got a stunning start and exited turn one leading the race ahead of Jewiss. They remained locked together the entire race but Ayrton pushed hard and was never really challenged and also gained yet another fastest lap of the race.
That concluded the weekend and the icing on the cake was when he was also awarded the Sunoco Oil Driver of the weekend trophy.
An emotional podium showed what yet another victory meant to BRDC Rising Star Simmons and the team, CDR. Simmons remains 3rd in the championship, now just 9 points behind fellow Brit Jonathon Hoggard with one more round at Donington remaining.
Clement Novalak 463 pts.
Jonathon Hoggard 411 pts
Ayrton Simmons 402 pts