|Chris Dittmann Racing claimed their first two victories of the 2020 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship season with a storming display at Brands Hatch GP last weekend [29-30 August].
The Tewkesbury-based team made the journey to the iconic 2.4-mile Kent circuit keen to build on Josh Skelton’s maiden podium last time out at Donington Park, and buoyed by the return of multiple race winner Ayrton Simmons to the fold.
Simmons showed his class from the get-go, taking a double pole position for Races 1 and 3 in qualifying; Skelton did well to put himself sixth and in the frame for another solid points haul, despite being held up on his best lap at the end of the session.
The opening race saw CDR bank their first race win of the 2020 campaign, with Simmons making a lightning start to retain the lead and, despite a safety car restart, he went unchallenged to the chequered flag, the eventual winning margin some 0.5 seconds.
Skelton maintained sixth, and then led the team’s charge with eighth in the reverse grid race, Simmons banking another valuable point in 15th.
Sunday opened with a CDR front-row lockout courtesy of Simmons and Skelton’s second-quickest times from qualifying.
Despite a slow getaway at the first attempt, a red flag stoppage gave Skelton a second bite of the cherry, and he made no mistake to keep second spot behind Simmons, and from there the pair powered clear whilst the pack behind fought amongst themselves.
Simmons duly claimed his second victory of the weekend, even more impressive consider the lack of pre-event testing after a late call-up, and Skelton gave the team extra reason to celebrate with not only a superb 1-2 finish, but also a career-best result for him.
Skelton then banked another top-six finish to elevate himself to third overall in the standings in the fourth and final contest; an overheated clutch put Simmons out of the running from the front row within moments of the start.
The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship returns to action after a short break back at Donington Park, Leicestershire, over the weekend of 19-20 September.
Chris Dittmann, Team Principal:
“I’m really pleased with how the entire team has performed this weekend at Brands Hatch.
“For Ayrton to jump back into the car, which has changed slightly since he last drove it, with almost no testing to then take a double pole position and two race victories is absolutely astounding, and it shows us we’ve really got the car in a sweet spot for someone to be able to ‘plug in and play’ like that.
“I’m very proud of how Josh is coming along his rookie season. Had he not been blocked in qualifying on his last run, we could well have been celebrating more than one podium for him this weekend, but a career-best result of second is a fitting reward for the consistency, hard work and attitude he’s been putting in.
“We’ll go to Donington Park later in the month now with our tails in the air; we’re very much in this championship hunt now and there’s plenty of work to be done to make sure we keep this momentum going.
“A big thanks to everyone in the team – inside the cars and out of them – for their hard work and commitment. It’s very, very much appreciated.”
Ayrton Simmons (#12) said:
“As a whole, I’m very happy with the performances and results. I didn’t expect to be doing that well on my return to British F3, having not driven the new car or the car at all in about eight or nine months.
“Overall, we exceeded expectations, I would say. I can’t thank the boys at Chris Dittmann Racing enough for giving me the opportunity, and thank you to them for giving me an amazing car that enabled me to win the races I did and get the pole positions I did.
“For the team, it’s very positive because they’ve shown that they have got an amazing car. They have a great group of engineers and have provided an awesome set up in all conditions.”
Josh Skelton (#43) said:
“Overall, it’s been another really good weekend for me, and for the team as a whole. I had another four top-ten finishes, and bagged another podium – which is even more amazing when it’s a 1-2 finish for the team.
“Scoring solid points throughout the weekend means we’ve also jumped up to third in the standings. I can’t wait for the next round at Donington Park in a few weeks’ time, and a massive thank you as always to the entire team at CDR for their hard work.”