Loake leads all the way in GB3 Oulton Park opener

Loake leads all the way in GB3 Oulton Park opener

JHR Developments’ Joseph Loake is the early GB3 Championship leader after a perfect start to his season at Oulton Park. The 17-year-old British F4 graduate claimed a double pole position in qualifying, and then converted that to a lights to flag race win in the opening contest. 


In the process, he also broke the outright Oulton Park circuit lap record, with his best race lap of 1m28.619s beating Lucas Foresti’s 2011 effort of 1m28.929s. In doing so, and against a hugely competitive 25-car grid, he staked his claim as a championship contender right from the off. 


Qualifying
Loake left it late to claim a pole double on his GB3 debut. His best time of 1m27.958s came on his final tour, and was the only driver to lap below the 1m28s bracket. He headed a JHR 1-2 with series returnee Matthew Rees second fastest, 0.180s behind. 


With 21 of the 25-car grid covered by less than a second, Callum Voisin took third for Rodin Carlin, just 0.010s away from Rees with Souta Arao the lead Hitech Pulse-Eight car in fourth. Arden VRD’s James Hedley and Douglas Motorsport’s Tymek Kucharczyk completed the top-six.


With the race two grid decided by each driver’s second fastest lap times, Loake’s next best effort saw him claim pole for Monday morning’s contest too, this time 0.230s ahead of Voisin, with Arao and Hedley third and fourth, while Rees was fifth ahead of Fortec’s Max Esterson.


Race one
Loake made a great start to lead the field down to Old Hall on the first lap, but was kept in check through the early stages by Rees. However a string of fastest laps, including the new outright lap record, saw him establish a lead of two seconds, only to see that wiped out when the safety car was deployed to recover the car of Arao, who had spun at the Brittens Chicane. 


Undeterred, Loake made a good restart with just a couple of minutes remaining, and had built a lead of approaching a second when the race was red flagged after a trio of cars collided at Lodge Corner. 


That left Loake as the winner, with Rees and Voisin completing the podium for the first race of the season. Behind them, Hedley enjoyed a feisty race on the way to fourth, with Kucharczyk taking fifth ahead of reigning British F4 champion Alex Dunne.


Two more GB3 races follow this weekend, with race two due to start at 09.35 on Monday morning, and the reverse grid final encounter at 13.50.


Race one winner Loake said: “Ecstatic is the best word I can think of, if that even does it any justice! I can’t believe it, it’s such a dream weekend for me. Obviously last season didn’t start the way I would’ve wanted and this season has gone exactly how I did want it. I’m so so happy to have such quick pace at the moment. It’s not easy beating some of the guys on this grid, I’m really proud of myself and the team.


“I was just maintaining the gap to start off with, then when the tyres were there I wanted to see if I could get a fastest lap. And then the chaos of whatever happened behind me, I have no idea, obviously a shame it was cut short, I wanted to go across the line to take my first win but still really happy and it’s the exact start to the season we could have wanted.”

GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park qualifying top-six:
1. Joseph Loake, JHR Developments, 1m27.958s
2. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, +0.180s
3. Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin, +0.190s
4. Souta Arao, Hitech Pulse-Eight, +0.244s
5. James Hedley, Arden VRD, +0.405s
6. Tymek Kucharczyk, Douglas Motorsport, +0.427s


GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC, Oulton Park race one top-six:
1. Joseph Loake, JHR Developments, 11 Laps
2. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, +0.473s
3. Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin, +0.619s
4. James Hedley, Arden VRD, +0.949s
5. Tymek Kucharczyk, Douglas Motorsport, +1.436s
6. Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight, +2.818s


GB3 Championship, standings after race one of 24:
1. Joseph Loake, JHR Developments, 35pts
2. Matthew Rees, JHR Developments, 29pts
3. Callum Voisin, Rodin Carlin, 24pts
4. James Hedley, Arden VRD, 21pts
5. Tymek Kucharczyk, Douglas Motorsport, 19pts
6. Alex Dunne, Hitech Pulse-Eight, 17pts


GB3 Championship, Teams’ standings after race one of 24:
1. JHR Developments, 64pts
2. Arden VRD, 31pts
3. Hitech Pulse-Eight, 28pts
4. Fortec Motorsports, 27pts
5. Rodin Carlin, 26pts
6. Douglas Motorsport, 23pts
 


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