- Fortec Motorsport grab back the lead in Drivers’ Championship
- Joel Granfors takes second win of the season in Northampton
- Zak Taylor and Mikkel Grundtvig battle it out for more points
Fortec Motorsport fought back in style with a crucial race victory in the sixth meeting of the GB3 Championship last weekend (30/31 July) at Silverstone to move back in front in the title fight.
After a challenging meeting only a week prior at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the Daventry team returned to the circuit at which they were victorious back in May looking to hit back in the title chase, with three wins so far this season to their name.
Signs that number could change seemed more likely after lead driver Joel Granfors topped both days of testing in the run-up to the weekend’s racing at the home of British motorsport, the Swedish youngster having superbly taken his first pole position and victory at Silverstone two months ago.
The team focused their attentions on Saturday’s critical qualifying session hoping to challenge for the top spot on the grid, and they would be right in the running throughout thanks to Granfors. The British F4 race winner was rapid in a tight session, putting his Fortec Tatuus MSV-022 on the front row of the grid, with team-mates Mikkel Grundtvig and Zak Taylor starting further back in 18th and 19th respectively.
When the lights went out to start the first of the weekend’s three races later that afternoon, a blinding getaway from second on the grid for Granfors gave him the chance to attack pole-sitter Callum Voisin into Copse for the first time. The Swede bravely went side-by-side with Voisin through the ultra-fast Maggots-Becketts complex with neither wanting to give an inch, Granfors taking the lead and proceeding to edge out a gap in the early laps of the race.
The margin extended out to almost three seconds, and he was able to ease home to snatch the team’s fourth victory of the season and his second, trimming a significant chunk of points out of Luke Browning’s championship lead in the process. Taylor and Grundtvig battled hard within the pack, with intra-team honours going the way of Taylor in 19th as the pair crossed the line together.
From third on the grid, another lightning start in race two moved Granfors up to second spot, but he would lose out to Voisin after a safety car restart. Granfors’ chance came at the very end of the race, when contact between the top two cars gave the Swede his chance as he tailed the limping pair across the line to narrowly miss out. Third was enough to inherit the championship lead, Grundtvig climbing up to 17th place while an incident unfortunately removed Taylor at Brooklands.
Both would have their chance for silverware in the final race of the weekend, as a difficult qualifying would play into their favour with the reverse grid implemented. A podium finisher for the first time in Belgium a week prior, former British F4 racer Taylor started on the front row in second place, a spot ahead of the second Fortec Motorsport car of four-time race winner Grundtvig, and would lead the way initially with a superb start. The race soon became a tight affair as Taylor lost out at the end of lap one, while a charging Granfors made up eight places in the opening lap having started back in 18th on the reversed grid.
The championship leader continued his charge by passing Grundtvig and another rival for eighth, and was quickly inside the top four after a fierce battle opened the door ahead. The Swede next turned attentions to Taylor in third, surpassing his team-mate on the Hangar Straight to seal a treble podium in a race where he gained a dizzying 15 places. Taylor lost out in the eye of the storm and finished 10th, Grundtvig taking eighth by the chequered flag.
Fortec Motorsport remain third in the Teams’ Championship after another winning weekend, while Granfors gives the team a 14.5-point lead in the Drivers’ table ahead of the visit to Brands Hatch GP circuit on 10/11 September.
Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:
“We can be very proud of that weekend and it could prove a crucial one in the title fight. Spa dropped us back, but now we’ve had our luck turn and Joel was decisive when he needed to be. Another win was important, and all three showed their fight in the final race which was a heart-in-mouth one for all of us!”
#21 Zak Taylor
“I was fighting issues all weekend unfortunately. We fought as hard as we could in the final race. We got the lead at the start, but then found ourselves right in the battle and came off on the wrong end of the fights in the end. I’m looking forward to Brands Hatch now and hopefully we can do well there.”
#43 Mikkel Grundtvig
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but I think I showed that I was up for the fight and wasn’t going to give up in the last race of the weekend. We’ll always keep fighting, and I will do the same again at Brands Hatch.”
#50 Joel Granfors
“It’s felt amazing this weekend. The last race, it felt like everything was going my way and I found gaps almost everywhere as it just opened up for me. I just went for it and gained 10 places on the first two laps, so then I thought I could go for the podium. In the last couple of laps of race one the tyres were completely going off but we had done enough then. We’ve had great pace, so we’ll carry on and keep pushing.”