- Dan Mason
BRDC British F3 Podium Finish For Bart Horsten In Silverstone Thriller
Bart Horsten grabbed his first podium of the 2021 BRDC British F3 Championship season in an intense second meeting at Silverstone GP circuit, showing strong pace with a third place finish and a charging drive through the field.
The Australian driver, competing in his second season in the UK's leading single-seater championship, headed to Silverstone looking to convert his front-running pace into results and he duly left the meeting with a trophy to his name.
Showing more signs of his strong pace from the season opener at Brands Hatch GP in May, Horsten - backed by The Web Guys, Time and More UK with Briston Watches and Sim Rigs UK - traded consistently quick times with his rivals over two days of testing prior to the weekend, and upped his game in the crucial qualifying session.
Saturday's 20-minute timed session was one that Horsten remained in the top four of for much of proceedings, moving to the head of the timesheets with five minutes to go. He would unfortunately be one of many drivers to suffer from track limits-induced time deletions, still salvaging a strong fourth on the grid with his next best effort.
The Hitech GP racer put all his focus into the opening race of the day later that afternoon, and a feisty first lap ensured he challenged Frederick Lubin on multiple occasions before making a lunge into Village stick to give him third place.
A four-second gap was still to make up as a result of the delay, but a string of fastest laps later moved him right into contention, finishing hot on the heels of the lead duo by the time the 10-lap contest reached the chequered flag.
For race two on Sunday morning, Horsten was forced to start from 15th on the grid following the track limits decisions made in qualifying, but it gave the EP Warmfloor, Carl Ford Accountancy and Kapow! Your Personal Brand and Business Coach-backed driver a chance to show his race craft.
Starting on used tyres, it did not hold the Australian back as he charged through the field into the top 10 by the end of the third lap of the race. Attacking his team-mate Sebastian Alvarez to move into ninth, he then rounded up Tom Lebbon and chased after the battle for fifth.
A lunge around the outside of Christian Mansell at Village in the scrap completed a fine recovery to finish sixth overall. This meant he started the reverse grid final race of the weekend in 14th, with the benefit of a better set of tyres he used in qualifying.
Unfortunately, Horsten would not reach the finish of the race, but it took nothing away from an encouraging weekend of racing, with a good points haul moving him to ninth in the championship standings.
Bart Horsten:"It's a shame what happened in qualifying as it put us a bit on the back foot, but otherwise I feel we showed great pace with the car and proved we can be contenders.
"A couple more laps in that first race and we would have been in with a great chance of even winning. The car started really nervous with the changes we made but they came on so well towards the end of the race, and we were definitely the fastest car by the time the chequered flag came out.
"I wanted to be a star on Sunday from where we started both races, and despite having a used set of tyres, the car was really good early on before the left front finally gave up a bit in the middle of the race. I made a few overtaking moves that stuck, so that was a good result all things considered.
"On to Donington Park next, and I think last year we looked strong there, so with Hitech I feel we can challenge towards the sharp end again."
Horsten next heads to the Donington Park GP circuit in a couple of weeks' time for the latest BRDC British F3 Championship meeting, a circuit he visited three times last season.