Ushijima claims maiden victory
Hitech GP’s Reece Ushijima started the Silverstone weekend securing a double pole position in the BRDC British F3 qualifying, which he converted to victory in the opening race of the weekend. Ushijima headed home Carlin’s championship leader Zak O’Sullivan, with Bart Horsten completing a good day for Hitech GP with third place.
Japanese-American driver Ushijima left it late in qualifying to secure his first ever British F3 pole positions. His best lap came with just 20 seconds left on the clock, and was just six hundredths of a second quicker than O’Sullivan, who claimed second on the grid ahead of Arden’s Frederick Lubin. Horsten was fourth quickest, a quarter of a second off pole, with Javier Sagrera fifth for Elite Motorsport and Christian Mansell sixth for Carlin.
Just three quarters of a second covered the top-11 drivers on the grid, despite Silverstone being the second longest circuit on the calendar. Ushijima’s second fastest time meant he also secured pole for race two tomorrow morning, as he headed the second fastest timesheets by almost two tenths of a second over Lubin, with O’Sullivan third.
In Race one Ushijima made a strong start from the pole position, cutting across the front of O’Sullivan to ensure he led on the run down to Copse on lap one. The Japanese driver held the upper hand through the first half of the race, extending a gap of over a second to the British driver by the mid-point. But on lap seven O’Sullivan carved the gap down to half a second, and then threatened until the end of the race, with Ushijima taking his first British F3 win by just 0.382s.
Horsten was combative on the first lap to move past Lubin, and claimed third. The Australian finished less than a second further back, having been over three seconds in arrears at the end of the opening lap. Sagrera, Faria and Dexter Patterson completed the race one top-six.
Ushijima moves up to second in the championship standings following his win, just 11 points behind leader O’Sullivan, heading into tomorrow’s two races.
BRDC British F3 Championship, Silverstone race one top-5
1. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, 10 laps
2. Zak O’Sullivan, Carlin, +0.382s
3. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, +1.352s
4. Javier Sagrera, Elite Motorsport, +6.250s
5. Roberto Faria, Fortec Motorsports, +7.306s
BRDC British F3 Championship, top-5 drivers’ standings after race four of 24
1. Zak O’Sullivan, Carlin, 107pts
2. Reece Ushijima, Hitech GP, 96pts
3. Oliver Bearman, Fortec Motorsports, 74pts
4. Christian Mansell, Carlin, 62pts
5. Bart Horsten, Hitech GP, 60pts
BRDC British F3 Championship, top-5 teams’ standings after race four of 24
1. Carlin, 170pts
2. Hitech GP, 169pts
3. Fortec Motorsports, 134pts
4. Elite Motorsport, 101pts
5. Arden Motorsport, 99pts