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LOAKE TAKES A GB3 DOUBLE AT SILVERSTONE AS MILLS SEIZES GB4 ADVANTAGE

The GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, headed to Silverstone last weekend (6-7 May) for the second event of this year’s campaign.

JHR Developments’ BRDC Rising Star Joseph Loake took a pair of victories around the Grand Prix circuit, as the young Brit extended his early championship lead.

Rodin Carlin’s John Bennett claimed pole positions for the first two races of the event after Tymek Kucharczyk, who set the fastest time in qualifying, was disqualified for a technical infringement.

Bennett led every lap of a very wet opening encounter on Saturday, but was handed a penalty post-race for gaining an advantage while going off-track at the first corner, after Loake had launched from fourth on the grid to challenge at Copse.

The resulting penalty switched the positions around, giving Loake his second win of the season after a triumph in the season opener at Oulton Park, with Bennett reclassified second ahead of Loake’s teammate Matthew Rees. Reigning British F4 champion Alex Dunne was fourth ahead of BRDC Rising Star McKenzy Cresswell and BRDC SuperStar Callum Voisin in sixth.

There was plenty of drama in race two, held on Sunday morning in much more favourable conditions. Rees got the jump on the field from fifth on the grid to lead the race, but it was soon revealed that he’d jumped the start and handed a 10-second time penalty.

Knowing he was to be penalised, Rees set about building the gap he needed to win the race anyway, but his charge was halted when a safety car was deployed after Bennett collided with Dunne, leaving the Irishman stranded, and moments later another collision at Stowe left two more cars parked.

With only limited time remaining, Rees was unable to rebuild a strong enough lead, handing the win to Bennett. But Bennett also received a penalty for his Dunne incident, handing the win to Loake, who had climbed from 10th on the grid to third on the road courtesy of a stunning series of overtakes including an amazing three-wide move at Stowe.

Cresswell and Voisin ensured three BRDC-backed youngsters were on the podium, with Bennett relegated to fourth ahead of new BRDC Rising Star recruit Jarrod Waberski and young Australian Costa Toparis.

The third race was the reverse grid encounter, and was won by American Noah Ping, with Canadian Nico Christodoulou in second completing an Arden VRD 1-2 finish. Frenchman Arthur Rogeon ensured all top-three drivers took a maiden GB3 podium, with Voisin, Cresswell and Dunne completing the top-six.

GB3 heads to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit next time out, on 3-4 June.

In the sister GB4 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Tom Mills extended his advantage at the top of the standings with his second win of the season.

Saturday’s opening race fell victim to the weather, after Mills had taken a double pole position in qualifying, but he converted his second pole to victory on Sunday morning, as he led every lap.

The British youngster, driving for his family-run KMR Sport squad, finished five seconds clear of Fortec’s Colin Queen, who battled his way past Evans GP’s Cooper Webster at Stowe mid-race.

A thrilling scrap for fourth was settled in favour of Elite Motorsport’s Harri Reynolds, with KMR duo Jeremy Fairbairn and Jack Clifford completing the top-six.

Reynolds, a Ginetta Junior graduate, took his first single-seater win in Sunday afternoon’s contest, having started sixth on the reverse grid.

Reynolds was already challenging for the lead at the Maggotts/Becketts sequence, and passed pole sitter Ruhaan Alva (Fortec) at Vale midway round the first lap. A couple of safety car periods interrupted proceedings, but Reynolds controlled the final restart to finish clear of Alva while Mills soared from 11th on the grid to complete the podium.

Queen, Liam McNeilly (Fox Motorsport) and Clifford completed the top-six.

GB4 returns to action on the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit on 27-28 May.

For more information, visit www.gb-3.net or www.gb-4.net.

The Club regrets to report on the death of Neville Hay, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1993
The Club regrets to report on the death of Alan Minshaw, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1984
The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
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