Chris Dittmann Racing was delighted to take two more podiums in F3 Cup at Oulton Park this weekend (15-16 June).
Principal Chris Dittmann was in brilliant form after getting behind the wheel again, taking pole in qualifying before setting the fastest lap and a P2 in Race One.
He narrowly missed out on a second podium in the next race, but was still fast enough to set the quickest lap of the weekend.
Meanwhile, Irish driver Cian Carey had a quiet few days by his high standards, but ended P3 in the first race – which was enough to keep him top of the standings overall.
Principal Chris said: “It was a frustrating weekend all in all. Phillip Jeans couldn’t take part and kindly offered me his seat again. I hadn’t driven at Oulton Park for some time, but I managed to put in some good times early on in qualifying and just built momentum from there and was really pleased to get pole. There was some good friendly rivalry between Cian and I, but when he finished behind me we could go through the data and videos and help each other along.
“Race One was disappointing with only three racing laps due to a safety car. We had to change circuits due to an incident in a previous race and I lost the lead while getting used to the change, but once I got up to speed the pace was pretty good. With a few more laps it could have been a really good race between me and Stefano, so I was pretty frustrated with P2 in the end as I’d closed the gap was looking forward to a battle for the lead. But Cian did well to finish third.
“The last race was the most frustrating. On the green flag lap the track was drier than we expected and I decided to gamble on the slick tyres and went into the pits. The boys managed to change the tyres really quickly, but unfortunately the marshals held us at the end of the pit lane for quite a while despite the green light, so we lost quite a bit of time.
“But ultimately, it was probably too early for slicks, as it took us a while to get heat into them and the track didn’t dry as quickly as we thought.
“Unfortunately, Cian finished with a DNF and I could only end up in P4, but I at least managed to set the fastest lap of the weekend.”
Cian had been the driver to watch with six wins in the first six races – a perfect start in defence of his F3 Cup title. This time around he was joined by Chris, who took the seat of Phillip Jeans.
Both had excellent qualifying sessions, with the track dry and Chris building up his confidence on a track he hadn’t driven on in a few years. Traffic made things more difficult, but he still managed to take pole with Cian close behind him in second.
An accident in the previous race caused some barrier damage that wasn’t able to be repaired in time. It meant moving the rest of the meeting to the Island Circuit and a delay to the start of Race One.
With Chris still getting used to the different track, he lost the lead when the racing began, but then started to put on some quick lap times, taking the fastest lap on the way.
Cian set off cautiously when the racing began, unable to get any heat into his tyres and was overtaken on the chicane. But he finished third and picked up some valuable points in the title race.
Both drivers found the track drier then expected on the green flag lap of Race Two, so took to the pits to gamble on a tyre change to slicks.
But while the change was smooth, the marshals held them in the pit lane despite a green light, losing them valuable time.
When they got onto the track they found some corners soaking wet, while others dry, so it took both drivers some time to build up any momentum.
Chris managed to set the fastest lap of the weekend on his way to fourth, while Cian was left with damage to the rear of his car after hitting a barrier on turn one with four laps to go and unable to finish the race.
Chris added: “It was a bit of a mixed weekend in the end. It didn’t go to plan and some things didn’t go our way, but we still got some good points that keep us up at the top of the standings.
“There’s a break now before Silverstone in August and with Cian, Phillip and Patrick all returning we’ll look to bounce back in the next rounds. We also look forward to welcoming our new driver Dave Gillett to the team.”