Douglas Motorsport Sign Tommy Smith For 2022 GB3 Championship

Douglas Motorsport Sign Tommy Smith For 2022 GB3 Championship

Following a successful partial campaign together this year, Douglas Motorsport are pleased to confirm that exciting Australian driver Tommy Smith will remain with the team next year for a full season in the GB3 Championship partnered by the BRDC.

Joining American racer Max Esterson in the Northamptonshire based team’s confirmed driver line-up for the 2022 GB3 season, Smith will be aiming to build on a strong start in the championship this year as he made his UK racing debut.

The 19 year old from Melbourne made his GB3 bow at Snetterton in August, with an impressive weekend seeing him battle on the fringes of the top ten and secure a best race finish of 12th overall. He went on to replicate that result next time out at Silverstone, before bringing the season to a close at Donington Park.

Earlier in the year Smith had raced in the Formula Regional European Championship as he returned to competition after sitting out the 2020 season due to the impact of the pandemic. He’s also got previous experience from New Zealand Formula Ford, Australian Formula 4, Toyota Racing Series and Asian Formula 3.

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Tommy this season, so we’re delighted that he’ll be back with us for a full season in 2022. He did a good job with his limited running this year, so with a full pre-season under his belt we’re confident he can enjoy a strong, competitive season.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“I really enjoyed the selected rounds of GB3 that I competed in during 2021 as a part of my first season in Europe. That experience allows me to carry confidence going into the 2022 season. I really enjoyed working with Wayne and the whole Douglas Motorsport team this year; they have all the fundamentals of a really strong team and I’m sure we can have a successful programme together.

”It’s great that we get to start the season with a clean slate amidst the introduction of the new Tatuus MSV-022. I’m certainly looking forward to getting the 2022 season underway as part of the next step in my junior career, having now had a year under my belt racing throughout Europe”

Tommy Smith

The GB3 Championship is the pinnacle of the UK single-seater ladder, competing at the biggest race circuits across the country and further afield. The series is watched around the world courtesy of free live online streaming of its races.

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Douglas Motorsport Sign Max Esterson For 2022 GB3 Championship

Douglas Motorsport Sign Max Esterson For 2022 GB3 Championship

Leading single-seater team Douglas Motorsport will be back on the GB3 Championship grid next season, with American rising star Max Esterson their first confirmed driver for a multi-car entry in 2022.

The Northamptonshire based team have been a leading force in the UK’s premier single-seater championship, formerly known as BRDC British F3, ever since their debut back in 2013, and they are targeting more front-running success next season.

Esterson is an exciting addition to the team as he prepares to make his debut in GB3. It’s the latest chapter of a flourishing young career for the New York City born driver, who only contested his first full season of karting in 2019 before stepping up to cars the following year.

A race-winner in his maiden season in the U.S. F1600 Championship Series, Esterson then travelled to the UK for the 2020 Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy. He has stayed competing on these shores ever since, challenging for the championship title all the way through to the last round of this year’s Avon Tyres National Formula Ford Championship.

On top of that, in October the 19 year old successfully won the coveted Team USA Scholarship, earning him the opportunity to represent his country in the two big prestigious end-of-year events, the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.

An eye-catching two weeks for Esterson saw him finish a brilliant second in the milestone 50th running of the Festival, before sensationally dominating the Walter Hayes. Topping every session he contested at Silverstone, he sealed the event win with a lights-to-flag victory in the grand final.

Esterson is also a hugely successful sim-racer and has competed with the support of iRacing for the last two years. Starting his virtual career at 11 years of age, he quickly moved up the ranks to become one of the top five drivers in the US and has secured multiple high-profile event wins and championship titles.

Preparations have already begun for Esterson’s introduction to the GB3 Championship, with Douglas Motorsport’s first ever American driver having shown great pace during some initial test outings with the team. They will now embark on a comprehensive driver development programme over the coming months ahead of the season starting in April.

“We’re looking forward to competing in the GB3 Championship once again next season. With some exciting upgrades to the car being introduced and a fantastic 2022 calendar, the series firmly remains the pinnacle of the UK single-seater scene.

“Max [Esterson] is a very talented young driver and we’re delighted to welcome him to the team. He’s put in some superb performances in Formula Ford this season, particularly in the two big events in recent weeks, and if his early testing times are anything to go by, we’re confident he’ll be a leading name in GB3 as well.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“I’m really excited to continue my single-seater career with a step up into the GB3 Championship with Douglas Motorsport. Switching from the Formula Ford to the GB3 car was a bit of an adjustment, but Wayne and the team have done a great job welcoming me to the series and are providing me with a great place to continue learning.

“Testing has gone well so far and we are already working hard to prepare for the first race of the season in April. Thank you to my supporters Team USA Scholarship, iRacing, Christian Angle Real Estate, Amity Search Partners, B. Dyson Capital Advisors, Bell Helmets, Max Papis Innovations (MPI) and many others for making this possible.”

