- Chris Ashby
John Bennett Vows To Bounce Back From Frustrating Oulton Park GB3 Opener
John Bennett has vowed to bounce back from what proved to be a season-opener to forget in the GB3 Championship at Oulton Park this past weekend (8-10 April).
Making the switch to Rodin Carlin for his sophomore season in the UK’s premier single-seater series, the 19-year-old found himself out of luck across the weekend’s three races - leaving the Cheshire venue with just a handful of points.
Dialling his car in around the 2.69-mile circuit during Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, Bennett - who is backed by J5C Management Limited, StreetSharp Ltd and The Accounting Centre Ltd - was unable to show his full potential in qualifying on Saturday morning.
In what proved to be a truncated session, which included losing his fastest lap for a track limits infringement and being unable to go for one final run on new tyres, Bennett lined up 17th for the opening round of the season.
Unfortunately, any optimism the Motorsport UK Academy Team UK Futures driver might have had surrounding moving forward was curtailed in the early stages after contact from a rival hobbled his car and left him limping to the chequered flag in 19th.
Returning to the track on Easter Monday - albeit in vastly different conditions with intermittent heavy rain having replaced the bright sunshine - Bennett looked to make amends and make his mark.
Race two would see the teenager - who is additionally supported by Khan Thornton Ltd, Lonetree Limited, Lewco Holdings Limited and Project Divebomb - do just that as he showcased his talents behind the wheel in what were challenging conditions.
Starting 17th, the Salisbury-based driver produced an overtaking masterclass to carve his way up the order and clinch a ninth place finish.
Buoyed by that result and starting on the fifth row for the reverse grid finale, Bennett had hoped to cap off his weekend on a high but that sadly wasn’t to be the case.
Despite producing a flying start which saw him make up a number of positions in the early stages of the first lap, contact at the Hislops chicane saw him spun onto the grass and out of the race.
Bennett will now look to get his GB3 Championship campaign back on-track when the series heads to the ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ on 6-7 May for three races around Silverstone’s world-famous Grand Prix circuit.
John Bennett:"It goes without saying that this was a bit of a weekend to forget although there were some positives that we can take out of it.
"Obviously had we qualified a bit better then it might have been different but we can be encouraged by the progress that was made in race two - going from 17th to ninth - and even in race three where we made a couple of spots before the contact.
"I'm already looking forward to Silverstone; for me that's where our season starts. Hopefully we can have a good qualifying and bank three solid results."
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.