Lebbon records his first BF3 podium & Elite’s second of the season
Elite Motorsport head to the only overseas BRDC British Formula 3 Championship event of the season in Belgium later this month and placed fifth in the Teams’ standings after the latest rounds last weekend (10-11 Jul). Tom Lebbon earned the Norfolk team its second podium – the Reigning Ginetta Junior champion’s first – while Tom, Javier Sagrera Pont and José Garfias all combined to score six top-10 placings at Donington Park. Sagrera Pont moves up two places to sixth in the Driver’s standings, Lebbon leaps up three positions to ninth while Garfias lies 17th.
Qualifying staged on Saturday morning was incredibly close as usual, with 0.591secs covering the top-seven cars around the 2.49-mile Leicestershire track. Sagrera Pont and Lebbon both equalled their best quali positions of the season with fourth and seventh respectively while Garfias claimed a 13th place start for Race 1.
Sagrera Pont completed lap one in third with Lebbon also gaining a place into sixth. Javier challenged for second place at times with Tom pressing for P5, Sagrera Pont taking third at the chequered flag after 12-laps although Lebbon lost a place on the final lap.
However, officials later deemed Sagrera Pont had started from outside of his prescribed grid position so received a 10secs time penalty, dropping the Spaniard to ninth, which in turn moved Lebbon back up to sixth. Garfias spent much of the Race 1 hovering either just inside or outside the top-10, José taking 11th at the flag on Saturday afternoon.
For Sunday morning’s Race 2, Sagrera Pont, Lebbon and Garfias lined-up in fourth, ninth and 14th places respectively on the 17-car grid. All three Elite cars found themselves shuffled back in the opening laps with Sagrera Pont, Lebbon and Garfias fighting over fifth, 11th and 14th places at mid-distance. At the finish following 17mins of close, hard, and unforgiving racing, Sagrera Pont claimed fourth, Lebbon scored his seventh top-10 result of the season in 10th while Garfias netted 12th.
In the reverse grid Race 3, Garfias started P5 with Lebbon and Sagrera Pont in 10th and 13th places all on “used” tyres, José gaining a place on the opening lap while Tom and Javier both moved up three places. Lebbon swept into sixth place prior to a Safety Car after three laps while Sagrera Pont pitted from 15th to replace a damaged front nose. Immediately at the re-start, Garfias challenged for third but found himself “mugged” down to seventh within a few corners.
Lebbon lay fourth with 10mins remaining, the back of a three-car dice for P2 and survived a grassy moment on the penultimate lap to record his maiden podium with a hard earned third place while Garfias dropped down to 10th after incurring a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, one-place ahead of Sagrera Pont who set the race’s fastest lap to claim the Sunoco Award for the overall quickest race lap over the entire weekend. The next rounds of the BRDC British F3 Championship are staged at the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps track over 24-25 July.
José Garfias (MEX)Age: 16
Born/Lives: San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Car No: 99
Qualifying Position: 13th
Race 1 Result: 11th
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 14th
Race 2 Result: 12th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 5th
Race 3 Result: 10th
Latest Championship Position/Points: 17th, (61-points)
Tom Lebbon (GB)Age: 16
Born/Lives: Bury St Edmunds, England
Car No: 34
Qualifying Position: 7th
Race 1 Result: 6th
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 9th
Race 2 Result: 10th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 10th
Race 3 Result: 3rd
Latest Championship Position/Points: 9th, (109-points)
Javier Sagrera Pont (SP)Age: 17
Born: Girona, Spain
Lives: Torroella de Montgrí, Spain
Car No: 3
Qualifying Position: 4th
Race 1 Result: 9th
Start Race 2 Position (based on driver's second fastest qualifying lap): 4th
Race 2 Result: 4th
Start Race 3 Position (reverse of Race 1 finishers): 13th
Race 3 Result: 11th+Fastest Lap
Latest Championship Position/Points: 6th, (117-points)
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 ~ E: firstname.lastname@example.org