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How Voisin emerged victorious in GB3’s closest title struggle

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After impressing as a single-seater rookie final yr, Callum Voisin remained within the GB3 Championship with Rodin Carlin in 2023 with the only real intention of successful the title. And, whereas the 17-year-old delivered on that expectation, he was pushed all the way in which by British Formulation 4 graduates Alex Dunne and Joseph Loake.

Quick however error-prone in 2022, Voisin entered his sophomore marketing campaign with a steelier strategy, and it was his improved consistency that proved key, solely failing to make the rostrum at one of many eight occasions.

“That was in all probability the principle focus in comparison with final yr, simply staying constant,” factors out Voisin. “The highs had been actually excessive final yr however then the lows had been means too low. I believe we’ve finished that comparatively effectively.”

However it was Loake who grabbed the early benefit. He shocked by successful from pole on his debut at Oulton Park forward of JHR Developments stablemate Matthew Rees, one other second-year driver eyeing a title bid.

After becoming a member of Arden VRD on the eve of the season, James Hedley took a commanding wet-weather win in race two forward of Voisin, who started his assault with two podiums. Dunne in the meantime made a low-key begin to his try and comply with up his British F4 title from 2022 with one other crown, the Hitech GP driver dropping floor with an off in race two. The curtain-raiser had offered a touch of the fluctuating fortunes the lead contenders would expertise over the remainder of the season.

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Voisin’s team-mate John Bennett was the subsequent to star when he transformed a double pole into his first two single-seater victories at a slippery Silverstone, however cruelly he was denied each triumphs by post-race penalties, the second of which resulted from contact that spun Dunne into retirement. Loake was the beneficiary – he inherited each wins to increase his factors lead, whereas Voisin salvaged a greatest results of third.

Picture by: JEP

Loake began the season on the entrance foot by successful from pole on his debut at Oulton Park

Loake ended a troublesome go to to Spa-Francorchamps with simply second within the reversed-grid race, whereas his two principal rivals hit kind. After taking a double pole, Voisin was no match within the races for Dunne, who kick-started his season with two comfy victories, however a pair of seconds was sufficient for Voisin to overtake Loake. Subsequent up, it was Dunne’s flip to imagine the factors lead at Snetterton after Voisin was once more unable to transform pole into victory within the second race, during which he was taken out by Douglas Motorsport’s Tymek Kucharczyk.

The second half of the season began slowly for the three principal contenders, who had been put within the shade at Silverstone by Rees and McKenzy Cresswell. Voisin added one other podium to reclaim the factors benefit earlier than the ultimate contest succumbed to poor climate. 

Each Loake and Voisin loved an necessary return to kind at Manufacturers Hatch, with Loake beating his rival to victory in race one. The pair went wheel to wheel in the beginning of race two, this time Voisin prevailing to lastly take his first win of 2023.

“It was lengthy overdue,” reckons Voisin. “We got here shut many occasions. We’ve not been the quickest on a regular basis however we’ve picked up factors the place we will and I believe that’s why we’ve been main the championship.”

“For no matter motive, I’ve shone a bit extra on the European tracks” Alex Dunne

Dunne suffered one other non-finish after contact with Rees as he tried to get better from a disappointing qualifying, leaving him 42 factors behind. Needing an enormous efficiency at GB3’s first ever journey to Zandvoort, the Irishman delivered precisely that with a dominant victory brace within the first two races, whereas Voisin recovered from a collision in qualifying to salvage two top-seven finishes.

“I believe we’ve had good tempo on the English tracks however we’ve generally had a little bit of unhealthy luck – for no matter motive, I’ve shone a bit extra on the European tracks,” relates Dunne. “There’s all the time been simply little issues, and since the grid is so shut these issues look larger than they’re.”

4 factors now separated the championship’s prime three, however Voisin made the perfect use of simply six corners of green-flag operating in Zandvoort’s reversed-grid race to achieve 10 locations to fifth. That gave him a 13-point cushion over Loake heading into the ultimate spherical, with Dunne an extra 4 factors adrift.

Dunne won more races than anybody including a brilliant Zandvoort double

Picture by: JEP

Dunne received extra races than anyone together with a superb Zandvoort double

“We made the perfect out of a nasty scenario,” sums up Voisin. “We made up positions once we needed to, and that’s all you may actually ask for. To solely concede one level [to Loake] over the weekend was a miracle.”

Voisin produced his greatest efficiency of the season on the Donington Park decider, taking his fifth and sixth poles to safe the Jack Cavill Pole Place Cup for the second consecutive yr. He led residence Rees in race one for a second win of 2023. Dunne completed third, whereas Loake struggled to tenth after a first-corner collision with Cresswell.

Dunne wanted to beat Voisin in race two to retain any sensible title probabilities, and pounced on a mistake from his rival to finish a feisty overtake and document his fifth victory, whereas Loake’s championship hopes had been extinguished in eighth.

“I used to be by no means anticipating to be within the prime three within the championship this yr,” admits Loake. “I do must be fairly happy with what I’ve finished.”

Voisin began from twenty second within the reversed-grid climax, and made up 10 locations to run straight behind Dunne earlier than a mid-race safety-car interval. Dunne made up two extra spots on the restart, but it surely mattered not, with twelfth for Voisin sufficient to seal the crown.

“It’s actually troublesome to place into phrases,” muses Voisin. “We’ve made probably the most of it. We received higher in the direction of the top of the season and it’s sensible to complete on a excessive.”

