Ayrton Simmons secured a brilliant podium after another strong weekend for Chris Dittmann Racing in BRDC British F3 at Donington Park this weekend (21-23 June).
The Epping racer finished second in the first race to remain in the title hunt at the half-way stage of the Championship.
However, the driver didn’t have it all his own way, with an unfortunate disqualification in the second race.
But after Nazim Azman put in his best performance of the season to finish P5 in Race 3, it ensured the weekend finished on a positive note.
Team principal Chris Dittmann said: “It was a positive weekend overall. Ayrton was really fast in qualifying and then did very well to take P2 in the first race.
“Unfortunately, after making a good start in the second race he got pushed off at turn one to avoid another incident. He tried to catch up, but a couple of overtaking attempts didn’t come off.
“He ended with two penalties, although we felt one was a little harsh. But Nazim was looking excellent, running in P3 in the same race until a small mistake saw him drop back.
“Frustratingly, a mechanical problem forced Ayrton to retire in the last race, but then Nazim did a superb job to finish P5 after a decent battle with the Championship leader.
“Results could have been better overall, but it was a really positive end to the weekend, with Nazim’s strongest race to-date and great pace shown from both drivers.”
Ayrton finished with a win and a third – and the biggest points haul of the weekend – last time out at Silverstone.
He was hoping for another bumper haul after qualifying in P3, with Nazim looking set for one of his highest starting positions, until a mistake saw him leave the track and end up in P13.
Ayrton got off to a great start in the first race, finding his way past the driver in front at McLeans to take second place on the first lap.
The racer had shaved a couple of tenths off the leader before the safety car was deployed and when the race resumed, he continued to try to close the gap, but was just behind at the end to finish in P2.
Meanwhile, Nazim made up a few positions early on, but was pushed off the track. He managed to make up some ground to end in P12.
Nazim got off to a flying start in the second race, getting into third by the first corner.
But on Lap 6, with the chance to challenge for P2, he ran wide at the Fogarty Esses, losing a couple of places. He ran wide again at the Old Hairpin later on, finishing P11.
Ayrton made a good start in the second race, but got pushed onto the gravel at turn one as he attempted to avoid another incident. Running in P12, he tried an overtake but came into contact with the kerb and caused a collision with another driver.
Two Clerk of the Course Decisions were made after the race that saw him disqualified from the race for a first incident and handed a five-place grid penalty in the final race, for the second.
Both drivers got good starts in the final race, with Nazim gaining a few positions and Ayrton putting the drama of the race before behind him, to climb to P7 during the first lap.
Nazim battled well with the Championship leader in front while maintaining his distance from the car behind, showing some great pace to finish P5. Unfortunately, some mechanical problems ended Ayrton’s race early.
The weekend’s efforts mean Ayrton remains third in the Championship standings, with Nazim in 12th.
Chris added: “Ayrton started the weekend brilliantly, but it’s still a learning curve and maybe frustration crept in during Race 2 after he was pushed off the track. But I’m sure he will bounce back from this.
“Nazim’s final race was excellent and we are confident he can now build on it.
“Race 2 was a bit disappointing, but on reflection the positives of the weekend outweigh the negatives and we now regroup and go again in the next round at Spa.”