Nor­ris dou­bles up at Spa as BRDC Bri­tish For­mula 3 ti­tle bat­tle closes in

Motor Sport News - - British Gt Report - Photos: Jakob Ebrey

Chad­wick +0.027s; 3 Ryan Had­field; 4 Jonny Had­field; 5 Jack Min­shaw; 6 Nick Zapol­ski. Class win­ner Richard Evans. FL Chap­man 2m49.517s (92.42mph). P Chap­man. S 34.

1 Chad­wick; 2 Chap­man +0.336s; 3 R. Had­field; 4 Mo­hammed Elsminy; 5 An­drew Richard­son; 6 Matt Palmer. CW Adrian Camp­bell-smith. FL Chad­wick 2m50.045s (92.14mph). P Chap­man. S 35.

1 Chad­wick; 2 Chap­man +0.494s; 3 Min­shaw; 4 Steven Wells; 5 Ian Robin­son; 6 Palmer. FL Chad­wick 2m50.466s (91.91mph). CW Evans. P Wells. S 35.

1 Dennis Strand­berg (Scirocco); 2 Jack Walker-tully (Scirocco) +0.280s; 3 Bobby Thomp­son (Polo); 4 Phil House (Scirocco); 5 Toby Davis (Golf); 6 Ke­nan Dole (Golf). FL Walker-tully 2m46.091s (94.33mph). P Strand­berg. S 16.

1 House; 2 Tom Witts (Golf) +1.874s; 3 Thomp­son; 4 Dole; 5 Kieran Gor­don (Golf); 6 Ben­jamin Wal­lace (Golf). FL Walker-tully 2m46.206s (94.26mph) P Witts. S 16.

Lando Nor­ris took an em­phatic dou­ble vic­tory on BRDC For­mula 3’s away day at Spa, as the cham­pi­onship fight closed up fur­ther ahead of him.

Due to Nor­ris’s For­mula Re­nault com­mit­ments in Europe he won’t be a fac­tor in this year’s F3 ti­tle hunt, but through him tak­ing a hand­ful of max scores across the sea­son he is keep­ing the cham­pi­onship bat­tle finely bal­anced as oth­ers squab­ble for lesser points.

Matheus Leist’s two sec­ond places be­hind Nor­ris has closed the gap to cham­pi­onship leader Ricky Col­lard, who had an off-colour week­end. Col­lard could only take a podium in the first race, with two sixth places leav­ing him with a slen­der four-point lead over the Brazil­ian, and Aus­tralian Thomas Randle just 15 fur­ther back.

Nor­ris’s first vic­tory came in a frag­mented first race, which was red-flagged early after a fright­en­ing ac­ci­dent for Quin­lan Lall.

Nor­ris grabbed pole with his last fly­ing lap, but wasn’t par­tic­u­larly pleased with the re­sult. “Due to these cars be­ing quite high-down­force the tow here is worth the best part of a sec­ond to the chi­cane, so lead­ing out of Eau Rouge isn’t ac­tu­ally the place you want to be,” he said.

Col­lard started sec­ond and looked to take ad­van­tage of the tow straight away, draw­ing along­side on the Kem­mel Straight be­fore hav­ing to back off when safety car boards came out after a clash be­hind at La Source.

The cau­tion lasted only one lap and on the restart Col­lard was all over Nor­ris and briefly edged ahead be­fore Nor­ris got a sling­shot pass on the straight and then built a gap as Col­lard came un­der pres­sure from both Leist and Enaam Ahmed. Leist squeezed past along the Kem­mel on lap five, and Ahmed took the op­por­tu­nity to fol­low him through, de­mot­ing Col­lard to fourth at the chi­cane.

Col­lard was handed third back when the red flags flew as Akhil Rabindra and Lall clashed at Courbe Paul Frere and Lall’s car was flipped into the bar­ri­ers. The Amer­i­can was taken to hos­pi­tal for checks, but mirac­u­lously suf­fered just a sore knee.

Nor­ris was de­nied more points in race two when he re­tired from sixth with a lap to go when his car stuck in gear, leav­ing the way clear for Randle and Toby Sow­ery to star. Randle was punted off in race one, and Sow­ery re­signed to fifth hav­ing strug­gled with blis­ter­ing tyres.

But both made up for their Fri­day dis­ap­point­ment with a great fight on Sat­ur­day morn­ing. Randle started ninth on the re­versed grid but put in a stun­ning open­ing lap to run fourth as third-place starter Tarun Reddy led Sow­ery and Ahmed. Randle then passed Ahmed be­fore clos­ing on the fight­ing lead­ers. Sow­ery snatched the lead with a fine move around the out­side of Blanchi­mont, but couldn’t pull away.

“We were run­ning marginally more wing than the oth­ers to try and make the most of sec­tor two, but it was hurt­ing on the straights,” said Sow­ery.

The top three ran as one be­fore Randle slipped past Reddy with two laps to go and made a move for the lead into Les Combes on the last lap to snatch the win away from Sow­ery.

“It feels so good to be back on the top step, es­pe­cially see­ing as yes­ter­day was a bit of a dis­as­ter,” Randle said. Reddy held third ahead of Ahmed, Leist and Col­lard.

Nor­ris won a more se­date fi­nale after pass­ing pole­man Will Palmer late on. Palmer lost ground in race one after be­ing nerfed off and spent race two sim­ply aim­ing for times to achieve pole for race three.

Palmer led much of the race be­fore the higher tem­per­a­tures and down­force set­tings on his HHC car com­bined to cook his Pirellis, al­low­ing both Nor­ris and Leist past in the clos­ing laps. “I can’t com­plain with two wins at Spa, it’s all good ex­pe­ri­ence for me,” said Nor­ris.

Nor­ris wook two wins, but re­tired too

Thomas Randle (left) won race two to boost his ti­tle am­bi­tions, but Matheus Leist (right) was big mover

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