After showing front-running pace in practice, Douglas Motorsport’s single-seater stars suffered an evening of misfortune during the opening round of the British F3 iRacing Championship – the official esports spin-off of the BRDC British F3 Championship.
With motorsport suspended around the world due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, sim racing has enjoyed a surge in popularity as drivers from all disciplines of motorsport use online competition to keep their skills sharp and enjoy some close-fought racing.
Amongst those has been two of Douglas Motorsport’s two 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship contenders, Kiern Jewiss and Ulysse De Pauw, who have been picking in virtual silverware in competitive races throughout the past few months.
They were immediate entrants for the team into the new championship, while with team-mate Manaf Hijjawi not having a sim at home in Jordan, the final slot in Douglas’ entry is allocated to guest drivers. For the opening event, this was taken by former Douglas race-winner Harrison Scott.
Unfortunately a late issue with Jewiss’ sim meant he had to miss out on the first two races of the season at Oulton Park, but Scott and De Pauw were on the grid and immediately showed their front-running pace by both finishing in the top four in pre-event testing.
Scott excelled in qualifying too as he went second fastest, however an unfortunate moment on lap two of the opening race ended his challenge at the front. De Pauw meanwhile impressively fought back after failing to record a lap in qualifying and rose from the rear of the field to 9th at one stage.
Misfortune went his way late on though as he was unable to avoid a spinning car ahead, and the Belgian ace suffered further bad luck in the reverse grid race two as whilst challenging for third place, contact from the other car sent him into the barriers.
It was a similar story for Scott too unfortunately as he received contact on the run to the first corner on the opening lap. Following a tough couple of races, the Douglas Motorsport team are determined to bounce back next Sunday (24th May) during round two at Spa-Francorchamps.
“As a team it was a no brainer to enter the new British F3 iRacing Championship. Our drivers have always used sim racing as a tool to prepare for their racing and this has been as important as ever in recent months.
“It’s a shame that Manaf isn’t able to compete in the series yet, and we’re gutted Kiern missed out on round one but we hope he’ll be back soon. Ulysse and Harrison represented us well though and proved their great raw speed, though sadly there was nothing they could do with the incidents in the races.”
Photos from Jakob Ebrey Photography