GB3 Championship, round 2, Silverstone, 5 – 7 May 2023
Arthur Rogeon climbed up onto his first podium in single-seaters on one of the most prestigious British circuits! At Silverstone, barely a month after his debut he was able to put his glaring lack of success in qualifying behind him and cope with execrable weather in race 1, pull off a fantastic comeback in race 2 and clinch a podium finish in the last race of the meeting. The only ’Frenchie’ in the GB3 Championship field is starting to carve out a place for himself on the other side of the Channel without worrying too much about the weather!
The qualifying session couldn’t have unfolded in a more chaotic fashion! Arthur managed to set two good sector times despite heavy traffic only for his élan to be stopped by the red flag. Everybody pitted and when the session resumed the prevailing chaos and disorder prevented him from showing what he could do. His 14th time was almost a miracle in itself.
Taking into account the penalty he was given at Oulton Park he started race 1 in 19th place. There’s little to be said about the race itself as the visibility was almost non-existant because of the downpour that hit the circuit. It was undriveable, unraceable and overtaking was out of the question, but in the end not quite unforgettable! Arthur finished where he started. Above all he simply wanted to keep his car intact to play his cards right under more favourable skies.
When the start of race 2 was given the cars were shod with tyres for a dry track even though there were still damp patches. The Frenchman was again 19th on the grid, but thanks to a great run of overtaking moves he fought his way up through the field to a top 10 finish, a milestone achievement!
The reversed grid is perhaps only an artificial opportunity for the regular back-markers to shine. But in the case of a driver like Arthur who was unable to show his mettle in qualifying it was poetic justice. In addition, a driver who inherits a good place on the grid because of the regs and against the run of play tends to fall back once the lights have gone out. It was quite the opposite for Arthur who, after starting in fifth place, was battling for third, which he clinched in the end!
The driver from Laval looks back on his Sunday drive. “At the start of the race everything was going well and I was able to match the pace of the leaders. I snatched fourth and then began to attack the third-placed driver, but around the halfway mark my car’s handling went off. I had no grip on the rear drive train. Two drivers caught me. I couldn’t fend them off so I preferred to focus on not making any mistakes. I paid attention not to exceed the track limits so as not to be penalised. At the end of the race, I managed to pull back one place with an overtaking move and one of my rivals was given a penalty. I’m very happy to have been on the third step of my first podium in car racing and I’d like to thank my family, my team Chris Dittmann Racing, and all my partners. Now we have to continue working so that I can take the fight to the top guns in the championship on a regular basis!”
The next race will take place in a Francophone country, but in a region where the June rainfall is 67% greater than in the Mayenne capital. Redezvous on the fabulous Spa-Francorchamps circuit from 2 – 4 June!
Photo by Jakob Ebrey