Elite Motorsport’s Tom Lebbon and Hitech GP’s Cian Shields raced to maiden single-seater victories in Sunday’s two GB3 contests at Silverstone.
Lebbon pulled off a brave move on race one winner Joel Granfors at Maggotts on the first lap of this morning’s race two, and led from there as the 2020 Ginetta Junior champion marched to victory.
Shields meanwhile started second on the grid for race three but took the lead on the run down to Copse on the first lap, and then withstood big pressure from Hillspeed’s Nick Gilkes to win only his sixth race out of karting.
After yesterday’s race win, another podium and then a fighting drive in race three means Fortec’s Granfors leaves Silverstone as the championship leader.
Granfors started race two on pole, and though he led down to the first corner, Lebbon found a way to squeeze past through the flat out entry to Maggotts.
Lebbon managed to build a lead of around a second, but Granfors reeled him back in, only for the Elite Motorsport driver to stretch it back out in the final two laps, as he claimed his first victory in the championship in his second season.
Then-championship leader Luke Browning claimed his second podium of the weekend with third place, clear of Douglas Motorsport’s Max Esterson, who was fourth again.
Carlin duo Callum Voisin and Roberto Faria emerged on top of a thrilling midfield scrap between four other drivers to claim fifth and sixth.
Starting from second on the race three reverse grid, Shields made the better start to out-drag polesitter David Morales on the run to Copse, with Gilkes following through.
The race quickly became a battle between those two, with Gilkes never letting Shields out of his sights. The gap between the pair was as close as two tenths of a second starting lap seven, but the Hitech contender kept his nerve to win by 0.434 seconds.
Gilkes nevertheless claimed his first podium finish with second for Hillspeed, with Shields’ teammate Bryce Aron also taking a first podium courtesy of a double overtake on Morales and Tommy Smith at Brooklands on lap four.
Morales just missed out on a second successive race three podium with fourth place, while Javier Sagrera (Carlin) and McKenzy Cresswell (Chris Dittmann Racing) made good progress up the order to take fifth and sixth from tenth and twelfth respectively on the grid.
Granfors stole the championship lead courtesy of a stunning drive from 20th and last on the grid to ninth, earning 11 points for overtaking plus seven for his finishing position. He heads Browning by just three points heading to Donington Park on 28/29 May.
Race two winner Lebbon said: “It felt really good to be honest, I controlled the race quite well, I think. First win for both me and the team in GB3, so I think that’s a good result.
“The move into Maggotts and Becketts, it was quite a good move. I got a bit of a run on Joel and managed to make my way through into the right-hander, got the lead from there and controlled it. It’s a good result for the team, in the Teams’ championships as well as the Drivers’ championship.”
Race three winner Shields said: "It’s amazing to be honest, I never expected this in the first year so I’m extremely happy. I couldn’t ask for better [from Hitech], they’re always spot on with the set up and they always seem to get there in the end, so I can’t thank the team enough.”
GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone race two top-six:
1. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, 10 laps
2. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, +1.013s
3. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, +2.882s
4. Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport, +8.409s
5. Callum Voisin, Carlin, +10.311
6. Roberto Faria, Carlin, +13.607
GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Silverstone race three top-six:
1. Cian Shields, Hitech GP, 10 laps
2. Nick Gilkes, Hillspeed, +0.434s
3. Bryce Aron, Hitech GP, +3.248s
4. David Morales, Arden Motorsport, +5.575s
5. Javier Sagrera, Carlin, +7.342s
6. McKenzy Cresswell, Chris Dittmann Racing, +7.485s
GB3 Championship, standings after race six of 24:
1. Joel Granfors, Fortec Motorsport, 127pts
2. Luke Browning, Hitech GP, 124pts
3. Roberto Faria, Carlin, 95pts
4. Tom Lebbon, Elite Motorsport, 92pts
5. John Bennett, Elite Motorsport, 83pts
6. Max Esterson, Douglas Motorsport, 74pts
GB3 Championship, Teams’ standings after race six of 24:
1. Hitech GP, 205pts
2. Fortec Motorsport, 194pts
3. Elite Motorsport, 185pts
4. Carlin, 172pts
5. Douglas Motorsport, 128pts
6. Chris Dittmann Racing, 121pts
Image: Lebbon crosses the line