Brands Battles Could Clinch Championship
Sebastiani and Kelly could decide the outcome of the 2017 championship in Kent this weekend
This weekend (9/10 September) will see the penultimate weekend of the 2017 F3 Cup Championship, which arrives at the revered Brands Hatch GP circuit for two races, with the championship still very much up for grabs.
Current leader Jacopo Sebastiani had a perfect weekend last time out at Snetterton, collecting a hat-trick of wins. Despite leading the standings, these were actually his first outright wins of the year, proving that consistency is very much the key, as he has rarely finished off the podium this season.
His only real challenge for the title remains the University of Wolverhampton Racing's Shane Kelly. The student-run team has had mixed fortunes this year; after a dominating start at Donington, less-than-ideal finishes at Silverstone slowed down their title hopes but they remain in contention. After losing out on the 2016 title by a single point, the team will be pulling out all the stops this weekend to maximise their points haul and take the title battle to the final rounds.
Stuart Wiltshire enjoyed a more successful weekend at Snetterton after switching back to his favoured F308. Although mathematically out of the running for overall honours, he will be keen to improve on his fifth place in the 2016 standings and will be one to watch this weekend. Robbie Watts is another regular who has had mixed fortunes, but a number of podium finishes have seen him rise to fourth overall.
Last year's champion George Line scored his first podium last time out, his F308 seeming to find its form again in Norfolk. He is closely followed in the standings by Irishman Cian Carey, and Wade Eastwood. Although Eastwood joined the championship late this year, he has certainly left an impression, scoring five wins across two weekends at Silverstone.
Chris Dittmann Racing will field an impressive number of cars this weekend - in addition to Carey, the team will run Gino Ussi, Phillip Jeans, Jonathon Hughes and Chris Dittmann himself as they aim to maximise their points haul for the Teams' Championship. They will have their work cut out however, as CF Racing matches their number with Tony Bishop supplementing Line, Wiltshire, Sebastiani and Eastwood.
Team Fox will see the return of Daryl Jones, adding to their tally of Robbie Watts and Mark Harrison. The single independent this weekend is Dave Gillett in his F308.
F3 Cup will qualify at 10:25 on Saturday, followed by race one (20 minutes) at 14:50. Race two (20 minutes) will take place at 11:25 on Sunday. Live updates and timing will be available at www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE