Browning sees off Granfors challenge to win GB3 Race 1 at Spa

2 Mins read
Credit: Jakob Ebrey

Luke Browning took yet another win to aid his GB3 Championship title challenge in Race 1 at Circuit du Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

The Hitech GP driver started on pole, ahead of Joel Granfors and Max Esterson, with Cian Shields rounding out the second row.

Alex Connor, Callum Voisin, Nico Christodoulou and James Hedley came together exiting La Source on the opening lap, putting Christodoulou and Hedley out immediately and bringing out the safety car.

Before the safety car came out, though, Granfors was able to make the most of the slipstream down the Kemmel Straight to jump Browning into Les Combes and take the lead.

Connor pitted with front-right suspension damage at the end of Lap 1, falling to the back of the reduced 20-car field which followed the safety car through the endurance pitlane while Christodoulou’s Arden Motorsport car was recovered.

McKenzy Cresswell had enjoyed his best qualifying session of the season on Friday, but it went to waste as he lost his front wing exiting La Source at the restart on Lap 3.

Browning got back through for the lead at the same place Granfors took it from him two laps earlier, while Branden Oxley got down the inside of Shields into the Bus Stop chicane at the end of the lap.

Shields re-took the position at Les Combes, but forced Cresswell across the runoff and over the sausage kerb.

Browning went into the weekend hoping to extend his 11-point Championship lead, and wasted no time in breaking away from Granfors once he was through, setting the fastest lap on Lap 5.

As expected, all the overtaking opportunities came at La Source, Les Combes and the Bus Stop, with most of the midfield squabbling for the entire race.

Tom Lebbon had a huge lock-up into Les Combes while defending from Javier Sagrera, running across the run-off.

Browning held on to win by six seconds ahead of Granfors and Branden Oxley, who inherited the podium thanks to a track limits penalty for Cian Shields, with Max Esterson and Lebbon rounding out the top five.

GB3 Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Results:

15Luke BrowningGBRHitech GP9 laps
250Joel GranforsSWEFortec Motorsport+6.095s
368Branden OxleyGBRChris Dittmann Racing+9.347s
442Max EstersonUSADouglas Motorsport+9.584s
534Tom LebbonGBRElite Motorsport+9.986s
631Javier SagreraSPACarlin+10.822s
76Cian ShieldsGBRHitech GP+11.846s
835Callum VoisinGBRCarlin+12.751s
94Bryce AronUSAHitech GP+12.891s
1011Marcos FlackAUSDouglas Motorsport+13.793s
1153Matthew ReesGBRJHR Developments+14.479s
127Roberto FariaBRACarlin+16.591s
1364Nick GilkesCANHillspeed+17.869s
1477David MoralesUSAArden Motorsport+20.862s
1516Tommy SmithAUSDouglas Motorsport+21.628s
1643Mikkel GrundtvigDENFortec Motorsport+25.412s
1721Zak TaylorGBRFortec Motorsport+28.446s
1827John BennettGBRElite Motorsport+1:05.715s
198McKenzy CresswellGBRChris Dittmann Racing+1.25.058s
2032Alex ConnorGBRArden Motorsport+1 lap
2167James HedleyGBRJHR DevelopmentsDNF
2222Nico ChristodoulouCANArden MotorsportDNF
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Stickler for track limits, covering the GB3 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship. Twitter: @MCallanderMedia
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