- Dan Mason
Douglas Motorsport Continue Great Form with Brilliant GB3 Victory At Silverstone
Douglas Motorsport scored their latest win of the 2022 GB3 Championship season last weekend (30/31 July) after Marcos Flack surged to his maiden victory in the final race of the meeting at Silverstone.
Fresh from a superb second win of the season a week prior at Spa-Francorchamps, the team made the trip to Silverstone for the second time this season hoping to continue their fine form and push for the overall championship, with American Max Esterson sitting third in the standings after five meetings.
The team again showed their cards in practice with some solid pace throughout a total of seven test sessions held across both Thursday and Friday in the run-up to the main event. Esterson headed the charge along with his Australian team-mates Flack and Tommy Smith, the latter having won the final race last time out in Belgium.
Douglas Motorsport turned their focus to a good qualifying on Saturday morning to set themselves up for the weekend's three sprint races. Esterson could only come away with ninth place on the grid in a mightily close qualifying session, sitting a mere 0.5s off pole position. Flack and Smith were both just within 1.1s away from the ultimate best time, yet would have to fight back from 15th and 17th respectively despite their solid performances.
The opening 10-lap contest of the weekend took place later that afternoon, which would be another close race with not much in the way of overtaking opportunities around the high-speed 3.6-mile GP circuit. Esterson would hold his position of ninth until the chequered flag as he held off the attentions of championship leader Luke Browning, Smith and Flack stuck in the pack further down the order with the latter succumbing to a track limits penalty.
Race two would be relatively undramatic, but a frenetic finish and several yellow flag infringements for drivers around them bumped the Douglas Motorsport trio up the order. Esterson took the best finish of 10th, Flack recovering two spots to 13th and Smith improving four places to 16th.
Two Douglas Motorsport cars started further up the order for race three, and it was Flack who took full advantage of the situation. A superb first lap put him up to third place, evading a squabble ahead before passing team-mate Smith for second at Stowe.
The chase continued, and the young Aussie made his way up the inside of leader Zak Taylor at Brooklands to move into the race lead, after which he proceeded to confidently pull away on course to achieving his first ever GB3 victory and the third of the year for Douglas Motorsport.
Smith fought hard throughout the aggressive contest, taking seventh place by the chequered flag while Esterson was taken out in the pack late on during his recovery from 12th on the grid.
A strong weekend keeps the Douglas Motorsport squad fifth in the Teams' Championship as the series next heads to Brands Hatch GP circuit over the weekend of 10/11 September.
Wayne Douglas - Team Principal: "A great way to end the weekend after a difficult start in such a close qualifying session. We were within 1.1 seconds as a team and yet we had to recover lost ground in the earlier races. The final race was a great outcome after we made the moves early on and pulled clear, so now all three drivers have had a taste of victory this year which gives us confidence for hopefully more success at Brands Hatch."
Marcos Flack: "I managed to jump everybody on the first lap and from then we were gone really. A great end to the weekend. We couldn't do much more and pushed to pull away. It's good to get on the podium and walk away with a trophy."
Max Esterson: "In race one I got a good launch off the line but got boxed in and couldn’t move forward on lap one as it's tough the pass. It was a decent race otherwise and we fought hard to hold onto ninth. In race two, I kept my nose clean and salvaged some points by finishing, and the team have ended well."
Tommy Smith: "It was actually alright as qualifying I thought was much better from my side. We were only 1.1 off pole, but the whole field is getting closer. From where we were we made good progress too. The last race was madness, and really full on but we scored good points."