TEAM NEWS: Walter Grubmüller finished sixth in the first of two British Formula 3 International Series races at Brands Hatch on Sunday and backed it up with eighth in the second. His team-mate Max Chilton recovered from an accident in the opening race, to take an amazing tenth place in race two, despite an injured right foot.
Austrian Grubmüller started from seventh for race one and a good getaway from the lights enabled him to get past a slow-starting Sebastian Hohenthal off the line. Thereafter a solid run by the 19 year-old netted him the third fastest race lap, underlining his pre-event pace at the Kent track. In the second race, Walter started from 12th and a lightening start catapulted him past his young team-mate Max Chilton and John Martin.
Over the remaining laps of a fairly uneventful second race, Walter drove a steady race in ninth until the final lap when an error by Marcus Ericsson had him spin out of second place. This elevated Walter to eighth place and his second points-scoring finish of the day.
“I made a good start and moved up a place at the start when Seb stalled. After that it was pretty uneventful though. I followed Ericsson for pretty much the whole race but he drove very defensively and it’s very hard to pass here. So it was just a case of bringing it home. The car was great and allowed me to set some quick laps. In race two I made another good start and got two places and I had to push hard to keep (Michael) Devaney behind but I couldn’t get close enough to the cars ahead.”
For BRDC Superstar Chilton, the day’s opening round had looked likely to earn him a points scoring finish. A superb start enabled him to pass Henry Arundel, Hohenthal and Nick Tandy off the line but before the completion of the opening lap the 17 year-old had lost a place to Brendon Hartley at Druids.
On lap eight, John Martin found a way past at Surtees, relegating the Reigate teenager to tenth. Two laps later Max’s race came to an abrupt end after running wide on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend and clouting the tyre wall. An incident involving Alistair Jackson at Surtees requiring the safety car to be deployed subsequently resulted in the race being red flagged after just 16 laps.
Max’s incident injured his right foot and damaged the front of his Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA but the Hitech mechanics did a sterling job to get his car back on track for race two. At the lights the youngster was held up by a slow starting car ahead allowing two cars to pass him. A brave run through the race though netted him tenth place and a vital championship point.
Max Chilton: “It was all going to plan in race one. I’d made an awesome start and when Arundel in front bogged down off the line and Hohenthal got a bad start, I managed to get past them and Nick Tandy and I was already up to seventh. However, on lap 11 I ran wide at Paddock and got into the gravel and ending up clouting the wall, hurting my foot.
”By the second race though the adrenalin had kicked in and I didn’t feel a thing. I got bogged down behind someone off the line and lost two places. Then I was behind Devaney but you can’t follow anyone here as you lose all your aerodynamics. But still I got a point which is something.”