Fortec Motorsport’s Tom Gamble admits he was delighted with his first single seater race weekend at Oulton Park, and after scoring a podium in the final race, is aiming for a victory at Rockingham.
The Nottingham youngster is the reigning Ginetta Junior champion and although he was a strong second fastest at the Donington Park media day at the start of March, he confesses he wasn’t quite sure how his first BRDC British F3 race weekend would go.
“It was a mega weekend really, I was a bit unsure of what to expect coming into the weekend with my first single seater race. The first time we’d all been out on track together was the media day at Donington and that was really the first time we all knew where we stood. My first qualifying was alright, I’d have preferred it to have been a bit better but sixth on the grid wasn’t too bad, and then the weekend just got better and better from there.”
Gamble converted sixth on the grid to fourth in race one, and although the new race two format meant he had to start from 13th on the grid for race two, he climbed to sixth place by the end of the race. His best result came in race three though, where after starting third, he passed Swede Linus Lundqvist and then challenged Nicolai Kjaergaard for the win throughout the contest.
“It was a bit annoying really because we were catching him (Kjaergaard) quite a bit at the start. I started third and managed to get past Lundqvist as quickly as I could as I knew Kjaergaard was going to be really fast. As soon as I passed Lundqvist, I was thinking I was on for the win and I was getting close and closer. It was a bit of a shame in the end because it started to chuck it down with rain and I felt it was better to back away a bit and settle for the podium rather than risk crashing trying to get the win. But second was still really good, I’d have loved to have won the race but it was still a great way to end the weekend.
“The next aim is to win a race, that’s what we need to do. It’s the next step on the way to climbing up the championship and challenging to win it, which I would love to happen. Oulton has always been a strong track for me but hopefully things will keep getting better and better.”
Rockingham is next up for the British F3 field, and the 16-year-old boasts a decent record at the Northamptonshire circuit. With his form so far, he’s in confident mood: “I won at Rockingham last year in Ginetta Juniors and had two podiums in the other races so I have a good record there. It’s quite a different track and with a strange surface, it all goes left instead of right so it’s quite physical on the other side of the neck. It’s different but it should be another good round for us.”
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