6th-7th May 2023 - Cadwell Park
Harrison strikes twice in Lincolnshire
HISTORIC FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUNDS 1 AND 2 CADWELL PARK, 6/7 MAY
The Historic Formula 3 Championship started in style during the HSCC Wolds Trophy at Cadwell Park with an impressive double victory for Samuel Harrison in his Brabham BT21B.
A strong entry for the opening 1000cc F3 races of the season was always likely to be headed by the talented youngster. But things didn't go entirely smoothly for the Speedsport team and Harrison had to battle through from the back of the grid to win the opening race.
Harrison’s key opposition was another car returning to the grid after a long absence in the form of the Alexis Mk17 of Peter de la Roche. It was de la Roche who set the pace in qualifying on Saturday morning in the ex-Ken Sedgley Alexis, one of just three which has been rebuilt from the ground up by owner Ian Phillips and Richard de la Roche.
De la Roche had a second in hand in qualifying over Jason Timm's Brabham BT21 with Simon Armer third in the first of two March 703s. One place behind Armer was the other 703 in the hands of Andy Jarvis, making a welcome return to the series after a sabbatical.
Josh Sharp (Chevron B17) and Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21) completed the top six, while in eighth was category newcomer Richard Wise in the ex-Dean Forward Tecno, now immaculately re-prepared by Corinium Motorsport.
Languishing at the very tail of the field, after only a couple of slow laps in qualifying, was Harrison in the ex-Peter Westbury Brabham, which was making a racing return after many years away and an extensive rebuild. However, the car was struck by gearbox problems on Saturday morning and Harrison was faced with starting the opening race from the tail of the grid. He’d only had a brief run in testing on Friday as he’d then dashed back to Loughborough for an exam.
With the track wet for Saturday afternoon’s race, Harrison was immediately on the attack and managed to battle through to fourth place in the first lap as de la Roche made the running. Soon the Brabham was up onto the tail of the Alexis and Harrison then moved ahead and pulled clear to win convincingly.
De la Roche never stopped chasing and gave the Alexis a fine debut with second while Wise was another star of the race, as he tigered up onto the tale of Armer in a battle for third and then went ahead to earn a well-deserved podium on his debut historic race. Armer, Sharp and Mark Linstone (Brabham BT21) wrapped up the top six as entertaining battles ran all down the order.
“That's a great start to the season,” said Harrison, after confirming that all was now well with the Brabham’s gearbox. “It felt really good,” he added. Wise was equally delighted with an excellent third place. “Neil Cox has done all the work,” he said of the Tecno. “All I've done is drive it! I'm amazed, but I had a good start and everyone was a bit cautious in the early laps.”
Sunday afternoon’s race ran in bright and dry conditions and once again Harrison was able to control the race from the front as de la Roche gave chase from not too far back.
After retiring on Saturday, Timms brought his Brabham BT21 through to complete the podium with a strong performance, ahead of Armer, Sharp and Wise to wrap up a fine weekend to open what promises to be a great season for historic Formula 3.