Hitech Racing will be eager to put the disappointment of Thruxton behind it when it travels south to Brands Hatch for Rounds 13 and 14 of the British F3 International Series this weekend. The reigning champions have taken three pole positions this season but have been unable to convert them into race wins. With BRDC Superstar Max Chilton, who also took a podium first time out, and rapid Austrian Walter Grubmüller, who topped the testing times last time out, the team hopes this weekend will mark a turnaround in fortune.
Following a season in which Marko Asmer dominated the championship winning 11 of the 22 races en route to the title, the Buckingham-based team with two relatively inexperienced drivers head to Kent determined to put that right. For Chilton from Reigate, the Brands Hatch circuit is his ‘home’ track and one on which he has previously enjoyed considerable success.
“I love the Brands Hatch circuit it’s one of my favourites and one where I have always gone well and won several times in T-Cars. The last few races haven’t produced the results I would have liked but still I am very much looking forward to racing there this weekend and confident of being able to repeat the podium finish at least.”
For 19 year-old Grubmüller, like Chilton in only his second season in the top flight single-seater championship, 2008 has had its ups and downs. A consistent pre-season testing performance put the Buckingham-domiciled Austrian firmly at the sharp end of the time sheets.
At the first rounds in April he converted that into two third place starts and a strong fifth place result. In the last two tests he has topped the time sheets in both wet and dry sessions and now knows he needs to transfer that pace into the crucial qualifying sessions.
“The race pace is there and I have been consistently quick in testing. But for some reason I’ve just not been able to repeat that in qualifying and so in the races I’m having a lot more work to do to get any results. At Brands I need to focus on that and get some good qualifying laps in so I can hopefully get my first podium.”
The Hitech Racing team holds the outright F3 lap record at the Kent track set by BMW Sauber F1 test driver Asmer last season. As this year’s season enters the second half of the year with the championship still very much wide open, the David Hayle-led team is focusing its attention to re-establishing itself as a race winner and leading title contender.
“For us it’s a good thing that the races so far have been won by so many different drivers as it ensures the title battle is still open,” said David. “At this point last season, we had a massive points advantage and it would have been hard for anyone to catch us, so we have to remain positive about what is possible to achieve.
“We had a successful test at Pembrey straight after Thruxton and we’re confident that come Friday’s test and more importantly Saturday qualifying both Walter and Max will be right on the pace again. They have both regularly shown they have the necessary speed and they are more than capable of outright victories so we will endeavour to leave Brands this weekend with four good strong results.”Click here for the Max Chilton web site - designed and built by Racecar