25 October 2023 – Press release Arthur Rogeon
GB3 Championship, round 7 & 8, Zandvoort, 14 – 15 October 2023, Donington 21 – 22 October
The last two events of the GB3 Championship took place in quick succession at Zandvoort and then at Donington Park. Arthur Rogeon ended his campaign with a podium in the Netherlands and a very good qualification in Leicestershire, which testify to the progress made by the driver from Mayenne since his first car race in April ‘23!
Zandvoort experienced a 36-year hiatus before becoming the Dutch Grand Prix circuit again in 2021. Arthur’s weekend in the seaside resort got off to a poor start when a mechanical issue prevented him from taking part in the only free practice session run in dry conditions. So qualifying, which was also spared by the rain, was a big mountain to climb and directly impacted the results of races 1 and 2. He came home in 15th and 16th places having gained a total of five positions.
The young Frenchman started race three, for which the positions were determined by the reversed grid, in 10th spot and put on one of his most valiant performances of the year. “I got off to a good start and gained four places in just three corners before the deployment of the safety car prohibited any overtaking for three laps. Once the race resumed, I gained three more before another neutralisation which lasted until the chequered flag.” Thus, the race was limited to a few turns, but they were enough for Arthur to fight his way up from 10th to 3rd place giving him his third podium finish of the season! “I focused on warming up my tyres properly because the track was wet and there was no grip. This is undoubtedly what made the difference because I didn’t put a knife to my throat and I didn’t need to muscle my way past my rivals. Otherwise, Zandvoort will remain my favorite circuit of the year, although it’s very difficult to overtake there in the dry.”
Arthur scored his biggest haul of points in a single meeting at Zandvoort. This statistic underlined the progress made by the only driver in the championship to have come directly from the ranks of karting.
Apart from the crossing of the North Sea and the formalities linked to Brexit, Donington is not far from Zandvoort. This circuit inevitably recalls the famous European Grand Prix held there thirty years ago in conditions that alternated showers with sunny spells, which saw Ayrton Senna annihilate his opponents.
Arthur set an encouraging 4th time in the rain during the first runs on Thursday. Friday, the practice day, was canceled due to bad weather. Despite everything, Arthur was full of confidence as a wet qualifying loomed. He was third quickest early on in the session when most of his competitors pitted to have the tyre pressures adjusted as they were starting to rise. Arthur’s team preferred to leave him out. “I felt that the tyres were heating up, so I tried to alternate fast and cool laps to bring down the temperature. But I was too much on the limit.”
Arthur clinched the 13th and 9th places on the grid, which opened up great opportunities for him for races 1 and 2. He finished the first in 13th position. In the second, when he was in the process of taking seventh spot, contact damaged his front wing and the air box leading to his retirement. Race 3 started a bit like that at Zandvoort with four places quickly gained as he moved up from 10th to sixth. Due to a collision between the two drivers in front of him Arthur lost several places and was hemmed in while a final caution flag led to the race finishing behind the safety car. The result – a 14th place – was unfortunate, but his overall performance over the entire weekend is to be commended.
Arthur and his management team will now work on the 2024 project that will undoubtedly benefit from the invaluable experience accumulated this year. Rendezvous soon for the first pointers!
Photo by Jakob Ebrey