- Chris Ashby
Shawn Rashid Scores Points On Character Building GB3 Debut
Points in his maiden GB3 Championship race proved to be the highlight of a rollercoaster debut for Shawn Rashid this past weekend (8-10 April) at Oulton Park.
Graduating into the UK’s premier single-seater series with Douglas Motorsport from the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship, the American talent put points on the board in the first race of the year before enduring a fair share of bad luck in the remaining contests.
Fine-tuning the set-up of his striking blue machine across Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, the 26-year-old dug deep in an ultra-competitive qualifying session to finish a little over one second off the ultimate pace.
Confident of moving forward in the opening bout, the Californian did just that as he threaded his way up the order to cross the line in 17th.
In what proved to be a race attrition - which was impacted by a late safety car period and then subsequent red flag - Rashid kept himself out of trouble to clinch a handful of points.
Getting back behind the wheel on Easter Monday, Rashid - who is in just his second season of car racing - had hoped to build on that breakthrough result but he would find himself out of luck.
Heavy rainfall battered the circuit prior to lights out for race two, forcing everyone onto wet tyres, however before heading onto the green flag lap Rashid endured a slight mechanical issue which saw him unable to pull away for a few seconds.
Finally managing to join the back of the pack for the start, Rashid was able to match the pace of the front-runners in the challenging conditions before a slight mistake saw him slither off the track at Druids and hit the tyre barrier.
Keen to bounce back from that earlier non-finish by starting on the outside of the front row for the reverse grid finale, Rashid sadly saw the prospect of a podium finish slip through his fingers on the opening lap.
Making a strong start off the line in tricky conditions yet again, the Douglas ace was the innocent victim of contact from another car through the first corner, which knocked him out of the race.
Shawn Rashid: “It’s been a big learning curve however there are still a lot of positives to take away from the weekend; I’m just a little disappointed because we would have been on for a podium in race three I think.
“Saturday was a bit of a culture shock I think but it was good to get it out of the way and pick up some points. I’m still getting used to the car and although it took me a while to get up to speed in the rain, once we were there we had really good pace. This is all part of the journey.
“There has been a lot to take in so I’m looking forward to getting back to base, going through all the data, continue training and come up with a game plan to make another step forward at Silverstone in a few weeks’ time.”
Rashid will continue his maiden season in the GB3 Championship at the Home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone, on the 6-7 May.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.