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British F3 contenders gear up for new campaign at busy Donington test

Thursday, April 22 2021

Every driver signed up so far to this year's BRDC British F3 Championship was at Donington Park today (Thursday), as testing ahead of the new season kicked up a gear.

Under clear blue skies, 16 drivers were in action at the East Midlands venue, where two rounds of this year's championship will take place, including the season finale on 16/17 October.

The Arden team, new to British F3 this year, were present with Frederick Lubin and Alex Connor, as both prepare for their F3 debuts.

Carlin likewise had their trio of rookies at the test, with F4 runner-up Zak O'Sullivan joined by Australian Christian Mansell and American Bryce Aron.

Chris Dittmann Racing meanwhile gave returning driver Max Marzorati his second run out of the year, after confirming his return to the series earlier this week.

Douglas Motorsport duo Reema Juffali and Dexter Patterson completed significant mileage; Saudi Arabian Juffali graduates from British F4 this year while Sauber F1-backed Patterson is moving up from Italian F4.

Spaniard Javier Segrera Pont, Ginetta Junior champion Tom Lebbon and Mexican Jose Garfias, represented F3 newcomers Elite Motorsport, while Fortec Motorsports were on track with returnee Roberto Faria and also gave a test to Oliver Bearman. The British driver is scheduled to again race in Italian and German F4 this year, but is also eyeing a potential British F3 campaign.

Hitech GP were also present, with series returnees Bart Horsten and Reece Ushijima, while handing further mileage to Sebastian Alvarez as he gears up for his British F3 debut.

There was no official timing at the test, though lap times in the 1m24s were reported.

Faria commented: "We've had some catching up to do but I think I was the quickest driver this morning so it's been a good test."

Patterson said: "I'm learning the car and have a good couple of days under my belt, and I'm learning more every time I get out."

Ushijima noted: "The team and I have worked really hard over the winter so I feel prepared for the season and I'm ready to start racing!"

Sagrera Pont enthused: "It's going quite well, we've done a strong pre-season with a lot of testing. It's all about knowing the car and adapting to it."

Juffali said: "It's great to be here, it's super fun and I'm loving the car and really enjoying the step up really. I'm getting my head around it and it's a lot more responsive and I feel like I can make good steps here."

Lubin added: "It's all good, the weather here at Donington is lovely today. I feel the team and I are getting to grips with the car really well. Donington is a bit of a struggle for us but we're not too far off, but I'm really looking forward to Brands Hatch."

O'Sullivan noted: "It's good so far, this is one of our last tests before the season opener, and I'm really looking forward to it to be honest. I'm more or less there with the car now, but there's a couple of things I still need to refine."

Marzorati concluded: "Today is only our second day [of testing]. We know a lot of the others have been doing two tests a week, so we know we're up against it but we're already on the pace and towards that top scrap so hopefully we can carry what we're doing into the first round."

The first round of the 2021 BRDC British F3 season is on the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on 22/23 May.