Positive progress at Brands Hatch

Chris Dittmann Racing’s (CDR) three-strong BRDC British Formula 3 Championship outfit returned to action in fine style with a host of points-scoring finishes on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this past weekend (16/17 April).

The Tewkesbury team’s most spectacular results came in the weekend’s third and final race, in which all three drivers were forced to start from rear section of the grid. Series newcomer Krishnaraaj Mahadik produced a fabulous charging drive from 15th on the grid to pick up sixth position, CDR’s best finish of the new season so far. This, despite the Indian never having been to Brands Hatch before!

Mahadik’s weekend began in truly impressive fashion as, undaunted by the Grand Prix circuit’s swooping high-speed undulations, he qualified in 12th position, ahead of a number of drivers with more advanced circuit and car experience. This head-turning debut was swiftly followed by 14th position in the opening bout of the weekend, followed by an impressive 11th in the second race.

Quinlan Lall, the team’s American driver, was a top-three contender in the early stages of qualifying, before he had to settle for 15th on the grid following improvements from others in the latter portion of the session. A non-finish in the first race of the meeting was scant reward for Lall’s efforts and decent pace, but he made up with it in race two with 10th position.

Like Mahadik, Lall made his greatest impression on the weekend during the finale, where he scythed through the pack to claim eighth position, his second top-ten of the event. His efforts were rewarded with the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend trophy, given to the driver who makes up the most positions.

Kenya’s Jeremy Wahome qualified in 19th position as he continued to adapt to racing in the UK, and he made promising progress in the first race of the weekend as he finished 15th on the road before a later exclusion. A non-finish followed in the second race, but the young Kenyan bounced back with a points-scoring drive in the third and final race.

This healthy points haul is CDR’s biggest of the season so far and team principal Chris Dittmann believes there is more to come: I’m very happy with the progress made over the course of the weekend by all three drivers. They were up against good drivers with much more experience, and despite their relative lack of circuit knowledge they proved just how quick they are.

They’ve taken our advice on board and managed to match some of the weekend’s fastest sector times. Now it’s a case of working with the strong team they have around them, and with their team-mates, to help piece that all together for consistent front-running pace.

Krishnaraaj’s development throughout the meeting was incredible. He’d never turned a wheel at Brands Hatch before Saturday, not even on the Indy circuit, and there he was qualifying competitively and fighting for top-tens straight away.

I’m pleased that Quinlan picked up some good points too, that’s the least he deserved after the disappointment of race one, and I was impressed with the manner in which Jeremy picked himself up and scored well in the final race following two disappointing results.

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