Chris Dittmann Racing heads to the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent this weekend (22-23 May) for the first three rounds of the 2021 BRDC British F3 Championship.
With a full and familiar driver line up, the Tewkesbury team travels to the former F1 Grand Prix venue in a confident mood; Chris Dittmann Racing has taken 1-2 finishes in races at the venue in the past two seasons, the only team on the grid to achieve such a feat.
After a busy few weeks of preparation, the team’s three drivers; Ayrton Simmons, Max Marzorati and Alex Fores, got to sample the circuit last Thursday (13 May) in testing, with the trio showing decent pace in difficult changeable conditions and on a highly congested track.
Of the three drivers, Simmons is the only driver in the line-up to have raced a BRDC British F3 car at the circuit before, and he has plenty of form at the venue too. Having finished third overall in the championship with the team in 2019, the 20-year-old made a one-off appearance at Brands Hatch last year and won two of the four races, and could well have taken a third too.
Fores has experience of the circuit as well, having raced and won on the full Grand Prix layout in his earlier Monoposto career. The 21-year-old, who very nearly won the F3 Cup championship with the team last year, has a decent amount of experience in BRDC British F3 to fall back on, having competed seven times last year.
Marzorati meanwhile has tasted victory at Brands Hatch across a number of disciplines over the past few years. He was a winner in Renault Clio Cup Junior in 2017, and in Formula Ford in 2018, as well as taking a number of other podium finishes. The 20-year-old from Harrow has never raced a slicks and wings car at Brands Hatch before, but does have 13 British F3 races under his belt.
Team Principal Chris Dittmann is eagerly looking forward to unleashing his three drivers on one of the most challenging circuits in the UK: “The start of a new season is always exciting, and we’re very much looking forward to getting to Brands Hatch this weekend. We head there safe in the knowledge that this circuit is usually very good for us; we’ve won BRDC British F3 races there for the past two seasons and hopefully we can extend that run this time around. However, there’s no pressure, and strong results for all three of our drivers would be a great way to start the season.”
Simmons said: “I’m really looking forward to making my return to the championship full time for a second full season, and particularly because we had some really great results there last year when I made a one-off appearance. We’ll be looking to pick up from where we left off; we’re hoping to replicate the result but not what we did because we’re always looking to improve. Even on Thursday we were improving the areas that we were weaker in the race weekend last year. We had a very positive test last week, it’s great to be returning to the UK scene full time and I’m looking forward to setting off on the right foot hopefully.”
Fores commented: “The first test at Brands last Thursday was great to get experience of wet and dry running around the Grand Prix circuit. Solid running on Friday will be good to get some more seat time in, and get in a good place for the rest of the weekend. In all conditions the back section of the circuit is awesome to drive so to get back out on Saturday morning will be exciting to start the competitive action. I will be looking to make the most of it and maximise my performance in this one-off opportunity in British F3!”
Marzorati added: “I have never raced on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit before, so I should keep my expectations under control but I am still so looking forward to racing there. Last Thursday was my first time on the GP circuit in any car, and the team has lots of experience and previous success there so I’m keen to learn from them this weekend.”
The weekend starts with a day of testing on the Indy circuit on Friday. Practice and qualifying will take place on the Grand Prix circuit on Saturday morning (09.00 and 11.50 respectively), before the first race of the season in the afternoon at 15.30. Two more contests will take place on Sunday (11.10 & 16.15), with both to be broadcast live online.