• Daventry team signal title intentions with silverware-laden season opener.
  • Bearman impresses on debut, Faria and Grundtvig bounce back to score good points.
  • Fortec start 2021 campaign in the top three amongst Teams’ stakes, with Silverstone hosting the next event on 26-27 June.

Fortec Motorsport opened the new BRDC British Formula 3 Championship in style with a brace of podium finishes at Brands Hatch, Kent last weekend (22-23 May).

Buoyed by a positive pre-season programme with new and returning stars, the Daventry team headed south to the 2.4-mile Grand Prix circuit ready for the opening three rounds of the new campaign.

After four sessions on the Indy circuit to kick off the weekend, the 19-car field switched to the GP loop from Saturday morning, and that all-important qualifying session.

Ollie Bearman impressed on debut, securing a front-row starting slot in second, with returnee Roberto Faria fourth to put two cars up at the sharp end for the opening race. Mikkel Grundtvig was 17th in the other, but showed good pace given his lack of testing compared to the competition.

Bearman would convert that front row starting position to a podium finish on debut on Saturday afternoon to kickstart his season in fine style.

Grundtvig moved forward one spot to P16, with Faria an unfortunate retirement after contact from another car whilst battling for position put him on the sidelines.

Faria was able to battle back and score his first points of the new season with sixth in race two, whilst Grundtvig also improved once more to P15, the Danish racer gaining confidence with every lap in the car.

Bearman, meanwhile, made it ‘two for two’ and bagged another second-place finish, before banking more points with ninth in the reverse grid race.

That race gave Grundtvig invaluable experience running up at the front, and the 18-year-old duly delivered his first top-five finish in the series, with Faria moving forward through the field on a circuit famed for its difficulty to overtake in dirty air to take P12 at the flag.

The net result of all three races for Bearman is second in the standings, just four points shy of early leader Zak O’Sullivan, whilst Fortec sit third in the Teams’ points, just three markers behind the top two.

The next round of the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship takes place at Silverstone (GP) on 26-27 June.

Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:

“Overall, I think we can be really satisfied with our start to the new British F3 season at Brands Hatch last weekend.

“For Ollie to make his debut, put the car on the front row in qualifying and then walk away with two podium finishes is a superb effort, so we’re really pleased with how quickly he’s acquitted himself at this level.

“Mikkel’s pace is improving with every lap in the car. It’s important to remember just how little testing he’s had compared to the rest, let alone been in a single seater, so a top-five finish to end the weekend on a high will be a big confidence booster for him.

“Roberto’s weekend doesn’t reflect the results he deserved at all. But he bounced back well from a setback in the opening race to salvage some points from the weekend, and we’ll be working hard with him before Silverstone to ensure he’s back up at the sharp end, where he belongs.

“Thanks to the whole team for their hard work and commitment at the weekend, I think it’s put us on a good course and let’s see where we can go from here.”

Ollie Bearman said:

“I was really happy with my debut weekend in British F3. The Fortec boys did a great job and the car was on point all weekend.

“I came into the first round with no expectations having not been to the track before, but I was able to progress really quickly thanks to the guidance of the team.

“To come away with two podiums was a great start. On to the next one!”

Mikkel Grundtvig said:

“It was very nice to be back racing in formula cars again after a break of almost two years due to the COVID-19 situation.

“The weekend went very well with a P5 in Race 3 and plenty learnt. Thanks to Fortec for delivering a good car and a strong teamwork. Now it’s full focus for Silverstone!”

Roberto Faria said:

“It wasn’t the weekend we’d hoped for, but we know exactly what we need to work on to ensure we come back stronger at Silverstone next time out.

“Despite some setbacks, not all of which were in our control, it’s good to be able to start the season in the points, and I’m confident we’ll continue to build from this and bounce back quickly.

“Thanks to the team for their hard work and support across the weekend.”