Douglas Motorsport Provide GB3 Taster To Team USA Scholarship Drivers

Douglas Motorsport Provide GB3 Taster To Team USA Scholarship Drivers

This year’s intake of Team USA Scholarship drivers sampled GB3 machinery with Douglas Motorsport at Bedford Autodrome yesterday (Monday), as the young contenders continued their exploration of the UK racing scene.

Elliott Budzinski, Thomas Schrage and William Ferguson have spent the past few weeks in the UK, competing in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and are now gearing up for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone this weekend (5-6 November).

17-year-old Schrage was the highest-placed of the three at Brands Hatch, having registered fourth place in the curtailed final, which was won by former Team USA contender Max Esterson, who raced and won in GB3 with Douglas this year.

A gap in their schedule allowed the trio to get behind the wheel of Douglas Motorsport’s Tatuus MSV-022 GB3 cars, which represent a big step up from the Formula Fords they are used to thanks to considerable increases in horsepower and downforce.

FRP F1600 Championship championship-winner Schrage said: “I had a fantastic time at Bedford Autodrome with Douglas Motorsport turning laps in their GB3 Championship car. Being my first time in a car with aero, it definitely did not disappoint.

“Huge thanks to Jeremy Shaw, the Team USA Scholarship and all the Team USA supporters and partners for organising today’s test and allowing me to step into a GB3 car for the first time! Also, thank you to the Douglas Motorsport crew including Wayne Douglas and Gemma for making today so amazing!”

Karting graduate and SCCA June Sprints Formula F winner Budzinski commented: “Firstly, I cannot thank Douglas Motorsport, Gemma [Stevenson], and Wayne [Douglas] enough for allowing us to do some laps in their cars. It’s a big contrast from these to the Formula Ford, so definitely took a bit to get used to.

“For me downforce isn’t something I’ve experienced before and wow, to think a car could do that! All in all though, I think it went quite well and I was super excited to try my hand in something with a bit more horsepower!”

Canadian Formula 1600 Championship runner-up Ferguson added: “Wow! What an awesome way to start off the week. The Team USA boys and I got to do a few laps in a GB3 car with Douglas Motorsport at Bedford.

“We all got comfortable with the car pretty quickly and had a lot of fun pushing the limits. The Douglas crew, Wayne, Gemma and Alex were very welcoming to us and we had a very enjoyable day. The taster has definitely opened my eyes to racing in the UK and I’m looking forward to moving up in the future!”

A Team USA Scholarship driver has graduated into GB3 from the scheme across the past two seasons, with the trio looking to follow in the footsteps of Bryce Aron and Esterson, who both won GB3 races this year.

Douglas Motorsport Team Principal Wayne Douglas reckons each of this year’s trio has the potential to continue moving up the ladder, based on their performance at Bedford Autodrome.

“We are thrilled to have continued our partnership with the Team USA Scholarship and given the opportunity to Elliott, William and Thomas to test a GB3 Championship car,” he said.

“We were very impressed by how each of them adapted to the car and it’s clear they have a lot of potential for the future.”

Story produced by the GB3 Championship media team.

Douglas Motorsport Continue Great Form With Silverstone Win

Douglas Motorsport Continue Great Form With Silverstone Win

Douglas Motorsport scored their latest win of the 2022 GB3 Championship season last weekend (30/31 July) after Marcos Flack surged to his maiden victory in the final race of the meeting at Silverstone.

Fresh from a superb second win of the season a week prior at Spa-Francorchamps, the team made the trip to Silverstone for the second time this season hoping to continue their fine form and push for the overall championship, with American Max Esterson sitting third in the standings after five meetings.

The team again showed their cards in practice with some solid pace throughout a total of seven test sessions held across both Thursday and Friday in the run-up to the main event. Esterson headed the charge along with his Australian team-mates Flack and Tommy Smith, the latter having won the final race last time out in Belgium.

