Ushijima fastest in British F3 Qualifying at Silverstone

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Credit: Jakob Ebrey

Reece Ushijima topped the times in Qualifying for Hitech GP as the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship began its weekend at a Silverstone on Saturday morning.

Arden Motorsport‘s Frederick Lubin was fastest on Thursday morning’s second pre-event testing session and on Friday afternoon, with Ushijima, Roberto Faria and Javier Sagrera sharing the top of the timing sheets across the six sessions.

The three Carlin cars of Christian Mansell, Championship leader Zak O’Sullivan and Bryce Aron set the early pace in Qualifying, before Faria went fastest for Fortec Motorsport.

Faria’s team-mate Mikkel Grundtvig and Douglas Motorsport‘s Reema Juffali spent time at the top of the table as times fell towards the halfway stage of the session.

Ushijima and Hitech team-mate Bart Horsten sat first and third with eight minutes remaining, sandwiching Lubin.

Mansell then improved to second, with O’Sullivan and Faria also moving up the order in the second half of the session.

Horsten then set the fastest time with a 1:56.160, less than a tenth clear of Ushijima.

Reema Juffali shot up to P12, moving ahead of five drivers before José Garfias (Elite Motorsport) also improved.

Garfias’ team-mates Tom Lebbon and Javier Sagrera moved up to P10 and P4 respectively, while Ayrton Simmons moved ahead of Grundtvig for Chris Dittmann Racing.

Frederick Lubin went fastest in the dying minutes, going just under a tenth ahead of Ushijima and continuing his promising pace from pre-event testing.

Ushijima responded with a 1:55.908 on his final lap, one of only two drivers to drop below 1:56’s in qualifying. He also took pole for Race 2 with his second-fastest lap.

The other man in the 1:55’s was Zak O’Sullivan who leapfrogged Lubin to go six hundredths behind the Hitech driver.

Bart Horsten, Roberto Faria and Javier Sagrera were next, with Carlin’s Christian Mansell just three thousandths behind Sagrera.

Dexter Patterson (Douglas) and Alex Connor (Arden) were nearly two tenths ahead of Sebastian Alvarez (Hitech) and Elite’s Tom Lebbon who took 11th.

Garfias qualified 12th, with Bryce Aron (Carlin) just over a hundredth behind, and Simmons almost a tenth behind the American driver.

Mikkel Grundtvig, Juffali and Max Marzorati rounded out the Qualifying times, with the Chris Dittmann Racing driver taking pole for Race 3.

Each driver’s fastest time will be used to set the grid for Race 1, with each driver’s second-fastest lap determining Race 2’s starting order.

Race 3 will be an entirely reverse-grid affair this season, with drivers needing to have lapped within 103 per cent of the fastest time in Qualifying to make the grid.

Race 1 will be at 3:25pm on Saturday, with Races 2 and 3 at 10:10am and 4:15pm on Sunday respectively.

You can follow all the action on The Checkered Flag.

2021 Silverstone GP Qualifying Results:

113Reece UshijimaJPNHitech GP1:55.908
251Zak O’SullivanGBRCarlin+0.061
378Frederick LubinGBRArden Motorsport+0.133
450Bart HorstenAUSHitech GP+0.252
57Roberto FariaBRAFortec Motorsport+0.329
63Javier SagreraESPElite Motorsport+0.344
721Christian MansellAUSCarlin+0.347
855Dexter PattersonGBRDouglas Motorsport+0.461
927Alex ConnorGBRArden Motorsport+0.486
1012Sebastian AlvarezMEXHitech GP+0.646
1134Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport+0.695
1299Jose GarfiasMEXElite Motorsport+1.029
1323Bryce AronUSACarlin+1.042
1418Ayrton SimmonsGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.138
1543Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport+1.301
1610Reema JuffaliSAUDouglas Motorsport+1.323
1781Max MarzoratiGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.363
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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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