Super Sunday for Brits in international feeder series08 September 2023
The British contingent is always well represented across international motorsport series, but last weekend was a particularly good one for those in Formula 2, Formula 3 and Moto2, with wins for UK competitors in each of the three categories.
A composed drive from Ollie Bearman in Formula 2 Having recovered well in the Sprint Race – from P12 on Lap 1 to sixth at the flag – and qualified second for the Feature Race, Ollie Bearman’s pace was the topic of conversation at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
With a strong launch from the front row, Bearman pressured pole-sitter Théo Pourchaire into Turn 1 and through Curva Grande, finally making the move stick at the della Roggia chicane. With Prema teammate Vesti in the barriers before the first Lesmo, the action was halted when the first of many Safety Cars was deployed.
Bearman aced the restart and held a comfortable margin over Pourchaire, until a second Safety Car appearance on Lap 7. The two leaders opted to pit at this stage, and although they got a little too close for comfort in the pitlane, they re-joined as they were, albeit in fifth and sixth behind the alternative strategy runners.
The race resumed on Lap 12 and Bearman wasted no time in dispatching Isack Hadja and then Jack Doohan into Ascari. At that point, the arrival of a third Safety Car brought Ayumu Iwasa and Jehan Daruvala into the pits elevating Bearman back into first position.
Another perfect restart on Lap 16 saw Bearman streak into the lead. By the time Pourchaire had overtaken Doohan two laps later, Bearman had a 2.5-second lead which he maintained until the Safety Car was brought out once more on Lap 24.
Lap 27 saw another faultless restart for Bearman as Iwasa moved past Pourchaire at Turn 1 to take second. With three laps remaining, Bearman had extended the gap to 1.8 seconds over Iwasa, at which point the fifth and final Safety Car of the race was deployed. The race finished behind the Safety Car meaning Bearman took his fourth win of his rookie season after the double in Baku and the Feature Race win in Barcelona.
All British podium in Formula 3 Feature RaceIn the FIA Formula 3 season finale which crowned Gabriel Bortoleto as its champion, it was three British drivers whose light shone brightest. After qualifying, Jonny Edgar was fourth, Zak O'Sullivan was seventh, Luke Browning was ninth and Taylor Barnard was P10. You’d be forgiven then, for thinking that a triple podium was off the cards. As soon as the Feature Race got underway though, the British drivers were on a mission.
In the opening skirmishes, Edgar made his way into second, O'Sullivan to fifth and Barnard survived Turn 1 contact to move up to eighth before the race was neutralised by a Safety Car.
With the race back underway, O'Sullivan went three-wide down the main straight and made it past the duelling Paul Aron and Bortoleto to take third. On the same lap, Edgar got past Caio Collet to take the lead before another Safety Car hit pause on proceedings.
On the restart, Edgar defended well from Collet to maintain the lead whilst Barnard had made progress up to fifth, before passing Leonardo Fornaroli for fourth with an audacious move around the outside of Ascari.
At the start of Lap 12, Collet retook the lead from Edgar before the pair switched places again the following lap, shortly before another Safety Car deployment.
During the next restart, Edgar’s defensive tactics proved beneficial for his compatriot, as he fended off Collet at Turn 1 enabling O'Sullivan to pull alongside and into second. O'Sullivan attempted a move for the lead into the della Roggia chicane but was unable to make it stick.
Following another Safety Car period, the field was left with just one lap to settle things. Other than O'Sullivan having to fend off Collet early in the lap, the top two remained untroubled at the front. It was Edgar who provided the late action with a superb move around the outside of Lesmo 1 to take third from Collet. At the flag, it was Edgar who took victory from O'Sullivan – who secured second in the drivers’ standings – and Barnard completing a lauded all-British podium.
Jake Dixon strikes at the opportune moment with second Moto2 winAfter breaking his duck at the Dutch TT and with his future still being linked with the MotoGP grid, Jake Dixon put in a stellar performance at the Catalan GP when it mattered most.
After sitting outside the top ten for most of qualifying, Dixon hit the top of the timesheets with two minutes on the clock and took pole at the end of the session.
The British rider did well to convert pole, enjoying an entirely clean run into the first corner. Despite a failed overtake attempt from Manuel González on Lap 2, Dixon held his nerve and rode calmly and consistently in the early laps.
With 17 Laps to go, Gonzalez made a decisive move to get past Dixon at Turn 1 and Arón Canet followed him through into second. Then, with 12 laps remaining, championship leader Pedro Acosta made his way past Dixon. Still, the Brit retained his composure and rode his own race.
As the laps ticked down, Dixon wanted to keep the top two in check so got past González for third with 9 laps to go. Just 3 laps later, Dixon joined the leading duo who became embroiled in a battle for the top three positions.
A dive down the inside of Turn 10 saw Dixon snatch the lead from Canet with just 4 laps remaining, and although the Spaniard piled on the pressure in the final tours, Dixon remained unphased to claim his second Grand Prix victory.