A trying BRDC British F3 weekend at Silverstone (26-27 June) ended in triumph for Chris Dittmann Racing, after a superb drive from Ayrton Simmons in the final race of the weekend.
Hobbled throughout the event by an issue that appears to be linked to his Brands Hatch race two accident, Simmons took advantage of a strong starting position in race three at Silverstone to take the lead early on and soar to his second victory of the season, despite a mid-race safety car period that wiped out his early advantage.
His impressive victory backed up a pair of top-10 results in the other two races at the home of the British Grand Prix, a circuit where Simmons and CDR are notoriously strong. Simmons had qualified further down the order than usual thanks to the mystery issue, but showed his proven class behind the wheel to fight into strong positions at each time of asking.
Teammate Max Marzorati scored strongly in the first two races of the weekend, and started on the front row in race three. Despite his lack of experience at this level, he showed real determination and bravery to pull off a stunning overtake at one of the fastest corners of the year, and led his first ever lap in British F3.
Teammate Simmons passed him on lap two, but Marzorati still looked on course to take a maiden podium until he was rear-ended on the exit of Luffield corner, and forced into retirement with a puncture while running second.
Team Principal Chris Dittmann said: “It’s been a more difficult weekend than expected, but it’s a sign of the strength of our team that even though things didn’t go quite to plan, we still managed to take home a win.
“Firstly I want to thank the team for their incredible work this weekend, they have taken Ayrton’s car apart on several occasions in an attempt to get to the root of the problem we were hampered with all weekend, and every time the car ran on track the reliability was faultless. Ayrton’s brilliant win was a just reward for everyone’s efforts. We’ll take the car back to base and find out the exact problem over the next two weeks.
“Max was so unlucky in race three. He learned from Brands Hatch and made a great start, and his overtaking move for the lead was breathtaking. To be taken out while in such a strong position was massively frustrating, but at least it wasn’t his fault, and he’s getting every closer to a big score every weekend. Onwards and upwards, and we look forward to a stronger weekend all round at Donington Park in a couple of weeks.”
Simmons said: “This win is not only for me but for the whole team as they’ve worked so hard over the weekend. It looks like I’ve been carrying damage that we couldn’t fix from Brands Hatch and the guys have worked day and night and had the car in bits on numerous occasions. They really deserved something to celebrate after a few late nights so I’m glad to have won for them, and it’s just a shame that Max couldn’t join us on the podium in the last race too.
“I’m very happy that in what turned out to be a damage limitation weekend, we still managed to come away with a win, and hopefully we can properly return to form at Donington Park.”
Marzorati said: “I’m really encouraged by the pace that we showed across the weekend, and I’m getting closer to the pace every time I’m in the car, which is credit to the fantastic CDR team.
“It’s such a shame what happened in the last race, but on the positive side I led a lap at the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, which is something not many people can say, plus it was great to pull off an exciting overtake for the lead. I do feel after my starts in race one and three that I can say; ‘if you no longer go for a gap..!’ I’m looking forward to Donington, it’s a circuit I’ve had more experience of driving at compared to the others so I’m hopeful of a strong result.”