Douglas Motorsport turned their focus to a good qualifying on Saturday morning to set themselves up for the weekend’s three sprint races. Esterson could only come away with ninth place on the grid in a mightily close qualifying session, sitting a mere 0.5s off pole position. Flack and Smith were both just within 1.1s away from the ultimate best time, yet would have to fight back from 15th and 17th respectively despite their solid performances.

The opening 10-lap contest of the weekend took place later that afternoon, which would be another close race with not much in the way of overtaking opportunities around the high-speed 3.6-mile GP circuit. Esterson would hold his position of ninth until the chequered flag as he held off the attentions of championship leader Luke Browning, Smith and Flack stuck in the pack further down the order with the latter succumbing to a track limits penalty.

Race two would be relatively undramatic, but a frenetic finish and several yellow flag infringements for drivers around them bumped the Douglas Motorsport trio up the order. Esterson took the best finish of 10th, Flack recovering two spots to 13th and Smith improving four places to 16th.

Two Douglas Motorsport cars started further up the order for race three, and it was Flack who took full advantage of the situation. A superb first lap put him up to third place, evading a squabble ahead before passing team-mate Smith for second at Stowe.

The chase continued, and the young Aussie made his way up the inside of leader Zak Taylor at Brooklands to move into the race lead, after which he proceeded to confidently pull away on course to achieving his first ever GB3 victory and the third of the year for Douglas Motorsport.

Smith fought hard throughout the aggressive contest, taking seventh place by the chequered flag while Esterson was taken out in the pack late on during his recovery from 12th on the grid.

A strong weekend keeps the Douglas Motorsport squad fifth in the Teams’ Championship as the series next heads to Brands Hatch GP circuit over the weekend of 10/11 September.

“A great way to end the weekend after a difficult start in such a close qualifying session. We were within 1.1 seconds as a team and yet we had to recover lost ground in the earlier races. The final race was a great outcome after we made the moves early on and pulled clear, so now all three drivers have had a taste of victory this year which gives us confidence for hopefully more success at Brands Hatch.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“I managed to jump everybody on the first lap and from then we were gone really. A great end to the weekend. We couldn’t do much more and pushed to pull away. It’s good to get on the podium and walk away with a trophy.”

Marcos Flack

“In race one I got a good launch off the line but got boxed in and couldn’t move forward on lap one as it’s tough the pass. It was a decent race otherwise and we fought hard to hold onto ninth. In race two, I kept my nose clean and salvaged some points by finishing, and the team have ended well.”

Max Esterson

“It was actually alright as qualifying I thought was much better from my side. We were only 1.1 off pole, but the whole field is getting closer. From where we were we made good progress too. The last race was madness, and really full on but we scored good points.”

Tommy Smith

Douglas Motorsport Take Another GB3 Victory At Spa-Francorchamps

Douglas Motorsport Take Another GB3 Victory At Spa-Francorchamps

Douglas Motorsport added a brilliant second win of their 2022 GB3 Championship season thanks to Tommy Smith and took another podium finish with Max Esterson at the picturesque Spa-Francorchamps circuit this past weekend (23/24 July).

The team travelled to the 3.5-mile grand prix circuit off the back of their fourth podium finish of the season at Snetterton, with drivers Marcos Flack, Tommy Smith and Max Esterson all now having claimed silverware for the team across the opening four meetings – including a superb win at Donington Park for the latter.

With experience from testing at the Belgian circuit already under their belts with the new Tatuus MSV-022 chassis being used this year, the team entered the latest three races with high hopes of fighting for more trophies and maintaining their title push. Testing on Friday seemed to point towards strong pace once again with Esterson inside the top three on each occasion, as drivers focused their attentions towards qualifying later that afternoon.

What followed was a tight session, with Esterson the highest placed of the Douglas Motorsport trio in an competitive third place on the grid for race one. Team-mates Flack and Smith were hindered by a red flag in the closing stages as the two Aussie stars looked to take advantage of their tyre performance, but had their runs cut short by the stoppage which left them an unrepresentative 15th and 21st respectively.

