- Fortec Motorsport leave Donington Park with a brace of podium finishes
- Joel Granfors takes pole position and another podium to lead title race
- Second podium for Mikkel Grundtvig in final race
Joel Granfors and Mikkel Grundtvig added another brace of podium finishes to the season tally for Fortec Motorsport in the latest three races of the 2022 GB3 Championship at Donington Park last weekend (28/29 May).
The Daventry team entered the third meeting of the season brimming with positivity, after a pole position and maiden victory for Swedish rookie Granfors at Silverstone earlier in the month.
Fortec Motorsport’s three-car assault arrived at Donington Park’s 1.9-mile GP circuit with the squad hopeful of extending their newfound lead in the Drivers’ Championship, and they started strongly with Granfors topping several test sessions across Thursday and Friday ahead of the weekend’s qualifying session.
That session would be hotly contested throughout, and a rapid late effort by Granfors put the British F4 race winner top of the times by a narrow 0.019s margain – the top 13 cars separated by less than a second in qualifying. Zak Taylor was not far away in 16th in the second Fortec Tatuus MSV-022 while Grundtvig, a double winner with Fortec last year at the same Donington circuit, was similarly close on pace, but lined up 20th for race one.
Granfors made the best of his pole position by hanging onto his advantage in a feisty battle with Matthew Rees on the opening lap, leading the way heading into McLeans. Unfortunately, slight contact on the corner exit damaged his rear suspension, leading to an early retirement. Taking up the starring role would be Taylor instead, and a blinding start moved him up into the top 10 as he dodged incidents around him, battling it out with Rees to take eighth place. He would drop back behind his rival, but held on to claim ninth place, Grundtvig climbing four places in his charge.
Granfors would be the team’s best-placed competitor for race two on Sunday, put third on the grid with results based on second-fastest times in qualifying. Despite being boxed in at the first corner, the Swede made a brave move on Callum Voisin at the exit of Old Hairpin to climb back into the podium places, bringing home a first podium of the weekend for the team as he chased title rival Luke Browning to the chequered flag.
After finishing the second race 17th, Grundtvig had the chance to add to the silverware tally in the reverse grid race, placed on the front row for the third contest. The Danish driver fought to grab the lead into the first corner and defended hard to keep Branden Oxley at bay at Redgate, but soon settled into fourth spot which would become third after a false start from a rival ahead.
A fine defensive display meant he could add a second podium of his season and Fortec’s fifth of the year in the GB3 Championship, while Granfors crucially gained 11 spots to finish 10th and with it, take back the championship lead by one point. Taylor, who finished race two in 16th place, had fought equally as hard to grab his best result of fifth place, but was later excluded from the results.
A mere 20 points cover the top four in the Teams’ Championship, which Fortec Motorsport hope to overcome when the team heads to Snetterton for the next three races of the 2022 GB3 Championship over the weekend of 25/26 June.
Oliver Dutton, Team Manager said:
“A weekend filled with ups and downs for us as a team, which started brilliantly when Joel grabbed pole position on Saturday. He was unfortunate to be involved in an incident in race one battling for the lead, but he made up for it with a podium and then a great drive in race three. Very happy for Mikkel to get his second podium with solid pace, and Zak fought hard all weekend to try and get a result he knows he’s capable of.”
#21 Zak Taylor
“I didn’t quite have the pace across the whole weekend from my point of view, so race one and that last race were much better and I tried everything I could to keep my position. It was more promising, and I’m still learning week in, week out to improve and get results for the team.”
#43 Mikkel Grundtvig
“I took a chance in race three at the start to go on the outside, but it didn’t quite pay off and I had to defend my position down to turn four where I got pushed wide. I kept my head down and if we had a few more laps I’m confident I could have made up more ground. I’ll take those results, and it’s nice to show that I had the pace.”
#50 Joel Granfors
“I had good pace at Donington all weekend both in practice and qualifying, and then also in the races. Race one was a bit unfortunate but we were lucky that Browning also got caught in it. We’re now one point ahead and the second and third races were very important to keep us right up there as we certainly have the pace everywhere now.”