Championship battle lines to be drawn in Norfolk
The 2019 F3 Cup title fight goes down to the wire at the final round at Snetterton this weekend (19/20 October)
As is almost a championship tradition, the 2019 F3 Cup title fight goes down to the wire at the final round at Snetterton this weekend (19/20 October). Many previous champions have claimed their spoils in Norfolk, and a number of drivers arrive at the circuit in contention for the honours.
Having been at the forefront all year, reigning champion Cian Carey heads into this last weekend at the top of the standings. The Chris Dittmann Racing (CDR) driver’s pace has never been in doubt, but a couple of DNFs through the season have held him back from wrapping up the title early. The Irishman would become the first driver in the championship’s history to win back-to-back titles, an honour which will undoubtedly spur him on.
Carey’s main rival comes in the form of the University of Wolverhampton Racing, and their pro driver Shane Kelly. The team have finished within touching distance of the top spot in every year they have raced in the championship – could 2019 be their season? The student-run team will be pulling out all of the stops to get their man to the top of the podium this weekend.
George Line currently sits third in the table, but unfortunately won’t be out at Snetterton. Darragh Daly trails him by just six points, so is likely to leapfrog him this weekend. 81 points behind Carey, Daly’s title hopes are slim but with a maximum of 95 points available this weekend and great pace last time out at Donington Park, he shouldn’t be ruled out.
A fair gap appears in the table from there, to Stefano Leaney in fifth place. Leaney’s pace is unquestionable, with a string of podiums including overall wins through the year. His early campaign was fought in the Invitation Class, meaning points were unavailable, but now a front runner in the Cup Class he could very easily upset the cart for the championship contenders.
CF Racing team mates Tony Bishop and Stuart Wiltshire line up next, in their distinctively liveried cars. The squad currently leads the Teams’ standings from CDR, but the margin is tight and their contributions this weekend will be essential to claiming the crown again.
CDR will field three further drivers to earn those points: Patrick Jeans, whose pace is strong but has been forced to miss the last three rounds, Gino Ussi, an F3 Cup stalwart who made a welcome return earlier this year after some time away, and Dave Gillett in his fabulous grey and yellow Dallara F312.
As usual at Snetterton, the drivers will have three races this weekend to bring home those all important points, so expect some very fast laps alongside close racing this weekend, with battles throughout the field. The 2019 Champion will be crowned on the podium after the final race on Sunday afternoon.
For live timing and updates across the weekend, head to www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE or the social media channels, @F3Cup.