From the streets of Monaco to the historic Brands Hatch, Infinity drivers were certainly shining this weekend as they took to the track in FIA Formula 2 and BRDC British F3. Collecting silverware as they went.
FIA F2 - Monaco
Monaco always serves up a challenge for drivers in the top tier of junior single seaters and this year was no exception. With previous success on street circuits around the world, Dan Ticktum was determined to capitalise on his experience as the grid lined up for Round 2 of the FIA F2 championship.
In a unique style for this circuit, qualifying was split into two groups with the fastest time set in each setting the side of the grid for the feature race. Showing his speed on Thursday afternoon, Dan narrowly missed out on pole position in group B. But with Group A setting faster laps overall, it was 4th on the grid for the British driver.
Starting from P7 in the first sprint race, it was a relatively processional race as the field snaked through the tight streets. With a sniff of points, Dan sealed the opening race with 6th at the line, confident he could achieve more in the remaining races. His opportunity came bright and early on Saturday morning, but with added drama as the throttle motor failed on the lap to the grid. However all was not lost as the incredible Carlin mechanics frantically replaced it with moments to spare. Determined to reward their efforts, he set to work on a damp track, ready to mount the attack.
Making good off the line on Pourchaire and Vips, Dan was immediately challenging Lawson as the pack stormed into Saint Devote. Powering up the hill 3rd on the road, he kept his nose in as the pair ahead battled for the lead. Following safety car periods, his chance came when he got the perfect run down from the tunnel into the Nouvelle Chicane. Braving it out into the wetter part of the track, he made a textbook move to clinch 2nd place from Piastri. Closing in on the leader, utilising every inch of grip he had, until a late safety car curtailed his chances. Initially crossing the line to take a podium finish, due to a disqualification for the winner, Dan was promoted to Formula 2 Race Winner in Monaco.
Crediting his team, Dan thanked them for his strong result:
“Eventful is definitely the word I would use to sum up my morning. The throttle motor failed on the lap to the grid, so I thought that was us out to be honest. I know you can change them pretty quickly, but not in five or six minutes. But the boys managed to get it done, so a massive thank you to them for enabling me to get going”
Battling at the sharp end of the grid when the feature race got underway on Saturday evening, he was once again in contention for a podium finish, when he seized his opportunity to capitalise on a lock up from Piastri. Despite his best efforts, this time his move didn’t quite work and he was forced to retire as he narrowly escaped the barrier.
Leaving Monaco with a good haul of points and silverware to show for his weekend, Dan will certainly be back fighting at the front at the next street circuit in Baku on 4th-6th June.
British F3 & British GT - Brands Hatch
Christian Mansell and Sebastian Alvarez (F3)
Jordan Collard (GT)
Finally kicking the British F3 season off at Brands Hatch, both Christian and Seb were ready to put their hard work over the winter into practice. Sweeping into the Saturday morning practice, Christian was already showing his pace as he led the session ahead of qualifying.
In a mixed qualifying session littered with red flags and traffic, the pair grappled to find a fast lap. Which saw Seb rounding out the Top 10, whilst Christian had work to do from 13th.
Making his race return following a year out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Seb worked hard to make the most of his time back in a single-seater and get to grips with the machinery. Participating in many on-track battles his talent shone through. Earning 23 points on his debut was a strong showing from the young Mexican, who has plenty more potential as the season progresses.
Powering from 13th to 8th in the opening race was a sign of things to come for Christian, as the Australian continued to pick off the places throughout the weekend. Getting his head down from the off, he was well poised going into the final reverse grid race on Sunday afternoon. Starting 7th, he immediately set off with sensational pace and commitment to power around the outside of all the other cars to lead the race, as the pack powered into Paddock Hill Bend. Leading the race from that point whilst managing safety car restarts perfectly, he went on to take his maiden victory in only his first weekend in Formula 3 machinery.
Speaking of his achievements, Christian Mansell:
“This feels amazing! That start was just something else and I honestly don’t think I could have asked for more from that race. It’s just a surreal experience to be winning races already and I couldn’t be any happier really.”
Meanwhile, it was an equally successful first weekend back for Team Rocket RJN McLaren driver Jordan Collard who kept his nose clean to secure a GT4 podium in the first British GT round of the year, also at Brands Hatch.
Director of Infinity Sports Management Harry Soden reviewed another stellar weekend for the Infinity driver stable:
“I’m really pleased for Dan, he’s proven time and time again how strong he is on street circuits so to take the win at Monaco is especially sweet.”
“It’s been a great start to the season for our British F3 drivers. Christian had a storming start and that’s credit to all the hard work he’s put in. We know how talented Seb is, his first weekend at Brands didn’t run perfectly but we know there’s definitely more to come from him.”
“After being so close to the overall GT4 title last year it’s great to see Jordan hit the ground running and back on the podium in Round 1. I have no doubts that he’ll be in contention for the title again”