Granfors and Esterson take poles in super-close Donington Park qualifying

Granfors and Esterson take poles in super-close Donington Park qualifying

28 May 2022

Championship leader Joel Granfors was the fastest driver in qualifying at Donington Park this morning (Saturday), taking his third pole of the season by just 0.019s from JHR’s Matthew Rees.

Granfors’ race one pole came after a late flying lap good enough to put him a fraction ahead of reigning British F4 champion Rees, who had held top spot late on and on course for a maiden GB3 pole.

The Swedish driver's late effort denied him that honour, but second place is still the JHR contender's best qualifying result of the year, likewise for Carlin's Callum Voisin in third, who just a tenth further back despite missing a couple of testing sessions through exams this week.

Max Esterson looked a favourite for pole heading into qualifying and topped the times for a while in the session before being filtered down to fourth, but just 0.147s away from pole. The American driver will start race two from the front of the grid though, with the order of that contest determined by each driver’s second fastest times.

Alex Connor was fifth fastest in qualifying for Arden, just 0.021s behind Esterson and 0.036s ahead of Hitech’s Luke Browning.

Carlin’s Roberto Faria and Elite’s James Hedley were seventh and eighth, and within half a second of the outright pace.

Tom Lebbon (Elite) and debutant Nico Christodoulou (Arden) completed the top-10, which was covered by just 0.539 seconds.

The top-13 drivers were within a second of the pole position time, with just 1.4 seconds covering the top-21 contenders.

Esterson's second best effort secured him race two pole, 0.045s ahead of Voisin, with Granfors and Rees alongside each other again, this time on row two. 

Connor and Browning are fifth and sixth again ahead of Hedley, Lebbon, Faria and Christodoulou. 

The first race of the weekend is due to commence at 15.35, with full live streaming available on the GB3 Championship website.

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Donington Park qualifying result (race one grid):
1. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, 1m22.745s
2. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, +0.019s
3. Callum Voisin, Carlin, +0.142s
4. Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport, +0.147s
5. Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +0.168s
6. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +0.204s
7. Roberto Faria, Carlin, +0.290s
8. James Hedley, Elite Motorsport, +0.478s
9. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +0.519s
10. Nico Christodoulou, Arden Motorsport, +0.539s
11. Javier Sagrera, Carlin, +0.653s
12. McKenzy Cresswell, Chris Dittmann Racing, +0.848s
13. Marcos Flack, Douglas Motorsport, +0.852s
14. Cian Shields, Hitech GP, +1.004s
15. John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, +1.030s
16. Zak Taylor, Fortec Motorsport, +1.062s
17. David Morales, Arden Motorsport, +1.073s
18. Tommy Smith, Douglas Motorsport, +1.230s
19. Branden Oxley, Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.357s
20. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsport, +1.426s
21. Bryce Aron, Hitech GP, +1.454s
22. Nick Gilkes, Hillspeed, +2.514s

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Donington Park qualifying second fastest times (race two grid):
1. Esterson, 1m22.893s
2. Voisin, +0.046s
3. Granfors, +0.060s
4. Rees, +0.079s
5. Connor, +0.097s
6. Browning, +0.102s
7. Hedley, +0.358
8. Lebbon, +0.378s
9. Faria, +0.410s
10. Christodoulou, +0.516s
11. Sagrera, +0.527s
12. Flack, +0.706s
13. Cresswell, +0.721s
14. Bennett, +0.988s
15. Smith, +1.111s
16. Shields, +1.157s
17. Taylor, +1.228s
18. Grundtvig, +1.286s
19. Morales, +1.302s
20. Aron, +1.322s
21. Oxley, +1.412s
22. Gilkes, +6.438