|Fortec Motorsport’s rising stars ended the 2020 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship season on a high note with silverware at Silverstone, Northamptonshire this weekend [07-08 November].
The Daventry-based outfit arrived at the 3.66-mile GP circuit – infamous as the host venue of the Formula 1 ® British Grand Prix – with Brazil’s Roberto Faria aiming to build on recent momentum alongside new team mate and F3 debutante Jonny Wilkinson.
Both drivers followed up strong pace in pre-event testing with a good qualifying result, Faria taking the headlines with a second-row start in third.
He held his ground against a host of the championship’s household names to claim fourth in the opening contest, with Wilkinson in the points on his debut in the UK’s premier single-seater category in 14th.
Faria repeated his fourth-place finish in a fog-delayed reverse-grid race on Sunday morning – but this time after cutting through the field, passing an incredible 10 cars on the way; meanwhile, wet tyres on a rapidly drying circuit worked against Wilkinson, who still did well to bring his Tatuus-built challenger home in 16th.
But it was Sunday’s final race in the build up to the British GT Championship’s blue-riband Silverstone 500 that brought the best news for Richard Dutton’s outfit.
A strong start promoted Faria from third on the grid up into second behind eventual champion Kaylen Frederick, and he went on to secure a highly-impressive maiden podium finish, despite only contesting a part-season in his rookie campaign.
Wilkinson’s efforts made it a season finale to remember, ending the triple-header with a superb ninth-placed result to end his debut weekend inside the top-ten after fantastic forward progress from the midfield.
It gives the team plenty of momentum to carry into the winter months as the focus now shifts to the 2021 season.
Richard Dutton, Team Principal said:
“The whole team is delighted with our performance in the final round of the 2020 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone this weekend.
“What’s left to say about Roberto’s performances recently? He’s done superbly; it cannot be understated how difficult coming into a championship at this level is, especially mid-season. He’s learnt quickly, taken his opportunities when they’ve come up and really deserves this maiden podium.
“We’re also very impressed with how Jonny’s acquitted himself on his debut weekend, and to end it inside the top-ten amongst the championship’s front-running names just demonstrates how quickly he’s adapted from tin-tops back to single-seaters.
“We’d love to work with both drivers again going forward, and it really gives the team a boost heading into 2021.”
Roberto Faria (#7) said:
“I’m very pleased to end the season with my maiden podium in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.
“Our pace has been fantastic this weekend; from the start of testing, through qualifying and into the races, we’ve always been up at the front and competing with the championship contenders.
“It’s a really encouraging sign heading into the winter and looking ahead to 2021, and coming through the field like we did in race two shows that the foundations are now there to build for the future.
“Thanks to the whole team for their hard work and support, as usual, and well done to Jonny on making such a strong start to his British F3 career.”
Jonny Wilkinson (#18) said:
“There are so many positives to take out of my first weekend in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.
“I’m really pleased with how everything has gone; to be in the points twice with minimal testing and lots to learn is really encouraging, and I think we definitely held our own against drivers with a lot more experience – and results – to their name.
“The only race we didn’t move forward, I was on the wrong tyre compound, so I think we can safely say it’s been a success, and we’ve got a really good platform to work from going forward.
“Thanks to the whole team for their efforts, and helping me acclimatize, and well done to Roberto on a maiden podium, it’s well-deserved!”