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GB3: Rees flies to Brands Hatch victory in race one

Saturday, September 10 2022

JHR Developments' Matthew Rees claimed both his and the team's first GB3 victory after a dominant performance on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this afternoon (Saturday).

Rees made a great start from pole position, inherited after original pole sitter Tom Lebbon was forced to take a grid penalty carried over from Silverstone. The Welshman took full advantage to build a lead of over two seconds on the first lap, and led every lap thereafter, despite heavy pressure from Luke Browning in the second half of the contest.

Browning managed to get the gap down to six tenths of a second at one stage, but settled for second after passing championship leader Joel Granfors on the first lap. Granfors took third, seven seconds behind.

Elite Motorsport's John Bennett equalled his best result of the season so far with fourth place, just three tenths ahead of Arden's Nico Christodoulou, who claimed his best result of the year with fifth.

Qualifying pace setter Tom Lebbon finished where he started as he took sixth for Elite, four tenths of a second ahead of Arden's Alex Connor with Bryce Aron (Hitech) eighth.

Carlin's Callum Voisin delievered a storming recovery drive as he surged from 21st on the grid after his qualifying shunt to ninth after 20 minutes of racing, with Douglas Motorsport's Max Esterson completing the top-10.

Rees made the best start from pole position to establish a strong advantage even halfway around the first lap. That margin was allowed to grow as Browning forced his way past Granfors after a first lap battle.

The JHR driver's lead of two seconds grew by a couple of tenths on the next two laps, but on lap four, Browning began his charge, and sliced half a second out of the lead advantage.

Browning continued to show his pace, with the gap falling to just 0.6 seconds with five laps to go, but Rees held firm, to extend the margin again to over a second, winning by seven tenths.

As for the championship, Browning gained a few points on Granfors by finishing a position ahead, with five races remaining including two further events tomorrow.

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Brands Hatch GP race one provisional result:
1. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, 14 laps
2. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +0.723
3. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, +7.836
4. John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, +11.560
5. Nico Christodoulou, Arden Motorsport, +11.863
6. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +15.360
7. Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +15.784
8. Bryce Aron, Hitech GP, +16.364
9. Callum Voisin, Carlin, +16.904
10. Max Esterton, Douglas Motorsport, +20.101
11. James Hedley, JHR Developments, +20.420s
12. David Morales, Arden Motorsport, +22.655s
13. Tommy Smith, Douglas Motorsport, +23.824s
14. Zak Taylor, Chris Dittmann Racing, +26.500s
15. Branden Oxley, Chris Dittmann Racing, +34.939s
16. McKenzy Cresswell, Chris Dittmann Racing, +35.380s
17. Marcos Flack, Douglas Motorsport, +36.007s
18. Roberto Faria, Carlin, +36.889s
19. Nick Gilkes, Hillspeed, +37.131s
20. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsport, +39.566s
21. Cian Shields, Hitech GP, +39.906s
DNF. Javier Sagrera, Carlin, 10 laps completed