The Litespeed team made a very promising start in its first ever race with a Dallara 308 Mercedes at Oulton Park on the Easter weekend. The new single qualifying format saw driver Jay Bridger qualify 6th and 5th for the two feature races, a feat that set the paddock talking.
In race 1 Jay dropped from 6th to 7th at the start but then proceeded to harry Nakajima for the rest of the race as Jay’s car was obviously quicker. They continued in this manner until lap 17 when Jay made an uncharacteristic minor error at the chicane which saw him stuck in the Knickerbrook gravel trap. No one was more surprised than he and he was classified in 18th place and as it turned out he would have been on pole for the reverse grid sprint race!
Starting from 18th in the sprint race was always going to be a tall order, especially as Jay couldn’t even see the start lights properly from his grid slot. However Jay worked his way up to 12th place by the end of the race and posted the 5th fastest laptime overall.
Race 3 was the first time in recent history that a British F3 race was to run for 40 minutes and it proved to be an exercise in tyre conservation. By the end of the first lap Jay was in 7th place but setting competitive times and after the disappointment of the first race he elected to bring the car home in 8th place to ensure that he opened his first points scoring in the championship.
A very encouraging performance bearing in mind that the Lotus Racing affiliated Litespeed team have only ever run the car at 3 other circuits prior to the Oulton Park race and are still feeling their way with the setup.