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JOHN BENNETT BRAVES SILVERSTONE ELEMENTS FOR CRUCIAL GB3 POINTS FINISHES

John Bennett showed front-running pace once again but was unlucky not to bag silverware as torrential rain massively affected the second GB3 Championship meeting of the year at Silverstone last weekend (27/28 April).


The Salisbury-based racer entered the Home of British Motorsport with his head held high, after one of the bravest overtakes in GB3 history helped secure him a breathtaking victory with JHR Developments in the season opener at Oulton Park.


It was an achievement he hoped to double up on in the second event of the season at the famous British Grand Prix circuit as he dived into two days of testing, showing strong pace once again at the head of the field.


The rising single-seater star therefore went into qualifying on Saturday morning with his sights firmly set on the front row of the grid. Intermittent showers made for a tricky surface underfoot, but Bennett took to it without concern and traded the fastest time regularly with James Hedley in the fight for pole position.


With a front row looking certain, a red flag stopped the session. On its resumption, Bennett was unable to improve with tyre difficulties on a drying track, therefore putting him further down the grid in 10th which felt unrepresentative of his true pace.


On a dry track for the first race later that afternoon, Bennett went on the attack and, after being hampered by the jump-starting Arthur Rogeon on lap one, began a fightback by passing the Frenchman and then climbing another place to finish 10th by the chequered flag.


The J5C Management Limited, StreetSharp Ltd, The Accounting Centre Ltd, Khan Thornton Ltd, Lonetree Limited, Lewco Holdings Limited and Project Divebomb backed driver started the second race from a much more promising eighth on the grid on Sunday morning, with rain arriving to give the wet weather fan a chance to improve his position.


It arrived too aggressively however, meaning the race was delayed until the afternoon when the rain had relented. Bennett was electric in the mixed conditions and showed his overtaking prowess and skill, making his way around the outside of a rival at Club Corner under braking and almost sweeping past Jarrod Waberski at Village later on in the race.


The move so-nearly paid off in style, but Waberski's defence left Bennett boxed in and finishing eighth by the chequered flag as Hedley took advantage of the squeeze on his competitor. It would still mean crucial points scored in a season where consistency will pay off by its conclusion.


The partially-reversed grid for the final race of the weekend meant Bennett would have started in third, with silverware back within his grasp. Sadly, the earlier delay meant that race was cancelled - instead set to thankfully run again when the series re-visits the circuit in July.


John Bennett: “It was a bit of an unfortunate weekend because I feel like we had so much pace the whole time at Silverstone. In qualifying we were inside the top three before the red flag, then in race one I was again in the top three for pace in sectors but stuck down in P10.


"Then in the second race we were up there fighting for sixth. We got past into the place but didn't quite make the move stick and then James managed to box me in and get through. Both races we were moving up and it's still good points from the weekend.


"We look at July now where the abandoned race three will hopefully be in the dry and we start right up towards the front, so I'll look forward to that and to Spa next time out. Hopefully we'll be back at the front of the grid where we know we can be. Thank you to the JHR team as they gave me a fast car all weekend.”


The 2024 GB3 Championship season heads into Europe for its next three races, as the series visits the picturesque Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium over the weekend of 01/02 June.


Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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