Max Esterson

The GB3 Championship is the pinnacle of the UK single-seater ladder, competing at the biggest race circuits across the country and further afield. The series is watched around the world courtesy of free live online streaming of its races.

Douglas Motorsport Show Their Speed In GB3 Season Finale At Donington

Douglas Motorsport Show Their Speed In GB3 Season Finale At Donington

Douglas Motorsport rounded out the 2021 GB3 Championship season with a fighting display in the final meeting of the year at Donington Park, battling among the front-runners in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

The GB3 squad headed to Leicester for a second visit of the season to Donington Park to round out their latest championship assault, bringing back Australian Tommy Smith to join regular driver Reema Juffali in a two-pronged effort.

Douglas also drafted in the young talent of another Australian in British F4 racer Marcos Flack during two days of testing across Thursday and Friday, and the team showed strong pace to sit within half a second of the fastest times ahead of the weekend.

Qualifying arrived on Saturday morning, and the pace of the Douglas duo on cold tyres was instantly impressive as both cars sat within the top 10, Juffali briefly topping the times in the early minutes as times dipped below the lap record. A late red flag stymied the chance for both to improve their times, with Smith finishing the best of the pair.

Race one took place later that afternoon, and a frenetic first lap initially played right into the hands of the Douglas duo. A multi-car scuffle at McLeans corner scattered the field, moving Smith and Juffali onto the fringes of the top 10 before both sadly fell victim to further skirmishes in the final sector.

The second race of the weekend was a much wetter affair, but certainly much more fruitful for the team as both drivers aimed to make up ground from the latter half of the field. Smith and Juffali made good starts to move inside the points paying positions, the former eventually finishing 16th and two spots ahead of Juffali after a spirited charge in the early laps.

The reverse grid gave both drivers a huge chance to end the season in style, with Douglas cars’ starting second and third. A tense opening lap kept Juffali inside the top four, after which she settled into a good rhythm towards the sharp end of the field with experienced drivers in her wake.

Looking to add to a brilliant fourth place at Silverstone earlier in the season, Juffali held off the attentions of several drivers in the second half of the 12-lap contest, and grimly fought back at Old Hairpin when challenged by Tom Lebbon for fourth. The drying track meant she slid slightly wide, losing grip at the bottom of the hill and falling to eighth. Both drivers fought hard to the flag, Juffali the best of the pair on the road but hindered by a time penalty, while Smith claimed 17th on another learning outing for the youngster.

“The season has been very much a learning season for our drivers, and Reema has shown glimpses of what she can really do with a fourth place this year and another fighting performance here at Donington. It has been a pleasure working with the drivers we have, and for Tommy it has been very much a big change for him to learn the UK circuits and these cars. We look forward to next season and what the future holds for us as a team.” 

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“I felt so much happier in the dry on this track. The start was tricky on the hill and that resulted in wheelspin, but following that I had a good rhythm and some good wheel to wheel action. Everything I’ve learned this season has 100% made me a better driver; competitive racing, weather changes, and even the mishaps. These UK tracks push you hard, it’s been a great experience.” 

Reema Juffali

“It was a difficult day on Sunday as I struggled in the wet which meant I went backwards a bit. But it’s my first time here and in the wet, so it was a learning experience. I used that well, and then in the last race it was a bit frustrating – if we had a clean couple of laps I’d have settled in. It was a pleasure racing for Douglas Motorsport this season as they’re a great team and the opportunity is one I couldn’t turn away from.”

Tommy Smith

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Charging Juffali Reaps Reward For Douglas Motorsport At Oulton Park

Charging Juffali Reaps Reward For Douglas Motorsport At Oulton Park

Douglas Motorsport were buoyed by a superb recovery drive from Reema Juffali to come from last to the top 10 in a dramatic penultimate weekend of racing in the GB3 Championship’s visit to Oulton Park (11/12 September).

The Douglas team welcomed back regular driver Juffali to the team for the visit to the 2.69-mile Oulton Park International circuit based in Cheshire, the Saudi Arabian racer hoping to add to her impressive fourth place finish earlier in the season at Silverstone.

The team’s attention was initially focused on mileage and knowledge over six test sessions, held in a mixture of wet and dry conditions over the two days of Thursday and Friday. Still gaining experience in her rookie season, Juffali clocked 78 laps over the sessions.

Qualifying 17th on the grid for the first two races of the weekend, Juffali began her recovery by stealing a march on race winner Mikkel Grundtvig at the start of the opener. What followed was a superb display of defensive driving, as Juffali held her rival at bay for the 13-lap contest to add to Douglas Motorsport’s points tally.

The second race of the weekend would be a polar opposite in terms of action on track, with drama aplenty through the field. Juffali once again made the most of a great start to leapfrog Grundtvig, and gave chase to an increasingly-growing pack of cars ahead of her.

Taking advantage of several spinning rivals, including two cars battling for the win ahead, Juffali climbed ahead of Brandon Oxley and pulled onto the tail of the battle for sixth place. An off for Sebastien Alvarez gave her another spot, and the Douglas team could celebrate a fine gain of seven spots to complete the top 10 – Juffali’s second-best result of the season.

