Douglas Motorsport claimed a fantastic podium finish in the fifth meeting of the 2023 GB3 Championship as they braved the elements at Silverstone last weekend (29/30 July).
The Northamptonshire-based squad made their second trip of the season to the 3.6-mile Silverstone GP circuit, a place at which they showed front-running pace at throughout their first trip back in May with their rapid rookie drivers Tymek Kucharczyk, Lucas Staico and Shawn Rashid.
Polish driver Kucharczyk showed the team’s potential in the early running with blistering pace throughout two days of testing across Thursday and Friday, putting his car on top of the times heading into the serious action for the weekend.
With three races ahead for the Douglas Motorsport trio and the title fight still far from being out of reach, Kucharczyk again burst out of the blocks in Saturday morning’s key qualifying session to decide the grid orders for the three contests.
Despite being within 0.2s of the pole position, the Polish ace would take the chequered flag third in the times and line up from that position in both of the weekend’s opening two races - his second-fastest lap also third quickest for race two’s order. Brazilian Staico was a mere 0.9s from the top spot as he lined up in 14th for the first contest, Rashid meanwhile not far back.
Later that afternoon would be the first race, one which got underway in dry conditions despite the threat of rain initially creeping in prior to the race. A tight start and hectic first lap ended with Kucharczyk best of the Douglas Motorsport trio in fourth place, taking the fight to Callum Voisin ahead of him. Trying to usurp his rival, he would narrowly miss out on a podium by a second, while Staico took a fighting top-15 finish as Rashid was delayed in an incident.
Race two would take place the following morning, with Kucharczyk starting highest of the team’s Tatuus machines from the second row once more. This time, a great start ensured that he would head into the first corner in the podium positions, with silverware now within grasp for the Douglas squad.
Pulling clear of Joseph Loake behind, Kucharczyk gave chase to the top two and came home in a fine third place to ensure the team’s third podium of the season - the second for the teenager of the year. Staico pushed hard again for 16th while Rashid came home 20th.
The latter however had a golden chance to claim silverware of his own in the final race, starting from a net pole position with a rival falling by the wayside pre-race. The rain turned into a deluge suddenly, with the race sadly curtailed early after a short sprint behind the safety car.
Wayne Douglas - Team Principal: "It was important to have a consistent weekend for us, especially at a track that we have tested at extensively and were rapid at back in May. We were very close to pole in qualifying which proved our pace, and both Lucas and Shawn were pushing up the field which was very positive. To get another podium was a great performance for us as a team, and if the final race had run then we believe Shawn and Lucas would have added more strong results at the end. It gives us a good feeling heading to Brands Hatch."
Douglas Motorsport will next be in action at Brands Hatch GP circuit in just over a month’s time, for the latest three GB3 Championship races held in Kent over the weekend of 09/10 September.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.