Sow­ery grabs BRDC For­mula 3 points lead as three win­ners split the spoils

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Toby Sow­ery took ad­van­tage of the ab­sence of ti­tle chaser Lando Nor­ris to snatch the BRDC F3 points lead at Brands Hatch, but a me­chan­i­cal fail­ure in the fi­nal race left him ru­ing a missed op­por­tu­nity.

Nor­ris va­cated his Car­lin car for this week­end to in­stead race in the clash­ing For­mula Re­nault Eurocup fix­ture in Spain, leav­ing the way open for some­one else to steal a march. Sow­ery did so bet­ter than oth­ers with a win and a podium, but none of the early favourites could leave Kent know­ing they’d had a per­fect week­end. Matheus Leist and Nor­ris’s stand-in Colton Herta claimed the other wins, but couldn’t claim much con­sis­tency.

Leist stole the early mo­men­tum by win­ning the first race, but then had to en­dure two dis­ap­point­ing re­tire­ments from Sun­day’s out­ings.

Leist grabbed pole with a great lap in clean air, and held on af­ter rain caused a late scare. Sow­ery felt he lost his best qual­i­fy­ing laps to traf­fic and started in fourth, as Ricky Col­lard and Raoul Hy­man started in sec­ond and third re­spec­tively.

Col­lard opted to fit two fresh tyres to the left-hand side of his car, hop­ing the ex­tra grip would pay div­i­dends later in the race. Leist led away and forged an early gap, un­til Col­lard’s tyres switched on and he could at­tack. Sadly the fight didn’t last as Col­lard ran too deep into Druids and fell back again.

Sow­ery kept a watch­ing brief in third as the or­der sta­bilised, un­til the rain be­gan to fall three laps from home. Hy­man skated off the track from fourth and fell to seventh. The top three man­aged to hold it to­gether and fin­ish in or­der.

“The fi­nal few turns were crazy, it was so slip­pery and I was the first through so was just guess­ing,” said Leist.

Sadly things didn’t go to plan in the other races for the Brazil­ian. He started eighth on the re­versed grid but was thumped at Druids by Herta, which put both cars into the pits with dam­age.

Enzo Bor­to­leto en­joyed a fine drive from 17th to eighth in race one to in­herit pole, but Sow­ery made a strong start from row three and then pulled a great move to snatch the lead on the run into Sheene. From then on he was clear. Tarun Reddy also man­aged to slip past Bor­to­leto be­fore the Brazil­ian stub­bornly fended off Col­lard for third.

Sow­ery was con­fi­dent of a strong run in the fi­nale too, start­ing from the sec­ond row by dint of his third fastest lap in the pre­vi­ous race. But he lost his chance be­fore the lights went out. “I pulled first gear and the clutch just gave up,” he said. “I man­aged to get it go­ing on the starter mo­tor and get to the pits.”

The Lanan team re­stored pres­sure and Sow­ery got out again, but was out of the run­ning. A sim­i­lar is­sue hit for­mer points-leader Enaam Ahmed, who started sec­ond but also had to visit the pits in the red flag-af­flicted race. An elec­tri­cal is­sue for Leist put him out too, leav­ing pole­man Herta rel­a­tively un­chal­lenged to se­cure a de­but win ahead of the con­sis­tent Col­lard and Thomas Ran­dle.

Sow­ery snatched the F3 points lead

Leist won first F3 out­ing

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