Chris Dittmann Racing’s quartet of F3 Cup drivers suffered a trying three races at Snetterton in the latest rounds of the 2017 season.
The team had worked tirelessly behind the scenes all week to ensure all four cars made the grid for the weekend, winning a race against time re-fitting Cian Carey’s rebuilt engine.
Carey was unable to match his usual front-running pace, but the championship hopeful still came away with a strong haul of points. He and team-mate Gino Ussi ran line astern in the race one, as Carey struggled to find a way past the experienced Italian for sixth place.
Roles were reversed in race two as Ussi lost seventh place to Carey on the very last lap, crossing the line split by just half a second. Carey beat his team-mate to sixth by even closer margin in race three – the Irishman headed Ussi by a mere 0.4sec at the flag, equally close to fifth place in an entertaining race.
CDR handed Frenchman Baptiste Leonard his UK racing debut at Snetterton, and the VdeV competitor made good progress throughout the weekend. He followed a brace of 11th place finishes in the opening two contests by breaking into the top 10 in the third and final race of the weekend. His final lap was his second-fastest of the weekend, underlining his development with CDR during the event.
Phillip Jeans’ weekend got off to the worst possible start, crashing out heavily in qualifying heading onto the Bentley Straight on his first flying lap. The substantial damage to the car meant he would play no part in the rest of the weekend.
“It was a difficult weekend for us,” said team principal Chris Dittmann. “It’s a massive shame for Phillip, it’s easy to make a mistake in these cars and unfortunately they bite. Thankfully he’s unhurt and he’ll be back for Brands Hatch in a month’s time. It’s our job to pick him back up and help him regain his confidence.
“Aside from the crash, we didn’t have the qualifying we would usually expect. Red flags made it tough to get a good lap on the board, and that left us with an uphill task. We still came away with strong points, and ended the day showing our true good pace.
“Both championships are close, we’re still second in the Teams’ and Cian isn’t far off third in the Drivers’. Gino is in a good battle too. There only two weekends left, the important thing is to end on a high.”