Ayrton 2nd in F3 Opening Round
Epping racer Ayrton Simmons 2nd in F3 Opening RoundPhotos: Oulton Park, Rd.1
Epping’s Ayrton Simmons kicked off his 2019 British Formula 3 campaign with impressive 2nd & 3rd place podiums, an amazing pole position and now sits firmly in third place in the championship after round 1 at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend. In fact, after suffering a DNF in race two due to a rear wheel nut failure, Ayrton could have had even more championship points but what was a somewhat difficult weekend ended as a very happy one!
After qualifying for race 1 in 3rd place Ayrton took full advantage of a safety car restart by overtaking USA driver Frederick on the inside of the hairpin to take second place behind 2nd year F3 Swiss-French driver Clement Novalak.
Race two (reversed grid) saw Ayrton start in 12th and after charging his way up to 9th position the Epping ace suffered at 130 mph the rear wheel nut failure which, after immense car control, saw him retire out of the race safely.
Race 3 saw Ayrton’s first pole position of the year. However, after leading for half of the race following another perfect start, our talented racer and Novalak found themselves wheel to wheel and subsequently wide off track, in a fierce battle which let through the eventual race winner Jonathon Hoggard. Although Ayrton finished in 2nd place, his defensive drive was seen to be ‘unfair’ but ‘unintentional’ and he was penalised by race officials with a minor 1 second penalty which demoted him to third. Nevertheless a great, if perhaps unlucky, start to the season for the gutsy 17-year-old Epping racer. After being out of the car for 6 months and with only 7 days testing, the British Racing Drivers Club 2019 Rising Star and current Formula 4 vice-champion continues to impress in what is a truly highly rated international field.
Ayrton said after the races ‘A big thanks to Chris Dittman Racing for the hard work and for the amazing car. In what was a difficult weekend I take my two podiums with a big smile. Roll on the next round at Snetterton’.
The race can be seen again on the official F3 youtube site https://youtu.be/zHdLvDZtwKw
For more information on the BRDC British F3 Championship, visit the official championship website www.britishf3.com.