Max Esterson took his first podium in the GB3 Championship in a chaotic Race 1 at Donington Park on Saturday.
He came home third for Douglas Motorsport‘s second podium of the year, behind the Carlin pair of Callum Voisin and Roberto Faria.
The American driver profited from a collision between Joel Granfors and Matthew Rees at McLeans after the pair spent much of the first ap side-by-side.
Granfors was out on the spot after spinning across the track but Rees was able to recover to ninth.
“Bit of a rough start, I fell down to sixth but luckily in front of me there was a big crash I wasn’t involved in.
“I snuck through and had the quickest lap when I was in traffic. Of the three of us, with the two ahead of me I think I was quickest, just got stuck in some dirty air.
“Good to get that first podium and we start first tomorrow.”
Though Esterson was disappointed with his start, it may have been a blessing as Luke Browning ahead had to take to the gravel to avoid Granfors, and broke his suspension before hitting the inside barrier.
“I made it through but a big piece of gravel came at my helmet, but besides that all good.”
The Red Bull-backed driver struggled in the season opener at Oulton Park, but had two fourth-place finishes at Silverstone and feels his season is heading in the right direction.
“It’s getting better, definitely good progression. Pretty rough start at Oulton, barely being able to get into the top ten. I think here, on raw pace I think we’re probably quickest.
“It’s obviously tight at the top but it’s just all about track position and getting to the front.”
He starts from his first pole position in Race 2 on Sunday morning, that grid being determined by each driver’s second-fastest time in Qualifying.
“As long as I get a good start I think I’ll be good to go.”