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John Bennett continued his strong run of form in recent rounds by adding his fifth podium finish of the 2024 GB3 Championship season, as the series visited the Hungaroring this past weekend (22/23 June).

The Salisbury-based racer grabbed a brace of podium finishes last time out at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium for the JHR Development squad, shifting his focus quickly to another new circuit for the series - the Hungaroring in Budapest.

A circuit still prolific on the Formula 1 calendar, the 2.722-mile Hungarian track offered a new challenge to Bennett, who had filled his time between this and the previous GB3 meeting wisely with an outing in Formula Regional at Zandvoort.

Bennett knew that the tight and technical Hungaroring would mean qualifying was set to be a key session to decide the trajectory of the weekend. With that in mind, he backed up his top-three pace in testing by putting his car third on the grid for the first of three sprint races, keeping him right in the mix for silverware.

The J5C Management Limited, StreetSharp Ltd, The Accounting Centre Ltd, Khan Thornton Ltd, Lonetree Limited, Lewco Holdings Limited and Project Divebomb backed driver was greeted by sunny skies for the first race on Saturday afternoon, and a good start when the lights went out gave him a chance to split the battling Hitech drivers ahead.

Boxed in, he attempted a lunge around the outside at Turn 2, but was squeezed out wide and left to defend third place which he did so successfully. The race settled down from then, Bennett able to hold his position and chase the top two drivers to the chequered flag to confirm a podium finish.

The grid for race two on Sunday morning was decided by the second fastest lap times from qualifying, putting Bennett slightly out of position in eighth place. After recovering ground lost on lap one, he put in a bold move on Noah Ping heading out of the fast left-hander of Turn 4 to ultimately finish sixth.

The partially-reversed race three grid set Bennett up from a starting spot of 10th, hopeful of repeating his showing from earlier in the day. What followed was an entertaining elbows-out performance from the youngster, climbing three places to seventh after muscling past McKenzy Cresswell and fighting with James Hedley all the way to the flag.

John Bennett: “Overall, a pretty good weekend and one that proved where we are as a team. We were top three on pace all weekend, and the only thing that stopped us was the speed of the Hitech cars, which were maybe just too far out of our reach this time.

"To qualify well was important, and getting another podium keeps us on form and in a good position in the championship top four. We had good race pace too which gave us a chance to attack, and that showed in the second and third races where I felt I could really push and try to pass people. We had a great battle in race three with James and really enjoyed that one.

"Zandvoort next - I had a bit of a run in Formula Regional recently to gather some miles at the circuit, so we'll see if that pays off. Then we're back to the UK for the rest of the season. Onwards and upwards.”

The 2024 GB3 Championship season continues into the final event of its three-part European leg, next heading to Zandvoort in the Netherlands over the weekend of 13/14 July.


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