Multiple Ginetta series champions Elite Motorsport began its maiden foray in the British Formula 3 Championship with four excellent top-10 results – including a podium finish – at Brands Hatch last weekend (22-23 May). The Norfolk team’s three-driver squad were all making their F3 category débuts to add to the impressive achievement – Elite lying sixth in the Teams standings.
Tom Lebbon, who won the Ginetta Junior Championship with Elite last year, posted a ninth place finish in Race 1 on Saturday then seventh on Sunday morning – missing out on sixth-place by less than one second. He rounded off an impressive F3 début weekend with 10th in the final race.
Javier Sagrera Pont, having his first races in England, finished 12th in Races 1 and 2, but lay second early on in Race 3 making the most of a new set of slick tyres – the Spaniard going on to comfortably claim Elite’s maiden BF3 podium in the 12-lap race.
José Garfias was having his first races in Europe and after retiring on lap 2 of Race 1, finished 14th in Race 2 then posted 15th in the final race of the day around the 2.43-mile Kent track. The next rounds of the BF3 are staged at Silverstone (GP) over 26-27 June.
José Garfias (MEX)Age: 16
Born/Lives: San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Car No: 99
Qualifying Position: 15th
Race 1 Result: DNF
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 15th
Race 2 Result: 14th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 5th
Race 3 Result: 15th
Latest Championship Position/Points: 18th, (8-points)
Tom Lebbon (GB)Age: 16
Born/Lives: Bury St Edmunds, England
Car No: 34
Qualifying Position: 9th
Race 1 Result: 9th
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 7th
Race 2 Result: 7th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 11th
Race 3 Result: 10th
Latest Championship Position/Points: 12th, (34-points)
Javier Sagrera Pont (SP)Age: 17
Born: Girona, Spain
Lives: Torroella de Montgrí, Spain
Car No: 3
Qualifying Position: 16th
Race 1 Result: 12th
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 16th
Race 2 Result: 12th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 4th
Race 3 Result: 2nd
Latest Championship Position/Points: 8th, (37-points)
Eddie Ives, Team Owner & Manager
“I was very happy with the team performance overall. We could have found ourselves massively out-performed in our first-ever BF3 event but we came away with four top-10 finishes and a podium. We’ll find more pace as a team as will the drivers as they too gain experience.
“Tom did a really good job in qualifying considering who he’s up against and their experience. It’s really tough to overtake at Brands with the ‘aero-wash’ these cars create running in close convoy so he did a good, mistake-free job to ninth place in the opener. His pace in Race 2 was only a couple of tenths slower than the top-four guys which was encouraging. Once Tom had generated the necessary temperature into his ‘old’ tyres and found a rhythm, his lap times in Race 3 were very impressive.
“Javier unfortunately had an off in quali which ruined the good start he’d made in practice so we put him out on older tyres in Races 1 and 2, which made life difficult for him in terms of making any kind of progress up the leaderboard. But that saved him a new tyre set for the reverse grid Race 3. A poor start meant he couldn’t challenge for the victory but nevertheless finished a solid second.
“José, contesting his first motorsport event in Europe, let alone in F3, unsurprisingly struggled a little considering his lack of experience in the car on a totally new track and who he is up against. It was a decent start to his BF3 campaign and his lap times kept improving.”
Issue date: 25/05/2021
For further information, please contact Eddie Ives, Elite Motorsport
Elite Motorsport, Park Grange, Shipdham, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 7PA
M: (+44) 07590 804865 ~ T: (+44) 01362 821579 ~