Brands Hatch - Weekend Preview
F3 Cup visits the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend
Another healthy F3 Cup entry convenes to take on the challenges of the legendary Brands Hatch GP circuit this weekend. Just five races remain this season, leaving no room for mistakes among the title contenders.
Aaron Steele heads the points table in his Grays Motorsport car after a strong showing at Snetterton in very difficult conditions. He is not yet home and dry in the title race however; the challenges of Stuart Wiltshire (Chris Dittmann Racing) and Jacopo Sebastiani (Omicron Motorsport) are still ever present.
Certainly in with a shout of a Championship podium are both Daniel Tapinos in his CF Racing Dallara, and Louis Hamilton Smith, who along with Aaron Steele and Henry Chart must be a candidate for race wins this weekend. Chart rejoined the Championship at Snetterton and took an excellent Cup class win in the third race. He dominated the Oulton Park round at the start of the season, and Brands Hatch GP will probably also be to his liking.
Nonetheless, in terms of being first to take the chequered flag they will all have to deal with Carlin's new find, Zach Claman de Melo. The Canadian stormed to three race wins at Snetterton, although since he runs in the Invitation class he is not in the points equation for the Championship.
The Cup class is joined this weekend by Matt Payne, bringing out his smart, family-run Dallara F307 Mercedes for the second time this season, plus Graham Read who is trying out a newly acquired Piedrafita-engined F306, which will feel very different to his usual and very quick motorbike-engined Monoposto Dallara. Geoffrey Hoodless also joins the grid for the first time this season with his lovely Invitation class Ralt, while in the Trophy class Adrian Holey is again running his Wally Liles-tended Dallara F300.
The Teams Championship in F3 Cup is currently headed by Chris Dittmann Racing, who are freshly motivated by their recent BRDC Formula 4 wins. However one of their regular F3 Cup drivers, Tony Bishop, has elected to concentrate on his Monoposto campaign at this meeting so they are relying on Stuart Wiltshire to maintain their points position ahead of Omicron Motorsport and CF Racing.
With the F3 Cup field sharing a packed Monoposto grid at this meeting, both drivers and spectators are going to need to pay close attention as the leading F3 and Mono 2000 cars thread their way through the traffic. It's going to be a busy weekend!
Words: Simon Davey