Welsh racer Matthew Rees claimed a trio of top-ten finishes in the GB3 Championship at Silverstone over the weekend (July 30/31), scoring a valuable haul of points as he aims for a strong finish to the season.
In a tight qualifying session where just 0.351s separated the BRDC SuperStar from the pole sitter, fine margins made all the difference, with the 17-year-old disappointed not to bank a stronger lap time on the challenging Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
The JHR Developments driver was eager to score good points in the first race of the weekend and that he achieved by scoring an eighth-place finish in a contest where overtaking proved to be challenging and much of the running was fairly processional.
Despite the threat of rain for the second race of the weekend, held on Sunday morning, Matt drove well, dropping back a position off the line but quickly making several good overtaking moves to climb up to sixth, where he crossed the line.
The final contest, featuring the reversed grid, meant Matt started 12th but he was able to demonstrate his skill and ability behind the wheel, passing rivals all over the 3.66-mile circuit. Closing in on Zak Taylor, an early move may have helped the Motorsport UK Academy member claim a podium finish, but he was also having to defend while trying to attack, ultimately gaining six places to make it a hat-trick of top ten finishes.
There is now a summer break for the GB3 Championship, before racing resumes on the tricky Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of September 10/11. As there is little testing available throughout the year on the Kent venue’s longer layout, it means many drivers will have their first laps of the 2.6-mile track during qualifying.
G1 – 8, R1 – 8
G2 – 7, R2 – 6
G3 – 12, R3 – 6
Championship: 7 (212.5 points)
“There were really close margins in qualifying – a tenth separated five people. There were quite a few mistakes on my part; I’d say not making the gap big enough for a second lap wasn’t brilliant, so we ended up with P8 and P7. Race one we raced on the first lap and then the nature of the circuit sets in, and you can’t really do much after that. Maybe on the last lap I could have had a move but the rest of it was just trying to keep pace with the pack and we did alright with that, so there are positives and negatives to take away. Around Silverstone you can make up time through the corners whereas Spa was a bit hit and miss. It’s nice that we’re near enough the pace and if you manage to close it’s due to cornering ability and not down to power all the time.
“My start was fine for race two, but I lost a position to [Roberto] Faria. I went around Christodoulou through Maggotts and Becketts, then at Stowe I was fighting with [John] Bennett and went round the outside of him at Vale and Club, which gave us sixth position. I kind of stayed there because of the nature of the circuit, you can really fight on the first two laps, but after that it’s a bit of follow the leader.
“It was a decent recovery from what it could have been not the best weekend, so it was quite good. It was still strong, and we were there or thereabouts with people who are fighting for podiums.
“Race three was very difficult as I accidentally went into third gear instead of second at the start and [Roberto] Faira went around me. After that, it was just picking my way through one by one, seeing the cars go off, seeing the mistakes people were making, and always capitalising on it. I think we did a good job moving up to P5 just behind [Joel] Granfors and [Zak] Taylor but I didn’t manage to clear Taylor in time before [Callum] Voisin and [Luke] Browning passed me. Sixth wasn’t a bad result and it’s a positive thing to move forward with into the next round. I think we’re just missing the small details that we lack compared to other teams but we’re working on it and there are still two rounds left for the year. Hopefully we can get a pole as it’s a lot easier to win from there rather than P4.”