Fortec Motorsport’s Joel Granfors enjoyed a faultless Saturday at Silverstone, as the 2022 GB3 Championship resumed at the home of the British Grand Prix.
The Swedish driver claimed two pole positions in qualifying, and made full use of the first by leading every lap to claim his first GB3 Championship victory.
Granfors set his best lap with just his third tour of the circuit in the 20-minute qualifying session, and his effort of 1m53.086s was 2.7 seconds faster than any lap recorded at the circuit in the championship last year.
Granfors had a one-second advantage when he set his lap, and while the others managed to chip away, he still claimed pole by over three tenths of a second. Elite Motorsport’s Tom Lebbon was second fastest ahead of Hitech GP’s championship leader Luke Browning.
Roberto Faria (Carlin) and James Hedley (Elite) set exactly the same time, while Max Esterson (Douglas) completed the qualifying top-six.
Granfors also claimed pole for race two with his second best time, which was just 0.035s slower than his fastest effort. He topped that particular timesheet with a three tenth margin over Lebbon again.
Granfors made the most of his pole position to lead the field down to Copse on the first lap. An early battle between Lebbon and Browning behind him allowed the Swede to lead the first lap by almost two seconds, while Browning made a move stick pass on Lebbon at Vale for second.
From there, Browning was just the faster of the pair, trimming a tenth or two off the lead on most laps. They were almost nose to tail on the last tour, but a late slide at Club cost Browning momentum, leaving Granfors to take the flag just three quarters of a second clear and claim a first victory.
Behind Browning, Lebbon claimed his first podium of the season, while Douglas Motorsport’s Max Esterson secured a best result of the year so far with fourth at the venue of his Walter Hayes Trophy triumph.
Elite Motorsport pair James Hedley and John Bennett completed the race one top-six, with Bennett maintaining his ultra-consistent start to life in single-seaters.
Browning holds a 19-point advantage at the top of the standings heading into tomorrow’s two races, with Granfors moving up to second ahead of Faria.
Race one winner Granfors said: “It got closer towards the end. At the beginning I had a two second gap and at a few places I was just counting how close he was. And then towards the end he started catching up a bit but then it was too late.
“Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow, try and pull away in the beginning and keep that gap.”
GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone qualifying top-six:
1. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, 1m53.086s
2. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +0.325s
3. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +0.437s
4. Roberto Faria, Carlin, +0.528s
5. James Hedley, Elite Motorsport, +0.528s
6. Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport, +0.587s
GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone race one top-six:
1. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +0.721s
3. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, +5.738s
4. Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport, +8.800s
5. James Hedley, Elite Motorsport, +9.320s
6. John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, +11.069s
GB3 Championship, standings after race four of 24:
1. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, 99pts
2. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, 80pts
3. Roberto Faria, Carlin, 78pts
4. John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, 64pts
5. McKenzy Cresswell, Chris Dittmann Racing, 57pts
6. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, 54pts
GB3 Championship, Teams’ standings after race four of 24:
1. Fortec Motorsport, 138pts
2. Hitech GP, 133pts
3. Elite Motorsport, 119pts
4. Carlin, 109pts
5. Chris Dittmann Racing, 96pts
6. Douglas Motorsport, 87pts