John Bennett enjoyed another hugely promising performance in only his second GB3 Championship event at Silverstone last weekend (7/8 May), maintaining a place in the top five of the driver's standings with a best result of sixth.
Salisbury-based Bennett started his maiden foray into single-seater racing in fine style at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend, heading to the latest three rounds at Silverstone hoping to add to a brace of top-five finishes earned on that opening weekend.
Part of the Motorsport UK Academy Futures programme, Bennett steadily upped his pace over two days of testing in his Elite Motorsport Tatuus MSV-022 GB3 car to once again outline his credentials as a consistent top-10 contender ahead of Saturday morning's qualifying session.
The GB3 rookie, backed by J5C Management Limited, StreetSharp Ltd and The Accounting Centre Ltd, showed further improvements in the crucial timed session that morning, climbing as high as fourth overall in the early running before times lowered significantly. Bennett kept his cool, and was only two tenths of a second away from a second row start with a lap time good enough to seal eighth on the grid for the first of the weekend's three sprint races.
When the lights went out to start the opening race later that afternoon, Bennett showed his race craft with a stellar opening two laps. Brilliant moves around the outside at Club corner and then Brooklands corner moved him up to sixth place, which he held to the chequered flag.
The following day's second race required another charge by Bennett, starting from ninth place with grid positions based on the second fastest laps from drivers in qualifying. He would have to make up ground after a battling opening lap, but he again made up places to get back into the top 10, improving to ninth place by the race's conclusion.
The Khan Thornton Ltd, Lonetree Limited, Lewco Holdings Limited-backed driver then had to fight from 13th as a result of the reversed grid for the final race of the weekend, which became a feisty affair for many drivers throughout the pack. After surviving the opening lap down in 15th, Bennett would commence another charge to find his way up to 11th by the chequered flag, bravely rounding Max Esterson at the Village Loop.
Ending the weekend as the fifth highest points scorer on the grid, Bennett and Elite Motorsport leave with plenty to be happy about, maintaining a top-five position in the overall Drivers' Championship.
John Bennett: "I was delighted by my GB3 Championship debut at Oulton Park, and this weekend at Silverstone, my race pace has moved on again. The points were harder won this time out as the battling was extreme, and to make a considerable number of overtakes was great experience.
"In the first race for example, I moved up the order to sixth place, and then in the second race I made up three positions after losing out on lap one. The reverse grid race was very exciting, and allowed me to learn and improve a lot on my race craft, ending up finishing two positions higher than where I started!
"Donington Park looks to have potential for a great weekend as I was second overall in the media day test there, so that points towards some strong results, especially now that we've got a few races under our belt."
Bennett now heads to Donington Park for the third meeting of the season, with three more races taking place over the weekend of 28/29 May in Leicestershire.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.