British F3 Testing: Ushijima and Lubin top Thursday morning sessions

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey

The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship returns to the Silverstone GP circuit this weekend, and the drivers were out on track testing on Thursday morning.

Reece Ushijima (Hitech GP) went fastest in the first session, two tenths clear of Alex Connor, with the Arden Motorsport man a further two tenths ahead of Ushijima’s team-mate Bart Horsten.

The front two rows were made up by Hitech and Arden, with Frederick Lubin setting a 1:56.592 around the GP circuit for fourth place.

Championship leader Zak O’Sullivan was fifth for Carlin, just behind Lubin and less than half a tenth clear of Javier Sagrera (Elite Motorsport).

The other two Carlins of Bryce Aron and Christian Mansell ran line astern in seventh and eighth, while Sebastian Alvarez (Hitech) and Tom Lebbon (Elite) rounded out the top ten.

There was a four-tenth gap between Lebbon and Max Marzorati for Chris Dittmann Racing, the British driver leading Dexter Patterson (Douglas Motorsport) and Mikkel Grundtvig (Fortec Motorsport).

Reema Juffali and Brands Hatch race-winner Ayrton Simmons followed in 14th and 15th.

Jos√© Garfias stopped on track which out the red flag temporarily; the Mexican was unable to set a representative time in the opening 45 minutes of testing, but finished ahead of Fortec’s Roberto Faria who didn’t set a time.

Fortec’s third car, reserved for Ollie Bearman, will be absent from Silverstone this weekend as he looks to hold onto his Italian F4 championship lead at Vallelunga. His absence will surely mean he will slip from second place in the British F3 standings after the second meeting of the season.

2021 Silverstone GP First Test Session Results:

113Reece UshijimaJPNHitech GP1:55.965
227Alex ConnorGBRArden Motorsport+0.215
350Bart HorstenAUSHitech GP+0.420
478Frederick LubinGBRArden Motorsport+0.627
551Zak O’SullivanGBRCarlin+0.639
63Javier SagreraESPElite Motorsport+0.676
723Bryce AronUSACarlin+1.144
821Christian MansellAUSCarlin+1.176
912Sebastian AlvarezMEXHitech GP+1.236
1034Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport+1.273
1181Max MarzoratiGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.687
1255Dexter PattersonGBRDouglas Motorsport+1.781
1343Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport+1.914
1410Reema JuffaliSAUDouglas Motorsport+2.147
1518Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing+2.680
1699Jose GarfiasMEXElite Motorsport+4.967
177Roberto FariaBRAFortec MotorsportNo time set

The second session began at 10:40am, with Ushijima again setting the early pace before Horsten usurped his team-mate by just over a tenth.

Javier Sagrera went top shortly afterwards with a 1:56.473, a tenth ahead of the Arden pairing of Connor and Lubin.

Dexter Patterson shot up to second with 13 minutes remaining, half a second behind Sagrera, before Ushijima went top for the second session in a row with a 1:55.997, marginally slower than his fastest time in Session 1.

Lebbon, Simmons and Alvarez all gained several positions with good laps in the final 12 minutes, while Aron moved up six places with a 1:56.591 to go sixth.

Lubin went top with a 1:55.903, before Bart Horsten flew to the sharp end of the times with a 1:55.752; his Hitech team-mate Ushijima held station in third as drizzle hung in the air.

Not to be denied for long, Ushijima did set the fastest time again, going nine thousands ahead of Horsten, before Frederick Lubin and Horsten traded the top spot.

The Australian set a 1:55.601 to go over a tenth clear of Lubin, while O’Sullivan and Alvarez made moves in the upper midfield.

The Arden driver went faster still with five remaining, becoming the first to drop under a 1:55.5 on Thursday morning.

Roberto Faria recovered from not setting a time in Session 1 to go four tenths behind Lubin in seventh, the highest-placed of the two Fortec cars running this weekend.

O’Sullivan ended the session fourth, ahead of an impressive Patterson and Sebastian Alvarez, putting all three Hitech cars in the top six.

Faria stayed seventh, ahead of Connor and Aron, with Javier Sagrera rounding out the top ten.

Christian Mansell was 11th after his first taste of EuroFormula Open action at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, ahead of Simmons, Lebbon and Marzorati.

Garfias, Juffali and Mikkel Grundtvig rounded out the times for Thursday morning.

2021 Silverstone GP Second Test Session Results:

178Frederick LubinGBRArden Motorsport1:55.497
250Bart HorstenAUSHitech GP+0.081
313Reece UshijimaJPNHitech GP+0.244
451Zak O’SullivanGBRCarlin+0.353
555Dexter PattersonGBRDouglas Motorsport+0.388
612Sebastian AlvarezMEXHitech GP+0.438
77Roberto FariaBRAFortec Motorsport+0.460
827Alex ConnorGBRArden Motorsport+0.589
923Bryce AronUSACarlin+0.620
103Javier SagreraESPElite Motorsport+0.790
1121Christian MansellAUSCarlin+0.877
1218Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.081
1334Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport+1.083
1481Max MarzoratiGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.356
1599Jose GarfiasMEXElite Motorsport+1.436
1610Reema JuffaliSAUDouglas Motorsport+1.440
1743Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport+2.702
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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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