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GB3: Oxley wins race three at Brands Hatch

Saturday, September 10 2022

Chris Dittmann Racing's Branden Oxley claimed victory in a dramatic final GB3 race of the weekend, which saw a restart after an opening lap crash, and more title drama.

Oxley led every lap of the restarted 10 lap/14 minute race, and finished just under a second clear of Hitech GP's Cian Shields, with Roberto Faria taking his first podium of the weekend for Carlin.

Zak Taylor was fourth for Chris Dittmann Racing, just three tenths of a second clear of Carlin's Javier Sagrera, with Nick Gilkes taking sixth for Hillspeed.

McKenzy Cresswell ensured all three CDR cars were inside the top-seven, with Alex Connor eighth for Arden.

Luke Browning finished ninth, ahead of teammate Bryce Aron, but Browning's top-10 from 16th on the restart grid, coupled with Joel Granfors' fall through the order due to front wing damage means Browning has significantly extended his championship advantage.

At the original start, polesitter Marcos Flack made a clear jump start, giving him an automatic 10 second penalty. However halfway round the lap, a big accident for Carlin's Callum Voisin and Douglas Motorsport's Max Esterson at Hawthorns brought out the red flags as barrier damage was needed, though thankfully both drivers emerged unscathed.

A new grid was issued for the restart, based on the order in which the first part of the race finished. That put Oxley on pole and he took full advantage to lead the field away ahead of Shields, while Faria shot past Taylor to take third.

Oxley led every lap, but had Shields giving close attention for the majority of the race, the pair frequently separated by around half a second, with Faria close by too.

While the lead three held their positions, for Browning it was an opportunity to make big gains, as he went from 16th on the new grid to 12th on the restart lap and was up behind Granfors on lap three. But the Swede was dragging his front wing around after early contact, with bits flying off it as he circulated at speed.

Browning initially seemed hesitant to move past, but eventually did so on lap four at Paddock Hill, with Granfors running wide moments later, and then dropping to the tail of the pack. Eventually, the Fortec driver was forced to pit, putting him a lap down, while Browning earned seven points for ninth place, plus another seven for positions gained, giving him an extended 15.5-point lead heading to the Donington finale.

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Brands Hatch race three provisional result:
1.    Branden Oxley, Chris Dittmann Racing, 10 laps
2.    Cian Shields, Hitech GP, +0.923
3.    Roberto Faria, Carlin +2.023
4.    Zak Taylor, Chris Dittmann Racing, +4.486
5.    Javier Sagrera, Carlin, +4.857
6.    Nick Gilkes, Hillspeed, +5.875
7.    McKenzy Cresswell, Chris Dittmann Racing, +6.160
8.    Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +8.660
9.    Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +9.911
10.    Bryce Aron, Hitech GP, +13.668
11.    Nico Christodoulou, Arden Motorsport, +15.147
12.    David Morales, Arden Motorsport, +16.500
13.    Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, +17.073
14.    John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, +18.130
15.    Marcos Flack, Douglas Motorsport, +21.183
16.    Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsport, +21.823
17.    Tommy Smith, Douglas Motorsport, +1 Lap
18.    Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +1 Lap
19.    Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, +1 Lap
DNF: Callum Voisin, Carlin
DNF: Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport
DNF: James Hedley, JHR Developments