DRIVER NEWS: Top Leicester racing driver Stephen Jelley moved back up to fourth place in the British Formula 3 Championship points standings with another podium finish at Brands Hatch today.
After a disappointing couple of races, Stephen was relieved to return to the top three, in which he was a regular fixture earlier this season.
The key to this weekend's success was a good qualifying effort on Saturday, which ensured his place on the front row for today's first race. The seemingly unbeatable championship leader Marko Asmer was the only man to go faster than Jelley, who drives for the Raikkonen Robertson Racing team.
After a good start, it was easy enough for Stephen to remain in second place and take a valuable 15 points. He led home his team-mate Jonathan Kennard as Kimi Raikkonen's junior team took two of the three podium spots.
Race two was compromised by a handling imbalance in the second qualifying session, which prevented Stephen from securing any better than seventh place on the starting grid. At the end of a quiet race he finished sixth, right behind the fifth-placed driver Niall Breen but unable to overtake him despite his speed advantage. As with many Formula 3 circuits, Brands Hatch is difficult for overtaking and that prevented Stephen from making much progress.
Although Asmer is running away with the championship, second place remains very much within reach with five meetings still to go. Just eleven points cover Maro Engel, Sam Bird and Jelley in the second, third and fourth respectively.
"We've moved up again this weekend, having outscored everyone except Asmer, so there's definitely all to play for," said Stephen. "It's a pity that the car oversteered so much in the second qualifying session – without that it could have been two podiums and we would just about be back in second place. But it's a relief to have gotten back on the podium in the first race, because that's where I belong!"
The next rounds of the championship take place at wide-open Spa-Francorchamps, the home of the Belgian Grand Prix. The races will be run on July 27/28.