Saturday played host to the first two races of three in the Ardennes, with a potential second victory of the season within range for the team as the lights went out for race one. Esterson held his ground in third initially, but fell to sixth on a safety car restart following an early accident behind. The American fought back however to pass Javier Sagrera for fifth, taking another spot at the chequered flag for fourth place, while further back there were sterling recovery drives from both Flack and Smith to climb five and six places higher than their original grid slots – Flack rounding out the top 10.

Although starting a spot lower on the grid for race two later that evening, Esterson gave the team the podium finish they desired. The former Formula Ford star evaded a first-lap tangle ahead of him to climb into the top three where he would hold onto his position, the impressive rookie sealing his third podium finish and the team’s fifth of the year. It would later become second place after a penalty applied to a driver ahead.

Flack produced a star performance of his own with a terrific surge through the field from 12th on the grid. Through the opening lap chaos he had already made his way up to eighth place, which soon became sixth as he dodged by a tangling pair of rivals at the unnamed left-hander exiting Rivage. The former British F4 racer brought home a top six finish, with Smith taking 19th.

Smith would have the best grid position of the trio for the reverse grid contest on Sunday, lining up on the outside of the front row with Flack closest in eighth. Tucking into the slipstream of Zak Taylor heading up the Kemmel Straight on lap one, Smith grabbed the lead with a brilliant move at Les Combes, which he held onto under pressure from Taylor a lap later at the same corner.

This would prove critical as a red flag was waved on lap two, Smith later dropping to second on the one-lap restart that followed. An incorrect grid procedure meant the results were moved back to the end of lap one though, meaning Douglas earned their second win of this season and Smith could celebrate becoming a GB3 winner for the first time.

Flack was handed ninth place, although the decision hindered Esterson who had charged from 20th on the grid to ninth, gaining eight spots after two laps. He was bumped back to 17th, but still holds onto third in the championship.

A strong weekend in Belgium puts the Douglas Motorsport squad fifth in the Teams’ Championship as the series quickly heads to Silverstone’s GP circuit this weekend (30/31 July) for a second time this year.

“We came here hoping to continue our recent good form at a track we know very well thanks to our testing mileage, so to come away with two podiums, a victory and a good handful of points is a positive outcome for us. Max again has been fast and very consistent to keep us in the title fight, while the recoveries from Marcos were fantastic all weekend. Tommy fought hard and we’ll take a win however we get them, which he would have deserved anyway after his drive in those early laps. It all points to a good weekend at Silverstone.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“A good weekend for us and I’m happy to come away with another podium. Race two could have been a tricky one as we nearly got caught up in the wreck on the first lap, but I tried to look forward and hold my place, maintained the tyres and kept my nose clean to score those points for the team.”

Max Esterson

“It was a tricky one, I got a really good restart after the red flag, and I thought I had a big enough gap down the back straight but Voisin got into the slipstream I guess and passed me. To get that first win after the weekend I had … I’ll take them any way they come! We’ve been to Silverstone already so hopefully we can have a good time there.”

Tommy Smith

 “I love Spa. It’s a great circuit to race at and thank you to the team for giving me a good car. I had some good fun in the races. We gained five spots in race one and then seven in race two which showed our true pace, and we scored some important points for the team.”

Marcos Flack

Images from Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Douglas Motorsport Grab Fourth GB3 Podium Finish Of The Season At Snetterton

Douglas Motorsport Grab Fourth GB3 Podium Finish Of The Season At Snetterton

Douglas Motorsport continued their run of good form in the 2022 GB3 Championship as Marcos Flack added the team’s fourth podium finish of the year at Snetterton 300 circuit last weekend (25/26 June).

Coming off the back of a winning weekend at Donington Park, Douglas Motorsport once again brought a trio of cars to the fourth meeting of the season at the 2.9-mile 300 circuit in Norfolk.

American Max Esterson had scored more points than any of his rivals over the past two meetings, alongside achieving the team’s first win of the season at Donington from pole position. Both he and Australian Flack spent time inside the top five during two days of testing, leading up to the weekend’s racing.

