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.”
“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.”
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.