News 30 Jun 2024

Luke converts maiden pole to feature win and title lead

Luke Browning is leading the FIA Formula 3 drivers’ championship again after a dominant performance in Spielberg, where he secured his maiden F3 pole and converted it into a lights-to-flag victory in Sunday’s Feature Race.

Luke’s impressive win was Hitech GP’s second visit to the podium of the weekend, with Martinius Stenshorne securing P2 in Saturday’s Sprint Race. It marks the Williams Academy Driver’s second win and third podium of the season and sees him regain the title lead he had previously held until Round 3.

It was a strong weekend for team-mate and McLaren Academy Driver Martinius too. The Sprint pole-sitter was engaged in a thrilling race-long duel with Mansell and Tsolov for the podium and after succumbing to the Australian on the opening lap then dropping to third, a measured drive saw him bide his time until he displaced him again for P2 on Lap 17.

In the reverse grid starting order for Saturday, Luke was handed a further three-place penalty that saw him line up on the eighth row in P15. He fought back with a determined recovery drive, the highlight of which was a three-wide battle into Turn 4 to pass Bedrin and Lindblad to move into 11th position.

On Lap 10 Luke deposed Tramnitz with a superb move down the inside at Turn 3 to get himself into the points-paying positions that are so crucial to his title ambitions. Unfortunately, he lost the place in the melée following Montoya’s spin and had to settle for 11th behind the ensuing Safety Car. While he missed out on a crucial point, his main rival Fornaroli also failed to score, leaving them as they were heading into Sunday.

Lining up on pole, Luke got a fantastic start and launched into a clear lead. He was mindful of but never really under pressure from Mini and Beganovic behind and controlled the race from lights to flag to secure his second victory of the season.

Stenshorne finished outside the points on Sunday in P12. Cian Shields enjoyed a best qualifying of the season of 17th and Sprint finish of 16th, ending the Feature in P21.

Breaking into triple digits with 106 points, Luke Browning is now 11 points clear of his new nearest title rival Mini who displaces Fornaroli in the title order. Hitech GP move into P4 in the Teams’ standings.

“Just won the Spielberg Feature Race and couldn’t be more pleased”, said Luke Browning. “Hitech have done a great job. Now looking forward to my home weekend at Silverstone.”

Sprint Race Result – Saturday

Martinius Stenshorne – 2nd – 9 points

Luke Browning – 11th

Cian Shields – 16th

Feature Race Result – Sunday

Luke Browning – Winner – 27 points (includes 2 points for Feature Race Pole)

Martinius Stenshorne – 12th

Cian Shields – 21st

Up next, the third and final leg of the triple-header takes the Formula 3 grid to Silverstone for Round 7 of the campaign (5-7 July) and Hitech GP’s home event located just metres from the team’s HQ.

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