When the all-important 20-minute qualifying session arrived on Saturday morning, it proved to be incredibly tight across the field with the top 15 cars separated by just a second. Esterson was the lead Douglas car in 11th spot, with Smith and Flack out of luck in 17th and 19th but in a good position to capitalise on Sunday.

Esterson got his elbows out in the first of the weekend’s three races later that afternoon, battling his way up into the top 10. The American joined the fierce battle for fifth place, but overtaking proved difficult as he could not advance from 10th place in a close contest. Flack made progress during the race, climbing up into 15th by the chequered flag, while Smith would be one of the race’s unfortunate retirements.

The warm weather stuck around on Sunday, with Esterson starting highest of the Douglas trio in ninth on the grid. In another close race, overtaking was again not at a premium throughout the field, the team finishing inside the top 10 thanks to Esterson while Flack and Smith both gained places from difficult starting positions to finish 15th and 18th.

Former British F4 racer Flack headed the team’s chase of a podium in the third and final race, starting from fourth on the grid while fellow Australian Smith started two spots further back in sixth. It would be the perfect catalyst for both to shine, as the two blue machines gained a place each with rapid getaways from the line, Flack moving up into third.

That soon became second after a safety car restart when second-placed Zak Taylor ran wide, leaving Flack to chase after the race leader Mikkel Grundtvig for the remainder of the race. The youngster ramped up the pressure and looked to the outside at the hairpin in an attempt to grab his first win in GB3, finishing right on the tail of the winner as he took a breakthrough podium.

Smith was an equally impressive fourth on the road and less than a second from the race winner after a strong performance, Esterson recovering to seventh place as the trio all grabbed crucial points for the team.

A strong finish in Norfolk puts Douglas Motorsport fifth in the Teams’ Championship, while Esterson sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship as the series heads to Belgium on 23/24 July for the next three races held at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

“We’ve finished strongly this weekend after a tricky qualifying session, which certainly felt a bit unrepresentative of our true pace. All three drivers were very close to the ultimate pace and this weekend in particular it has been extremely close throughout the whole field. Marcos took his chance in the final race and could well have won it with another lap or two, while Tommy’s pace almost gave us another podium finish. Max scored good points to keep us in the title fight; we’ve tested at Spa already, so we hope we’ll head there in good shape.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“An up and down weekend for me personally. I thought I drove okay, while we did well as a team and race three was a good performance from us. We were untouchable at Donington and have some good circuits coming up, and we’re the only team that’s tested at Spa so we should go well there.”

Max Esterson

“I was pretty happy with that for a way to finish the weekend. I thought race two even went well; I made a couple of spots up from the start but it’s hard to pass here when it’s this close. Race three showed our pace. It was so close where we were all just a few tenths apart, so it was close to being something a lot better for me, but now I’m looking forward to Spa.”

Tommy Smith

“I didn’t manage to get it right in qualifying, but then we definitely got it right by race three and managed to pull it back for a podium finish at the end. It was very close all the way through and particularly in the last few laps, with me trying to pressure the leader into a mistake. I’m looking forward to Spa now.”

Marcos Flack

Pole, Victory And New Lap Record For Douglas Motorsport At Donington Park

Pole, Victory And New Lap Record For Douglas Motorsport At Donington Park

Douglas Motorsport enjoyed a superb weekend in the third GB3 Championship meeting of 2022 at Donington Park, with Max Esterson helping the squad clinch its first race victory of the campaign and breaking the circuit’s lap record along the way.

After another promising performance in the second meeting of the season at the start of the month, the team headed to Leicestershire eyeing more silverware with Max Esterson, Tommy Smith and the returning Marcos Flack.

That optimism was heightened after two days of testing leading up to the weekend, as American ace Esterson put his Douglas Motorsport car fastest heading into Saturday, with times lowering the official track record for the newest GB3 Championship Tatuus MSV-022 chassis.

With momentum on their side, the team looked ahead to qualifying on Saturday morning with sights set on repeating that performance. The short and sharp timed session was competitive throughout, and a blistering end to proceedings from Esterson put his car fourth on the grid for race one, with the bragging rights of pole position for the second race of the weekend based on second-fastest times.

