British F3: Rd’s, 7, 8 & 9
British F3 Championship: Donington Park (10-11 July)
Ayrton took home two strong top-eight finishes, despite not turning a wheel at the East Midlands circuit for two years. Having not driven at the circuit for a couple of seasons, and missing vital pre-season testing at the venue, Ayrton was still a constant presence inside the top-10 all weekend. Lacking mileage compared to his rivals, he claimed two eighth place finishes from the event, and built up his speed as he re-familiarised himself with the circuit. A big result was on the cards in the final race, but after being edged into the gravel he slipped down the order. Despite this setback, he displayed the race craft, overtaking prowess and speed for which he is renowned, fighting his way back up to eighth. With several drivers in front of him in the championship standings failing to finish the race, he was able to make inroads into their points advantage and now heads to Spa Francorchamps in under two weeks’ time, a venue he’s won at with CDR and where no driver on the current grid has raced a British F3 car before.
Team Principal Chris Dittmann commented: “Ayrton was always going to be a bit on the back foot going into the weekend, the vast majority of the grid had significant pre-season testing mileage around Donington, and Thursday was the first time he’d driven the circuit since September 2019. With the grid being so close, his pace was really strong given the lack of mileage, and by the end of the weekend he was right on their pace. We head now to Spa where no-one has driven for a long time, so we’re all pretty excited for that one.”
Ayrton: “It’s a weekend where we’ve learned a lot, we were on the back foot and always chasing from the first session really. I hadn’t been to Donington for two years and as a team we’ve not done as much testing around there compared to the other teams, and that showed a lot this weekend. Towards the end we actually got the car spot on and was setting fastest sector times in races, doing some quality overtakes and making up some good ground. So I was happy with where we were at, just everything came a little bit too late. On the positive side, we’re racing again there this year and we’ll be able to start off a lot stronger. I’m looking forward to Spa next time out, looking forward to correcting, and expecting that the work we’ve done will reflect on the track. What a place to do it; we love Spa, we’ve done very well there in the past so it should be a good weekend.”
Image: Jakob Ebrey Photography