Chris Dittmann Racing returns to GB3 Championship podium on windy weekend at Zandvoort

Chris Dittmann Racing enjoyed another visit to the GB3 Championship podium last weekend (October 13-15) as Arthur Rogeon took third place in the final race as the series made its debut at Circuit Zandvoort.

The team welcomed F4 British Championship racer Jack Sherwood – who scored three podiums with CDR in the series – to its ranks for the trip to the Netherlands, joining up with series regulars Zak Taylor and Frenchman Arthur.

The expanded three-car line up had three practice sessions on Friday where Zak finished with the fifth quickest time, albeit in wet and windy conditions, while for qualifying first thing on Saturday morning the skies were clear and sunny, but with a strong and cool wind. Disrupted by red flags in the opening and closing stages, Zak finished 12th, with Arthur 15th, and Jack 22nd.

Zak started race one well, up to ninth, before the Safety Car was called on the opening lap. When racing resumed Arthur started to look for a way past Noah Ping for 15th, while Jack fought his way ahead of Daniel Mavlytov to take 20th. With little changing of position throughout the contest, at the flag Zak slipped back to 11th, while Arthur forced an error from Ping to claim 15th, and Jack crossed the line 20th.

There was disappointment for Jack at the start of race two as he took damage and had to retire on the opening lap, while Zak also started well but was boxed in, falling back to 14th, and Arthur was up one place to 20th. As racing resumed Zak was forced off track, having to come into the pits just afterwards and losing a lap, and Arthur, meanwhile, had another strong finish, moving up to 16th.

On a wet track for Sunday’s reverse grid contest, the Safety Car was called on the opening lap after two cars went off in the tricky conditions. Arthur started well, up to sixth, while Jack bogged down, dropping back to seventh, and Zak was 12th. Racing only resumed for half a lap before another Safety Car, Arthur climbing up to third but Jack sadly sliding off into the gravel. Unfortunately, time then ran out to have a final chance to go green, the contest ending under yellows.

The team will return to track in just a few days’ time as the GB3 Championship season finale takes place at Donington Park over October 21/22, with the practice sessions this coming Thursday 19th.

Zak Taylor, #9

G1 – 12, R1 – 11
G2 – 12, R2 – 23
G3 – 13, R3 – 10

Championship: 13 (153 points)

“Qualifying was okay. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad as we put ourselves in the mix, but should have been a little bit higher as I think we had the pace for just outside the top five. Race one was just about trying to be consistent, trying to keep it on the track, stay out of any trouble, and bank some points. We did a decent job with that, finishing just outside top ten. We’d have liked to have been a little bit higher as we had some good pace, and the car was good.

“The first couple of laps of race two was alright – I had good pace and got a bit racy, and then pretty much just got driven into out of turn two into turn three where the other person just didn’t want to back out. That was unfortunate as I came to check if there was any damage, but there wasn’t so I went back out and the pace was good. It was a definitely a missed opportunity through no fault of our own.

“Race three was all about survival and trying to keep my nose clean. I had a little bit of contact at turn three on lap one where a Carlin was on my inside and locked up into the side of me, so I lost a couple of places off the back of that. Being in the top ten to end the weekend was good and I couldn’t really do much more to be honest. Arthur did a really good job getting the car on the podium so that was a nice end to the weekend for the team.”

Arthur Rogeon, #18

G1 – 15, R1 – 15
G2 – 20, R2 – 16
G3 – 10, R3 – 3

Championship: 19 (113 points)

“Qualifying wasn’t too bad because I didn’t have any dry laps in practice and wasn’t at the test on Wednesday. I just managed to make a lap at the at the end of the session to put me P15. It was really hard to overtake in race one as I made a good start and then was stuck behind someone. I made maybe not the right decision in where I was on the track and lost a place, so was P16, but on the last lap I managed to force the guy in front to make a mistake and passed him.

“I started P20 for race two and made a good start and on the Safety Car restart I made up one position on the right into the chicane, but then was stuck on the left behind someone. The car I passed repassed and also overtook the driver in front, which meant I lost a lot of time and then was stuck. I made the overtake again in the first corner, but with a huge flat spot, and at the end I had the same pace as tthe driver in tenth position.

“With only six corners in race three, to make up seven positions was really good, and with maybe one more lap or two, the win was possible. I made a good start, and the key was to warm the tyres well, with the weather cold and a lot of rain. I think I made a good job of that, and the pace was there without needing to push too much. I drove safely and made the overtakes when I saw the gaps.”

Jack Sherwood, #78

G1 – 22, R1 – 20
G2 – 22, R2 – DNF
G3 – 3, R3 – DNF

“It was a bit frustrating in race one as I struggled off the line and the restart after the Safety Car was a bit strange. The leaders didn’t really back us up too much, so we were quite spread out. I managed to make a move on one of the Hillspeeds but then I made a mistake pushing to get to the car in front. All in all, it was pretty stagnant after the first few laps, so I was trying to learn as much as I could, tried to improve, and lessen the gap to the cars ahead.

“In race two, I unfortunatlety didn’t really get past the first corner as we had a bit of contact which broke the track rod and put us in the wall, which was a frustrating end. There were some very tricky conditions with the cold weather and a lot of rain in race three which meant we didn’t get much temperature into the tyres. I had a tricky start and was bogged down off the grid and then it was straight into a Safety Car. On the restart I was battling with one of the Carlins and just misjudged a corner, carrying a bit too much speed in which is unusual for us, but it was my own mistake and we ended up in the wall again.

“I really enjoyed driving around Zandvoort. It was really good fun, but we just struggled a bit for pace most of the weekend. I’m proud of  how we dealt with it all as a team as It wasn’t easy circumstances. A big thank you to Chris Dittmann Racing who helped me out all weekend and worked hard to repair the car.”

About the author: Chloe