Arden Motorsport made a strong start to life in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship after front-running performances from both Frederick Lubin and Alex Connor at Brands Hatch, Kent last weekend (22-23 May).
The Banbury-based team headed down to the 2.4-mile Kent circuit in good spirits after a positive pre-season programme with Lubin and Connor, both graduates from the team’s British F4 team, with both team and drivers ready for a fresh challenge.
After a busy day of testing on the Indy circuit on Friday, both drivers immediately set their stall out at the front of the field in qualifying on Saturday morning, locking out the fourth row of the grid in P7 (Lubin) and P8 (Connor) respectively.
Both made forward progress during the season-opening race that afternoon, moving up a spot apiece to take sixth and seventh on debut in the UK’s premier single-seater category.
With confidence growing in each session, the pair then banked the team’s first top-five finishes in the series. Lubin knocked on the door for a maiden podium in fourth, with Connor once again on his tail in fifth.
Sunday afternoon’s reverse-grid race was always likely to prove challenging with the pair at the back of a bumper 19-car field on a circuit famed for its difficulty to overtake when following other cars.
Lubin was able to improve two spots to round out the weekend in P11, with Connor maintaining P14 after a first-corner setback to ensure a clean sweep – six from six – of points finishes for the team on their debut appearance.
The pair sit fifth and 11th respectively in the standings after the opening three rounds, with Arden a respectable fourth in the Teams’ stakes.
The next round of the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship takes place on Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit in Northamptonshire on 26-27 June.
Gary Ward, Arden British F3 Team Manager said:
“We’re very pleased with our performance at the weekend. It’s our first time out in British F3 and I think both the drivers and the whole team have done exceptionally well to be up at the front from the start.
“It was nice to see the hard work we’ve all been putting in during the winter months pay off to some degree, and for both Frederick and Alex, these results should give them plenty of confidence and something to build on at Silverstone next time out.”
Alex Connor (#27) said:
"The first round at Brands Hatch was really strong for us as a team, getting some good points and making big improvements while we were there.
"The pace of the car was really good and considering I had only done four days testing in the car before the first round, I feel like it was a really positive weekend.
"Races one and two went really well for me, with P7 and P5 finishes.
"Silverstone has always been a strong track for me, with wins and pole positions in F4, I have tested twice on the GP circuit in the off-season so I'm looking forward to it although I know that it will still be a tough challenge."
Frederick Lubin (#78) said:
“Brands Hatch was a really solid first weekend in British F3. It’s not a strong circuit for me, so to come out fifth in the championship is reassuring.
“It’s all new to me and the team, we were learning about the car and the championship as we went along.
“The full reverse grids are something to get used to. I am really looking forward to Silverstone it seems like a really strong circuit for us so I’m hoping for some stronger results!”