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Mansell mania at Brands Hatch! Aussie triumphs in F3 race three

Sunday, May 23 2021

Christian Mansell powered to victory in the final race of the opening BRDC British F3 weekend of the season at Brands Hatch, after a stunning opening lap.

Mansell started seventh but the Carlin driver blasted into the lead by the time the field reached Paddock Hill Bend. He then survived two safety car restarts to finish ahead of Elite Motorsport's Javier Sagrera, who took the team's first podium in single seaters.

Douglas Motorsport's Dexter Patterson claimed his first podium with third place, holding off a stern challenge from Carlin's Bryce Aron.

At the start, Max Marzorati from second looked to have gained the lead from polesitter Reema Juffali but slowed massively on the run to Paddock Hill Bend. With the pack avoiding him, Mansell swooped through from row four to take the lead and hold a significant advantage on the approach to Druids.

Further back, Sebastian Alvarez plunged into the gravel at Paddock Hill and into retirement, bringing out the first safety car, while Marzorati retired to the pits.

Racing resumed on lap three but almost immediately there was another safety car as Alex Fores and Juffali collided at Stirlings, with both drivers retiring on the spot.

With both cars needing recovery from the gravel, a lengthy safety car period was the result. The race resumed with just seven minutes remaining, and Mansell again aced the restart to build a lead, and then didn't look back as he moved away from Sagrera, who had climbed to second from fourth on the grid.

Mansell ultimately claimed the flag 1.991 seconds clear of the Spanish driver, who secured Elite's first podium in their first weekend of single-seater racing.

Behind Sagrera came Sauber F1 academy driver Patterson, who held off a charging Bryce Aron to claim his first podium in British F3. Aron mirrored teammate Mansell by surging through the field; he started eighth and was sixth on the first lap. He gained another place on lap three and then passed Mikkel Grundtvig for fourth on lap seven. He then immediately closed on Patterson but was unable to progress onto the podium, finishing just two tenths shy, and the first car in a train behind the Scotsman. 

Fortec's Grundtvig registered his best result of the weekend with fifth place, just ahead of Hitech's Reece Ushijima, while Zak O'Sullivan was another driver at the wheel of a rocket ship Carlin, blasting from 17th on the grid to seventh. 

Bart Horsten recovered from his race two retirement to take eighth, half a second ahead of Fortec's Ollie Bearman, with Tom Lebbon completing the top-10 for Elite Motorsport. 

BRDC British F3 Championship, Brands Hatch GP, race three provisional result:

1. Christian Mansell, Carlin, 12 laps
2. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +1.991s
3. Dexter Patterson, Douglas Motorsport, +4.190s
4. Bryce Aron, Carlin, +4.483s
5. Mikkel Grundtvig, Fortec Motorsports, +4.990s
6. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, +5.603s
7. Zak O'Sullivan, Carlin +6.146s
8. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, +6.611s
9. Oliver Bearman, Fortec Motorsports, +7.151s
10. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +8.579s
11. Frederick Lubin, Arden, +9.058s
12. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +10.254s
13. Ayrton Simmons, Chris Dittmann Racing, +10.625s
14. Alex Connor, Arden Motorsport, +11.088s
15. Jose Garfias, Elite Motorsport, +12.344s
DNF. Reema Juffali, Douglas Motorsport, 2 laps
DNF. Alex Fores, Chris Dittmann Racing, 2 laps
DNF. Max Marzorati, Chris Dittmann Racing, 0 laps
DNF. Sebastian Alvarez, Hitech GP, 0 laps