Arden Motorsport claimed their first podium finish in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship courtesy of Alex Connor after an encouraging weekend (26-27 June) at Silverstone.
The Red Arrows made the trip short trip across from Banbury to their ‘home circuit’ in Northamptonshire buoyed by a strong start to life in the UK’s premier tier of single seater racing at Brands Hatch a month prior.
The pace of Frederick Lubin and team-mate Connor in pre-event testing was clear for all to see, including the quickest and second-quickest times respectively in the opening session, fuelling expectation ahead of a bumper weekend of action around the full Grand Prix layout.
Their fortunes differed in qualifying, with Lubin securing a career-best third whilst Connor battled to 11th, but the Dubai-based Brit was on form in race trim.
A tight battle in the opening curves resulted in Lubin being forced into a trip across the grass. With debris in the radiator ducts, the 16-year-old pitted to have it removed.
Recovering to the circuit in clear air he used the remaining laps of the race to reduce the gap to the pack, but with a lot of ground to make up.
Connor, meanwhile, made solid progress through from his sixth row starting slot to bank another top-ten finish in seventh.
Lubin bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment to score an equal career-best fourth in the middle contest, also recording the fastest lap of the race, with Connor again inside the top ten with ninth at the chequered flag. He had finished fifth, but a post-race penalty demoted the 17-year-old back to his starting slot.
The reverse grid race proved to be the highlight of the weekend as both Red Arrows charged their way through the field; Connor passed five cars en route to second and kept eventual winning Simmons under race-long pressure at the front, with Lubin moving up seven spots to make it a clean sweep of points finishes for the team in seventh.
That marked Arden’s first podium in the series, in only their second weekend of competition, and helped the team stay in touch with the sharp end of the Teams Championship standings.
The series resumes at Donington Park, Leicestershire over the weekend of 10-11 July.
Gary Ward, Arden British F3 Team Manager said:
“Although it was unfortunate to not be there to see it, I’m absolutely delighted the team has secured a first podium in British F3 at only our second event. It’s a real testament to the work the drivers and everybody behind-the-scenes has put in to get to this point so quickly.
“Hopefully we can continue this positive start to the season next time out at Donington Park, and I’m sure this is just the start.”
Alex Connor (#27) said:
“This weekend finished on a really positive note for me and the team. It started off with a bad qualifying, which put us on the back foot for all the races.
“The second race on Sunday was disappointing after managing to move forward from ninth to fifth, only to be demoted back to ninth again after a penalty.
“However, race three certainly made up for it after coming away with a second placed finish, and a first podium in British F3 for both myself and the team.
“Hopefully we can repeat this at Donington Park and come away with more silverware!”
Frederick Lubin (#78) said:
“Silverstone was an incredibly up and down weekend. We had so much pace, the car was incredible and the team worked super hard all weekend.
“Saturday was extremely disappointing, but Sunday was much better and I managed to salvage back some points. I think there were a lot of positives to take away and a lot of lessons learnt.
“I can’t wait to move on to Donington Park in a couple of weeks’ time.”