When the lights went out for race one later that afternoon, Esterson held a watching brief on the opening lap as an incident broke out ahead of him at McLeans corner, moving him into the top three. A mature drive was enough to confirm his position, earning a second podium of the season for Douglas Motorsport along with the fastest lap of the race for good measure. Flack and Smith recovered well to 11th and 13th place respectively – the latter gaining five spots from qualifying.

The team had their chance to add an even better outcome in the weekend’s second race the following morning. Esterson made great use of his pole position as a fine start and defensive effort into the opening corner ensured he could hang onto the lead. Setting fastest lap once again along the way, Esterson drove a faultless race at the head of the field to bring home his first GB3 win, and the first of the season for the team.

The final race of the weekend featured a reversed grid based on qualifying results. Australian racer Smith was advantaged by this, starting from fourth on the grid after finishing 21st in race two, while his compatriot Flack started ninth after picking up 14th in the second contest.

Smith bravely fought his way up into third place in the early stages of the race ahead of Mikkel Grundtvig, and his pace confirmed that he was a podium contender. Despite taking the flag a comfortable third on the road, a time penalty for a false start cruelly dropped him back to fifth place, denying him a second podium of the season. Esterson meanwhile charged forward throughout the contest to end the race a credible 11th by the flag, while Flack unfortunately finished 17th after a trip to the pits.

Esterson ends the weekend third in the championship, with Douglas Motorsport sitting fifth in the Teams’ standings as the series next heads to Snetterton on 25/26 June.

“A really brilliant weekend for us. Max has been rapid all week and it’s fantastic to see us get the reward on Sunday with a pole position, race win, fastest laps and a new lap record in testing with the new car. It shows that we’re doing everything right as a team that we can do, and that’s a testament to all the guys here.”

Wayne Douglas

Team Principal

“A first podium and first win feels great for us as a team. I’m really happy with that weekend and now up to third in the points!”

 

Max Esterson

 “It had been a tough weekend but practice went well. Qualifying I didn’t quite put together, and it was very close all down the field. I gave it my best in mid-pack, but from the front in the third race I felt like we had good pace and I ran third throughout which was more like it.”

Tommy Smith

“The reverse grid race was a bit of a disappointment, but if you reflect on the weekend I feel that I managed to still pick up some crucial points for the team, which is positive. I have some things to work on with myself, but the team have been strong.”

Marcos Flack

Douglas Motorsport Ace Tommy Smith Receives Sponsor Accolade

Douglas Motorsport Ace Tommy Smith Receives Sponsor Accolade

Douglas Motorsport’s GB3 Championship racer Tommy Smith is aiming to be on the fast track to success this season after having a locomotive train named the ‘Tommy Express’ in his honour by headline partner SCT Logistics.

The Australian interstate transport company have been loyal backers of Smith since his car racing career began back in 2018, with their latest show of support for the Melbourne racer coming just weeks after his memorable first GB3 Championship podium at Oulton Park.

SCT Logistics’ Locomotive CSR016 will now be known as the ‘Tommy Express’ as it travels across the country, adorned by a cartoon image of Smith in his Douglas Motorsport car.

Tommy Smith: “The SCT history is a great Australian story, being the 1st Private Rail Operator in Australia and operating the largest freight trains in Australia across the longest single rail line in the World – 3,500 Kilometres from the East Coast to the West Coast of Australia. SCT set the benchmark in innovation and I’m both proud and thankful for their support and this tribute”

Initially an East/West rail operator, SCT Logistics has grown to be able to service all transport requirements to every destination in Australia, with offices in all major capital cities and regional locations. Their own train services incorporates no less than 35 mainline locomotives and over 600 pieces of specialised rail rolling stock.

Pat Kerin, SCT’s Sales Director: “We are so happy to be continuing this relationship with Tommy, he is a fine young man with a great future in Motorsport. Locomotive number 16 “Tommy Express” will now be a special addition to our fleet of more than 40 locomotives which service our business across Australia.

“We wish Tommy all the best with his motor racing endeavours and we look forward to supporting him into the future.”