• Fortec Motorsport add another podium to their name in Kent
  • Joel Granfors heads to season finale as part of two-man title fight
  • Mikkel Grundtvig out of luck after qualifying dramas

Fortec Motorsport endured a battling weekend in the GB3 Championship’s penultimate meeting last weekend (10/11 September) at Brands Hatch GP circuit but remained firmly in the title hunt with one round remaining.

The penultimate meeting of the season began in sombre circumstances after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II just days prior, with racing at Brands Hatch going ahead as originally intended and Fortec fielding a two-car entry for Joel Granfors and Mikkel Grundtvig.

Swedish rookie Granfors headed to Kent leading the championship after a second win of the season at Silverstone most recently, and after topping official testing the week before, he secured a front row start for the team in race one of the weekend on Saturday in a tight qualifying session that put him ahead of his main title rival.

The battle turned to race one later that afternoon, but wheelspin from Granfors on the higher outside line cost him two spots at the start before the Swede fought back at Druids to pass John Bennett on the counter attack heading down the hill. He immediately set sights on title rival Luke Browning with two attempts to overtake around the outside on cold tyres, settling into third place.

It would be where he remained until the chequered flag, confirming a 15th podium finish of the season for Fortec Motorsport ahead of Sunday’s double header.

Granfors started third for the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning, and again found himself in battle with Browing in the opening three corners. On the outside in a three-abreast scenario heading out of Graham Hill Bend, he would have to settle into fourth place where he remained until the flag, despite having briefly gotten the better of Matthew Rees heading to Hawthorns.

The British F4 race winner would be Fortec’s lead car in the frenetic reverse grid race from a lowly starting spot of 18th, and two rapid first lap efforts resulted in a net gain of nine places after moving up six initially, then three more after a red flag stoppage. Damage picked up to his front wing would be costly however, and the Fortec car tumbled down the order with the subsequent lack of downforce.

Out of luck in qualifying after the fire extinguisher activated in his car during qualifying, team-mate Grundtvig was forced to start from the back of the grid in all three races across the weekend.

The Danish racer – also a two-time winner for the team this season – fought to make up ground in all three encounters, climbing a brace of positions in the opening race before fighting it out in Sunday’s two contests to make it into the top 20 at a circuit notoriously difficult to overtake around. The final race chaos gave him the chance to make his best recovery of the weekend, charging up to 16th place by the time he saw the chequered flag.

Fortec Motorsport remain third in the Teams’ Championship, while Granfors gives the team a chance at title glory with a 15.5-point deficit to trim in the Drivers’ table ahead of the final visit of the year to Donington Park on 15/16 October.

Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:

“It wasn’t the weekend we had hoped for unfortunately, particularly for Mikkel who was out of luck in qualifying and that scuppered his weekend. Joel was also very unlucky in the last race as he was fast all the way through the weekend, but what matters now is that we’re right in the title hunt still, and it’ll go all the way to the wire. We’ll come out fighting in the season finale.”

#43 Mikkel Grundtvig

“It was a weekend filled with bad luck. With the fire extinguisher going off in qualifying without having the possibility to put in any laps, the rest of the weekend was difficult. But anyway, I once again learned a lot and I take all the positives out of it. Now we focus for the next and last round at Donnington.”

#50 Joel Granfors

“It’s been a tough weekend points-wise due to the last race where we scored zero. The speed has been good all weekend again but the points were unfortunately not quite there. Now we are looking forward to Donington. We were quick there last time around with a pole position and good speed so everything is going to go down to the last three races.”