Leading motor racing team Hillspeed hit the ground running with a very impressive performance during testing at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit on Friday, 3rd July – the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship squad’s first run on track since before the coronavirus lockdown.
Several months since the Markham Vale outfit was last in action, Hillspeed and 16-year-old driver Oliver Clarke didn’t show a fraction of rustiness as the British F3 rookie lapped very competitively indeed in both wet and dry conditions – having only had six days of testing in total last year.
Piloting the striking red and gold 230bhp Tatuus BF3-020 car he will race when the season finally gets underway at the start of August, Clarke produced an excellent day of running and impressed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw with a flawless performance.
“We were very happy with Oliver’s pace, application and competitiveness today”, Ollerenshaw commented, “You wouldn’t have thought he’d been out of the car for as long as he has, since before the lockdown came into force. He just got on with the job and produced a great performance on our first day of testing ahead of the new season. It’s impressive going, due to budget restrictions he only had six days in the car last year so to be as competitive as he was is terrific. It really is fantastic to be back trackside and testing, it feels like an age since we were preparing for the expected start of the season. After such a strong day at Donington, we’re looking to build on that when we test at Silverstone GP next week.”
With motorsport in general finally awakening after the relaxation of the enforced COVID-19 lockdown, the FIA Formula One World Championship getting underway of course this weekend, Hillspeed is also busy trying to finalise its driver line-up for the team’s 50th anniversary year.
Notably, with the travel restrictions which have been in place in the UK now being relaxed – the Government yesterday removing any requirement for quarantine for those arriving in the country from locations such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy from 10th July forward – there are enhanced opportunities for drivers from overseas to compete with British F3 race-winners Hillspeed.
“We’re talking to drivers for the remaining seats and welcoming serious enquiries from others, including those who may have had a change to their planned programme for 2020, as we have an exceptional value-for-money package available,” Ollerenshaw added, “With a 24-race schedule in place, visiting incredible circuits like Donington, Silverstone GP and Brands Hatch GP, plus testing as well, the track time available is outstanding.
“Now the travel restrictions which were imposed are set to be relaxed just a few days from now, it gives drivers from abroad – whose original plans have been impacted by the lockdown – the chance to come to the UK and race with us in, arguably, the best domestic F3 championship in the world.”
Provisional 2020 BRDC British F3 Calendar
Rds 1/2/3/4 – Oulton Park, Cheshire – 1st/2nd August
Rds 5/6/7 – Donington Park GP, Leicestershire – 15th/16th August
Rds 8/9/10/11 – Brands Hatch GP, Kent – 29th/30th August
Rds 12/13/14 – Donington Park GP, Leicestershire – 19th/20th September
Rds 15/16/17/18 – Snetterton 300, Norfolk – 3rd/4th October
Rds 19/20/21 – Donington Park National, Leicestershire – 24th/25th October
Rds 22/23/24 – Silverstone GP, Northamptonshire – 7th/8th November