Sodden weather conditions greeted the field for race three, and again the Douglas team looked on intently as their car climbed into the top 13 from 17th. Juffali kept pace with double winner Christian Mansell and was unfazed by the conditions, however she was unfortunately caught out by the damp kerbs and spun late on, ending an otherwise promising weekend prematurely. 

“Overall, what started off as a potentially difficult weekend for us actually turned itself around thanks to some great race craft by Reema. She held her own under pressure brilliantly in race one and kept her cool while others didn’t to get a fine result in race two and break into the top 10 from the back of the grid, which was mightily impressive. That race pace bodes well ahead of the last round at Donington Park, so we can look forward to a strong showing there next month.” 

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“Overall qualifying was unlucky. In race one I held my position well and defended almost every lap. In race two I had a good start which pushed me forward and allowed me to drive my own race. More cars were falling off which played into my hands and at that point I knew I just needed to keep my head down.

”In race three the weather didn’t faze me, but it did catch me out. Unfortunately it ended the way it did, but with one more round left there has been a lot of positives to take from the weekend.”

Reema Juffali

The Douglas Motorsport squad are hoping to end the 2021 GB3 Championship season on a high during a second visit of the campaign to Donington Park over the weekend of 16/17 October.

Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Douglas Motorsport Rookies Shine At Soggy Snetterton

Douglas Motorsport Rookies Shine At Soggy Snetterton

Douglas Motorsport showed their experience with a brilliant qualifying performance at Snetterton this past weekend (7/8 August), but on-track misfortune meant those efforts went unrewarded in the latest meeting of the newly re-branded GB3 championship – formerly known as BRDC British Formula 3.

The team welcomed Australian youngster Tommy Smith to the team for the visit to Norfolk, joining Reema Juffali who missed out on a podium finish following a strong showing in the recent overseas visit to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium last month.

Douglas Motorsport enjoyed success here last season in the hands of Ulysse De Pauw, and after a learning brace of days for the rookie duo across Thursday and Friday racking up important miles, the two enjoyed a very promising qualifying session the following day.

With rain making its first of many appearances just prior to the 20-minute timed session, both Douglas Motorsport drivers ventured out on track on wet tyres looking to put in a solid opening banker lap with the conditions potentially turning. That proved to be case and a pair of quick laps from both put them inside the top 10 as Smith – backed by SCT Logistics – surged up to eighth on the grid for his debut.

Juffali also earned her personal best qualifying result of the season in 10th, and the weather twisted and turned once again in time for race one later that afternoon as both Douglas cars switched to slick tyres for the opening contest. A hectic opening few laps would cost the pair track position, but Juffali proceeded to recover well, climbing the field to be on the tail of her team-mate Smith as they finished 12th and 13th by the chequered flag.

Both had a more difficult job on Sunday morning in the weekend’s second race, Smith qualifying highest of the Douglas pairing in 13th. The drivers kept up the pressure on those around them, gaining more experience with Smith taking 15th spot – two ahead of Juffali – prior to a great opportunity to shine in the final race of the weekend.

That would come from the reverse grid, as both Douglas drivers completed a second qualifying lap good enough to count towards the reverse format while others squandered that chance. Juffali grabbed a front row spot and held a top-five position in the opening corners. Smith lined up immediately behind his team-mate, but the rookie was tagged into a spin at the opening corner.

The setback put the fire in Smith’s belly as he reeled off several fastest laps to catch the pack once again, catching and passing his team-mate Juffali who was forced wide in a number of aggressive battles during the early laps of the race. Smith would finish 15th once again, two spots ahead of Juffali in a result that arguably did not match the team’s ultimate pace.

“In qualifying I feel we showed our experience by getting the two lap times in when we most needed them, and that set us up well for the weekend. Reema’s best qualifying result of the year shows her improvement, and with more experience at Silverstone already under her belt we’re optimistic she can add another great result next weekend. By the end of the day we were seeing strong pace from Tommy, who was also very unlucky to be taken out of a race which he could have finished strongly in, as he otherwise handled his debut very well.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“It was great to achieve our personal best qualifying and to do it when faced with very tricky conditions all weekend. We timed it well and put in a good lap which gave us the chance to fight for top 10 positions. I gave it my all and now I’m excited to head back to Silverstone where we did so well earlier in the season.”

Reema Juffali

“I think I could have done with a bit more dry running this weekend to get used to the car quicker. By Saturday I was still learning stuff, but the actual qualifying was pretty good. All the races were tricky but if I hadn’t got taken out in race three I could have done alright I think. It became a test session and I was much quicker then. I played around and now at Silverstone I’ll be in better shape with more testing so I’ll look forward to that.”

Tommy Smith

The Douglas Motorsport team are immediately back in action again this coming weekend (14/15 August) as they go racing at Silverstone for a second time in 2021, Juffali having claimed her best finish of fourth on their first visit.

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.