Wins for Hedley & Mavlyutov as Loake cements early GB3 championship lead

Wins for Hedley & Mavlyutov as Loake cements early GB3 championship lead

James Hedley and Daniel Mavlyutov claimed maiden GB3 victories on Monday at Oulton Park, while a podium in race two and a surge up the order in the concluding contest means Joseph Loake leaves Oulton Park as the early championship leader.

Race two
Changeable weather was a significant factor of today’s racing, with heavy rain falling on the formation lap and necessitating a delayed start while cars changed tyres either in the pit lane or on the grid.

When the race got underway, pole sitter Loake made a good start, but Hedley from fourth made an even better one and shot up to second place. Loake held a small advantage after the first lap, but Hedley caught and passed him at Lodge at the end of lap two, and proceeded to pull away. 

Establishing a lead of nearly three seconds, the race appeared to be in the bag for the Arden VRD driver, but Rodin Carlin’s Callum Voisin, who had started second, was determined to regain the position and passed Loake on lap five.  

He then began carving into Hedley’s lead, and brought it down to just 1.5 seconds at the flag, but ultimately ran out of time in his pursuit, leaving Hedley, who only confirmed his drive for this weekend in the middle of last week, as an overjoyed winner.

Behind the top-two, Loake, whose car was more suited to dry conditions, held on to take third, less than a second clear of Fortec’s Max Esterson, with Hitech Pulse-Eight duo Michael Shin and Souta Arao completing the top-six.

Race three
With all drivers lapping within 103% of the fastest lap, all 25 competitors were reversed on the grid for the final race, putting Hillspeed’s Daniel Mavlyutov on pole.

Mavlyutov withstood the tricky changeable conditions to make a decent start, but saw his early charge wiped out by the safety car, brought out due to a start grid collision and a turn one accident.

When racing resumed, Mavlyutov held the lead but another mid-pack collision brought out the safety car. That stayed on track until the end of the race, with Mavlyutov taking the win from Elite’s Ayato Iwasaki and Fortec’s Edward Pearson. 

When green flag conditions allowed, plenty of drivers found ways to make significant progress, none more than Loake, who cemented his championship lead by rising from 25th on the grid to 12th at the end of the race. 

Loake’s win, podium and race three effort means he holds a five-point lead at the top of the early standings after three races. Hedley sits second with Voisin third despite his DNF in race three. The results of both races remain provisional, pending further investigations. 

The field are back in action again at Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit on 6-7 May.

Race two winner Hedley said: "We had a bit of time to reflect [on Saturday’s race] and even though I was happy with fourth, I was saying to my Dad last night I really want a win, I did qualify fourth so I’ll make the most of that and collect the points this weekend. I didn’t expect to get the win so early. Big thanks to Arden VRD, without them and my sponsors I wouldn’t even be here to get this opportunity. Absolutely mega, I can’t believe it.”

Race three winner Mavlyutov said: “I was just hoping there would be a lot of safety cars. The first safety car restart was quite good, I got a good gap, and the guys behind me got a bit of wheelspin. Then some guys went off, it worked in my favour, that’s motorsport, a good day today.”

Championship leader Loake, who broke the Oulton Park lap record on Saturday said: “It’s pretty special, obviously these cars are so, so quick, and it’s pretty mental to be able to drive one of these in the first place. This is a really special moment for me and not something I was expecting coming into this weekend. All the way through pre-season I was struggling a bit but the struggles were worth it and I think that’s shown this weekend. The pace has been really strong and I’m really happy.”

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park race two top-six (provisional):
1. James Hedley, Arden VRD, 10 Laps
2. Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin, +1.528
3. Joseph Loake, JHR Developments, +6.480
4. Max Esterson, Fortec Motorsports, +7.398
5. Michael Shin, Hitech Pulse-Eight, +15.930
6. Souta Arao, Hitech Pulse-Eight, 19.069

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park race three top-six (provisional):
1. Daniel Mavlyutov, Hillspeed, 9 laps
2. Ayato Iwasaki, Elite Motorsport, +0.718
3. Edward Pearson, Fortec Motorsport, +1.509
4. Michael Shin, Hitech Pulse-Eight, +2.395
5. Jarrod Waberski, Fortec Motorsport, +2,932
6. Costa Toparis, Rodin Carlin, +3.697

GB3 Championship, standings after race three of 24:
1. Joseph Loake, JHR Developments, 76pts
2. James Hedley, Arden VRD, 71pts
3. Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin, 53pts
4. Michael Shin, Hitech Pulse-Eight, 52pts
5. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, 51pts
6. Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight, 40pts

GB3 Championship, Teams’ standings after race three of 24:
1. JHR Developments, 129pts
2. Arden VRD, 101pts
3. Hitech Pulse-Eight, 101pts
4. Rodin Carlin, 88pts
5. Fortec Motorsport, 87pts
6. Elite Motorsport, 43pts

Image:  Hedley makes a crucial move for the lead in race two / image credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

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