24 / 25 July
The 2021 BRDC British F3 Championship will reach its halfway stage at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (23-25 July).
The event marks British F3’s first visit to the host venue of the Belgian Grand Prix in two years, and with restrictions over the past 18 months limiting international travel, few if any of this year’s drivers will have driven the circuit in a current specification British F3 car.
That could make this weekend’s triple-header in the Ardennes even more open than usual, just as the championship race reaches a crucial milestone.
Standings leader Zak O’Sullivan took a double win last time out at Donington Park, triumphing on both occasions from pole position and extending the Carlin driver’s lead at the top of the championship to 47 points over Hitech GP’s Silverstone double winner Reece Ushijima.
But it wasn’t plain sailing for O’Sullivan as he endured his first retirement of the year in the final race of the event after contact with the Japanese driver. Ushijima’s weekend started well with second, but the two retirements that followed dented his championship charge, and he’ll expect to make amends this weekend.
O’Sullivan’s teammate Christian Mansell does have recent experience of the Spa circuit, having raced in the EuroFormula round at the venue in June and claiming three top-six finishes. The Australian driver will hope to use that experience to further bolster his position in the championship.
Fortec’s Roberto Faria has continued his strong start to the season, taking another podium result last time out at Donington, while Spaniard Javier Sagrera has also made big progress for Elite Motorsport since his F3 debut at Brands Hatch and has got closer to the front of the grid with each event.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Ayrton Simmons is one of few drivers to have driven anything at Spa, and the British driver has race winning experience too, having taken victory at the venue in 2019. Another triumph this weekend would do his title aspirations no harm at all.
Hitech GP’s Bart Horsten has shown enough pace to win races in his second BRDC British F3 season, so a victory at Spa would not be a surprise for the Australian, while Elite’s Tom Lebbon claimed his first British F3 podium at Donington and has demonstrated he’s got plenty of speed in his first season of slicks and wings racing.
American Bryce Aron completes the current top-10 in the standings heading to Spa, and with two fourth places so far, is on the verge of adding his name to the already lengthy list of top-three finishers this year, 13 drivers having already stood on the podium.
Sebastian Alvarez almost claimed his first podium at Donington for Hitech GP, while Fortec’s Mikkel Grundtvig grabbed his maiden BRDC British F3 win in the final race.
Douglas Motorsport’s Dexter Patterson is yet another driver to have earned a podium this season, as has CDR’s Max Marzorati, who was second at Donington Park.
Elite’s Jose Garfias has shown strong development in the first three events of the season, and Douglas Motorsport’s Reema Juffali continues her adaptation to British F3 with strong pace and a best result of fourth so far.
Arden’s Roman Bilinksi had a strong start to life in British F3 at Donington where he claimed three top-five finishes, while Fortec will expand their line-up to three cars this weekend, with the driver to be confirmed later in the week.
The British F3 field will be on track four times on Friday, with three practice sessions at 10.00, 11.55 and 14.00 before qualifying at 18.15 local time. In a further change to the usual schedule, British F3 will race twice on Saturday (14.20 and 18.40) with the reverse grid encounter completing the weekend at 10.50 on Sunday morning. Live timing will also be available throughout the event, while the exact live streaming schedule will be confirmed later this week.
Spa-Francorchamps Entry list
3 Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport
4 Roman Bilinski, Arden Motorsport
7 Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports
10 Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport
12 Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP
13 Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP
18 Ayrton Simmons, CDR
21 Christian Mansell, Carlin
23 Bryce Aron, Carlin
34 Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport
43 Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports
50 Bart Horsten, Hitech GP
51 Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin
55 Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport
81 Max Marzorati, CDR
99 Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport
TBC Fortec Motorsports
24 July 2021 - Spa race one starts at 14.20 – how to follow today’s action
23 July 2021 - QUALIFYING: Horsten hustles to double pole at Spa
23 July 2021 - Fast Aussies react after Spa Qualifying
23 July 2021 - Spa FP3: Bilinski puts Arden on top again in the Ardennes
23 July 2021 - Spa FP2: Bilinski blasts to fastest time in session two
23 July 2021 - Spa FP1: Carlin's Mansell fastest in opening session