Chris Dittmann Racing enjoys successful BRDC British F3 weekend at Silverstone

by Nathan Hine
Ayrton Simmons in parc ferme after winning race three at the Silverstone GP circuit

Ayrton Simmons had a strong weekend in the 2019 BRDC British Formula 3 weekend at the Silverstone GP circuit as the Chris Dittmann Racing driver scored his first win in the series, added to the fact that he scored two other top five finishes in what was by far the best event of the season for the Epping racer.

At the same time, his team-mate Nazim Azman managed three solid points-scoring finishes, achieving a best result of sixth in the second race of the weekend which has moved the Malaysian racer to within two points of the top ten in the championship standings.

It was not just his speed that impressed, but the way that he was able to overtake cars with ease during the reverse-grid race as the Chris Dittmann Racing driver made his way from seventeenth to fifth place in the duration of the ten lap race. Added to his win in race three and his podium in race one saw him accumulate the biggest point score of any driver over the course of the weekend.

Team Principal Chris Dittmann was delighted with the outcome, “It was a fantastic weekend all round. Race 2 was brilliant, with Ayrton charging through the field from seventeenth to finish fifth to take home a good haul of points. Nazim finished sixth from eighth and showed some great pace too, with both drivers having a great battle for about half a lap.”

It was a positive performance for the Chris Dittmann Racing pair, and qualifying set the tone for the rest of the weekend with Simmons managing a career-best second on the grid, while Azman secured a solid thirteenth on the grid for the opening race.

Race one saw a great showing from both men with Simmons swapping positions with Neil Verhagen for the first half of the race before the Epping-born racer decisively past the American around the outside of Stowe and into the braking zone of Club corner.

However, despite taking two seconds out of race leader Clement Novalak in the second half of the race, there was some frustration as Simmons was awarded a four second time penalty for passing Neil Verhagen while having all four wheels off the track which meant that he was ultimately classified third.

Azman meanwhile demonstrated solid pace throughout and wound up in eleventh place as the Malaysian racer continues to accumulate experience in this series.

But race two was even better with brilliant performances from both drivers led to an exciting battle between the pair at the end of the race with Simmons rising through the order to ultimately finish fifth and Azman just one place further behind in sixth.

The final race of the weekend finished with a win for Chris Dittmann Racing as Ayrton finally claimed his first BRDC British Formula 3 victory despite finishing third on the road. But with penalties for both Verhagen and Novalak for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage, they were both awarded with five second time penalties.

This meant that with Simmons able to hold off Fortec Motorsports driver Johnathan Hoggard for the entire duration of the race, Simmons secured his first win in this category.

While Azman put in another solid performance, the Malaysian racer was awarded a ten second penalty in race three for making contact with Lucas Peterssen, thus meaning that the Malaysian racer was classified down in sixteenth position.

Despite the weekend being plagued by a couple of irritating penalties, the mood at Chris Dittmann Racing was one of delight and now means that Simmons has closed to within 45 points of the championship lead while Nazim Azman is only a couple of points off tenth place in the championship after three race meetings.

So reflecting on a successful Silverstone outing, team principal Chris Dittmann added, “There were some strange penalties for both drivers but ultimately it was a hugely successful weekend for them. Both drivers put in some outstanding performances.

“It was fantastic for Ayrton to get his and the team’s first British F3 win, and I’m sure there will be plenty more victories to come.”

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