Reinvigorated by a change to Elite Motorsport for 2023, Cresswell would have been within the thick of the championship struggle all through had it not been for a disastrous weekend at Oulton Park, the place he scored simply 4 factors. Podiums on the subsequent two rounds adopted, and a win and a stronger second half of the season stored his distant title hopes alive till the ultimate spherical. Against this, Rees started as one of many title favourites however, regardless of being one of the constant qualifiers, he solely received as soon as. 

Voisin proved the most consistent of the title contenders on his way to the crown

Picture by: JEP

Voisin proved probably the most constant of the title contenders on his strategy to the crown

Kucharczyk regarded a darkish horse in the beginning of the yr because of some fast tempo, which initially secured him a double pole at spherical two just for his automobile to fail post-qualifying scrutineering. He scored two mid-season podiums and his Snetterton collision with Voisin price him a 3rd however, grappling with price range points, the favored Pole’s kind tailed off within the remaining three rounds.

Elsewhere, Daniel Mavlyutov took 4 reversed-grid race wins for Hillspeed, with team-mate Gerrard Xie, Elite’s Oliver Stewart and Noah Ping (Arden) additionally taking a race three victory over the marketing campaign.

“The highs had been actually excessive final yr however then the lows had been means too low. I believe we’ve finished that comparatively effectively” Callum Voisin

There was no relaxation for Voisin following his title success, heading straight to Imola for a two-day FIA Formulation 3 take a look at earlier than becoming a member of fellow finalist Loake at Silverstone for the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Younger Driver evaluation days.

“It’s going to be an extended winter looking for the price range, however successful the title has finished an incredible quantity of excellent,” concludes Voisin of his 2024 F3 hopes.

Autosport’s prime 5 GB3 drivers of 2023

5. James Hedley

Arden VRD's Hedley lost touch in the title race due to inconsistency

Picture by: JEP

Arden VRD’s Hedley misplaced contact within the title race on account of inconsistency

A change to a 3rd staff in two years yielded extra success for Hedley, regardless of a truncated pre-season spent looking for the price range to race. Two nice early wins stored him within the title hunt earlier than being hampered by incidents and inconsistency, but it surely was a largely strong marketing campaign nonetheless.

4. McKenzy Cresswell

The misplaced fourth title contender, who matched the consistency of the championship’s prime three from the second spherical onwards. He scored extra factors than anyone else throughout his late-season podium run, however was upset to solely go to the highest step as soon as regardless of an enormous step up in efficiency from 2022.

3. Joseph Loake

Exceeded even his personal expectations by combating for the title from the beginning, successful twice as many occasions as Voisin and sometimes placing his team-mate Matthew Rees within the shade, however was additionally inconsistent and crucially was not capable of ship his greatest kind on the remaining two rounds. 

2. Alex Dunne

Took probably the most wins of anybody, and was untouchable at Spa and Zandvoort, however couldn’t ship these peaks elsewhere. Some common qualifying performances and incidents not solely of his personal making proved expensive in the long run, regardless of his efforts to get better floor on the remaining two occasions.

1. Callum Voisin

Gained fewer races than his principal rivals however had fewer off days, making no main errors whereas accumulating probably the most poles and podium finishes. Strongest of the title contenders when it mattered on the Donington decider, which is why he edges Dunne into primary spot.

Mills makes it look simple with dominant GB4 triumph

Mills was a cut above the rest in GB4

Picture by: JEP

Mills was a lower above the remaining in GB4

GB4’s sophomore season was a one-sided affair, with Tom Mills taking the title in crushing model for household staff KMR Sport. Mills was the one driver within the area who continued from final yr, and he used that have to document 10 wins throughout the primary six occasions, beating outgoing champion Nikolas Taylor’s 2022 tally, to seal the crown with a gathering to spare.

The primary race of the season proved to be an outlier, with Mills pipped to victory by team-mate and collection debutant Jeremy Fairbairn after an exhilarating cube between the pair. Mills responded by successful a moist race two to assert the championship lead, which he would in the end not relinquish.

Regardless of price range points solely retaining him on the grid on a round-by-round foundation, Mills continued to notch up the wins. Seventh within the reversed-grid race at Manufacturers Hatch secured him the title, with KMR additionally clinching the groups’ spoils for a second yr in a row.

“It means quite a bit,” says Mills of his title success. “It’s been plenty of work this yr to maintain going meeting-on-meeting. Even at Oulton, we nonetheless didn’t have the price range for the subsequent spherical. It was simply because of the outcomes there that we managed to piece it collectively.

“Coming again does work, you be taught a lot. I’m rather more mature now” Tom Mills

“As a second-year driver, everybody has been anticipating me to win. It exhibits coming again does work, you be taught a lot. I’m rather more mature now. Final yr a few of these races I in all probability wouldn’t have received as a result of I might have made some errors, however this yr I’ve taken it in my stride quite a bit higher.”

With Mills sitting out the Donington Park finale, Cooper Webster (Evans GP) scored an emphatic victory hat-trick to safe runner-up spot within the standings. The Australian, who’s at the moment second within the factors within the S5000 collection in his homeland, additionally received twice earlier within the marketing campaign at Snetterton, the one spherical the place Mills was put within the shade, and completed second on six events.

“It’s good to have an entire spherical the place I used to be the quickest,” Webster says of his Snetterton efficiency. “I’m actually happy with how the entire season’s gone, particularly the primary time on these tracks.”

Liam McNeilly took two reversed-grid triumphs and third within the desk for single-seater newcomer Fox Motorsport, whereas GB4 scholarship winner Colin Queen (Fortec) visited the rostrum on 10 events however missed out on the highest step.

In the series for older GB3 machinery without the halo Mills won the title at the second attempt

Picture by: JEP

Within the collection for older GB3 equipment with out the halo Mills received the title on the second try

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