Douglas Motorsport enjoyed a competitive showing in the second BRDC British F3 Championship meeting of the season at Silverstone last weekend (26/27 June), with Reema Juffali's best ever result of fourth place stealing the limelight.
Fresh from a podium finish for rookie Dexter Patterson on his maiden BRDC British F3 weekend, the Douglas squad headed to the team's local circuit looking to ride the wave of that good form, and testing times in the build-up to the weekend hinted at more optimism.
Young Scot Patterson upped his pace throughout the four practice sessions on Thursday, finishing the day second overall in the times and again narrowly missing out on the top spot the following day with an overall effort good enough to sit inside the top three.
Entering qualifying on Saturday morning brimming with optimism, the Douglas duo both enjoyed periods inside the top five of the 20-minute session, with Juffali topping the times early on before taking the flag 16th, while Patterson climbed the order in the faster closing stages with a time good enough to put him seventh on the grid for the opening two races of the weekend.
Heading into the opening race later that afternoon, Patterson squeezed his way up into the top six after making a strong start and easing his way by Frederick Lubin and into his eventual finishing spot of sixth - just under three seconds from fourth place. Juffali showed her race craft with a string of early overtakes to move herself into 13th place early on, but was shuffled back to 14th in a feisty battle.
Patterson again battled well in the second encounter in misty conditions the following day, racing among the top 10 before contact with Bryce Aron that resulted in Patterson losing his front wing and a pitstop for a replacement. Juffali again climbed the order in the opening laps of the race, finishing 16th by the flag but with a big chance in race three.
The Saudi Arabian racer was on pole position for the third encounter of the weekend, and she stole the show with a fine display.
A great start initially meant she held onto the lead at the first corner but, despite a stern defence on the opening lap at Maggots, she was shuffled back to third in the early stages. Getting into the rhythm after being demoted to fourth before a safety car interruption, she held her own in the lead quartet on the restart and came home in a strong fourth spot to seal her best result in her rookie season.
Wayne Douglas - Team Principal: "We showed improvements this weekend which is very encouraging from our point of view, and the pace of both drivers was strong. Reema did a superb job in particular in the final race and she can take great confidence in that for the rest of the season. Dexter's pace all week was consistent, so we're looking up and feeling positive for Donington Park."
Reema Juffali: “It was an amazing way to end the weekend. To be honest, everything I've been putting in this weekend and all the laps in testing trying to understand the car, it all clicked finally. In that final race, I put everything together and drove at a competitive pace, which gave me the confidence I needed. I want to race tomorrow! I'm ready, I'm buzzing and finally feel I can give myself a pat on the back after the work we've done.”
Dexter Patterson: "Brands Hatch was very much a learning experience for us and for me just to get used to a new car, but we made positive steps this weekend. We had a much better qualifying which meant I could battle for strong positions and we showed our pace with our race one performance, which bodes well for Donington Park."
Douglas Motorsport will be back in action in as early as two weeks' time as the BRDC British F3 Championship next heads to Donington Park over the weekend of 10/11 July.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography