The 2021 GB3 Championship in association with the BRDC will conclude at Donington Park this weekend (16/17) October with a joint-record high entry list.
At least 21 drivers will be in action this weekend, the largest grid since the debut of the current Tatuus chassis in 2016, and that number could just rise, with 23 cars set to take part in pre-event testing on Thursday and Friday.
Across the last six seasons, the current Tatuus chassis has made GB3 (and before that, BRDC British F3) the most closely fought single-seater championship in the UK, but even by normal standards, it has been an extraordinarily competitive few months of racing. Incredibly, 19 drivers have stood on the podium this year, with 10 of those drivers going on to take victories.
Of those winners, it’s Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan who has emerged as the driver to beat. The 16-year-old is poised to wrap up this year’s championship title, needing to simply finish the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon to be crowned champion after a superb campaign that’s seen him claim five victories and seven additional podiums.
The 16-year-old, who could become the youngest champion in the current form of the championship, has taken wins at Brands Hatch, Donington, Silverstone and Oulton Park, with the double victory at Donington back in July an ominous form guide ahead of the final round. An official two-day FIA Formula 3 Championship test with Carlin awaits this year’s champion.
Other than O’Sullivan, only Ayrton Simmons and Christian Mansell have mathematical chances of taking the title, and even then they need to make sure they start race one from pole, and thus benefit from the grid reversal in race three to have a chance of taking maximum points, including the bonus points for positions gained in that contest.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Simmons, who made his FIA F3 debut in Russia a couple of weeks ago, is a four-time winner this season, and has recovered magnificently from a tricky couple of rounds in the first half of the year to climb back to second in the championship standings.
O’Sullivan’s teammate Mansell meanwhile has also enjoyed a strong campaign, with two wins and two additional podiums to keep him in the hunt.
Away from the title contenders there’s still plenty to fight for. Fortec’s Roberto Faria is aiming for his second win of the season and is within touching distance of Simmons and Mansell, while Hitech’s Reece Ushijima is just eight points further back, and has won two races so far in 2021.
Ushijima’s teammate Bart Horsten thought he’d claimed his first victory at Oulton Park, only to lose it when the results were recalculated after a red flag, while Arden’s Roman Bilinski has made an impressive adaptation to GB3, sitting seventh overall with three wins, despite missing the first six races of the year.
Sebastian Alvarez in the third Hitech car is eighth, and is another race winner this year, lying eight points ahead of Elite Motorsport’s Tom Lebbon, with the reigning Ginetta Junior champion aiming to end his first season of single-seater racing inside the top-10, having finished on the podium at Donington earlier this season.
Lebbon’s teammate Javier Sagrera is the final driver inside the top-10 at present, with a 17-point gap to Arden’s Frederick Lubin, who claimed his first GB3 podium in the most recent race at Oulton Park.
Carlin’s Bryce Aron will aim for his first podium of the season this weekend; the American claimed a season’s best result of fourth at Donington in June, while Fortec’s Mikkel Grundtvig claimed his first win here when the series last visited.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Branden Oxley joined the championship halfway through the season at Snetterton and has claimed a string of top-10 finishes and challenged for a podium at Silverstone, while Douglas Motorsport’s Reema Juffali is another driver to have claimed a best result of the year at Donington, with fourth place.
Hillspeed, based just 40 minutes up the M1 at Markham Vale, counts Donington as their local venue, and expands their line-up to two cars this weekend. Silverstone podium finisher and former Formula Ford Festival winner Jonathan Browne is joined by Australian-Filipino karting graduate Flynn Jackes, who has completed plenty of testing mileage with the squad in recent weeks.
Douglas Motorsport also expand their line-up to two cars with the return of Tommy Smith, who makes it four drivers on the grid this weekend with Australian heritage!
Chris Dittmann Racing’s line-up swells to three cars, as former F3 Cup title challenger Alex Fores re-joins the team after an appearance at the Brands Hatch season opener and two events last year.
Elite Motorsport’s squad also returns to three cars, with the addition of multiple British F4 race winner James Hedley, who was competing at Donington as recently as last weekend, claiming a best result of fourth.
Finally, Fortec Motorsports are yet another outfit to stretch to three cars, as they hand a GB3 Championship debut to the Philippines’ Eduardo Coseteng, who has made his single-seater debut this season in British F4.
On track action this weekend starts with the usual test days on Thursday and Friday, ahead of qualifying at 10.50 on Saturday. Qualifying will again determine the starting order for the first two races of the weekend, with the first due off at 15.10 on Saturday afternoon, which will almost certainly see O’Sullivan crowned. The final two contests will take place on Sunday at 10.10 and 16.00, with both to be streamed live on the official championship website.
Donington Park entry list
3 Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport
4 Roman Bilinski, Arden Motorsport
5 Jonathan Browne, Hillspeed
7 Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports
10 Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport
12 Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP
13 Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP
16 Eduardo Coseteng, Fortec Motorsports
18 Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing
21 Christian Mansell, Carlin
23 Bryce Aron, Carlin
33 Flynn Jackes, Hillspeed
34 Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport
43 Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports
50 Bart Horsten, Hitech GP
51 Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin
55 Tommy Smith, Douglas Motorsport
67 James Hedley, Elite Motorsport
68 Branden Oxley, Chris Dittmann Racing
78 Frederick Lubin, Arden Motorsport
90 Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing
20 October 2021 - Runner-up Simmons: “I left it all out on the track!”
19 October 2021 - Thoughts of a champion: Zak O’Sullivan
18 October 2021 - Champion O’Sullivan “really looking forward” to FIA F3 test prize
17 October 2021 - Race three: Grundtvig grabs victory in final 2021 race
17 October 2021 - What they said: Donington Park race three
17 October 2021 - Final Donington race starts at 16.00 – Grundtvig on pole