Cian Carey took a huge step towards retaining his F3 Cup title after a victory on the penultimate weekend of the Championship at Donington Park.
The Irish driver took the win and points to keep him top of the standings with just three races at Snetterton to come.
However, the racer didn’t have it all his own way – as principal Chris Dittmann got behind the wheel to take THREE second place finishes and give the overall team standings a timely boost.
But while another season’s 1-2 for the team was more than welcome in the first race, it was Cian’s performances under pressure that pleased Chris the most.
He said: “With Shane Kelly in second place breathing down Cian’s neck in the title battle, there was little room for mistakes this weekend.
“But not only did he take the win in the first race, he came back brilliantly in the second race after an uncharacteristic mistake left him back in tenth. He’s never stalled before in a race, so to take fourth from there and get in front of Shane at the end was a great result.
“Unfortunately, Phillip Jeans couldn’t make it this weekend, so we are really grateful to him for letting us use his car again and for the support from Halsbury Homes.
“I enjoyed a few battles out there in his place. I felt I could have taken a win but didn’t want to push too hard in the first race with Cian in the lead, so was happy with a 1-2 for the team.”
Cian fought back brilliantly from last place to take a podium and precious points for Chris Dittmann Racing last time out at Brands Hatch.
This time round, principal Chris joined the reigning champ for his third outing of the season, with Phillip Jeans unable to attend.
Qualifying proved to be a tricky affair with rainfall at the beginning while the drivers were running on slicks. It was not wet enough to pit and change, so the drivers had to try to keep as much temperature in the tyres as possible. Chris ended with a P4 and P4 and Cian a P3 and P2, knowing they had more to give in the races.
Both drivers got off to brilliant starts in the first race, with Cian getting into P1 off the line and Chris soon tucking in behind.
The pair enjoyed a good battle for the remainder of the race, controlling the gap behind them and with Chris pushing Cian without jeopardising an excellent team result. Cian finished in first for his eighth victory of the season with Chris finishing just behind him.
Starting in P2 for the second race, Cian was hoping to get another good start and a win to really open up his lead in the Championship.
But as the lights went out he unfortunately stalled, leading him to fall back to P10. Disappointed with himself, he refused to give up, fighting his way back into fourth by the end and passing Shane Kelly on the way.
Chris, meanwhile, got off to another great start, moving into third and then battling for the lead for the rest of the race. While he didn’t quite have enough to take the lead, he was happy with a P2 at the end.
With rain again just before race three, the team were caught in two minds about whether to go with slicks or wets, opting for wets.
Cian struggled at the start, wheel-spinning off the line and making a few mistakes early on with Shane Kelly passing.
But rather than press to overtake again, he decided to play it safe and take home the valuable points a P4 would give him.
Chris got off to another good start, despite pressure from behind. He managed to catch the leader as the track began to dry half-way through the race, but with more rain falling soon after settled for another P2.
He added: “It was great to get behind the wheel again, I enjoyed it out there and we got some valuable points for the team standings.
“It makes for an exciting finale at Snetterton. We’ve put ourselves in a great position for another team and individual double, so we just have to keep our focus and get as many points as we can and hope we do enough.”