There’s only four weeks to go until the new GB3 Championship season bursts into life at Oulton Park on Easter weekend (7-10 April), and there’s every sign that the upcoming campaign is one worth waiting for!
A huge grid has already been assembled, lap times have been tumbling in testing, and new drivers are appearing in cars all the time. Here’s just some of the talking points with a month to go until the 2023 season gets underway.
A record grid expected
Already, 23 drivers have confirmed their place in the 2023 GB3 Championship, making this one of the biggest line-ups of junior single-seater contenders at this level in the UK for many years. Just three seats remain on this year’s grid at race-winning squads Elite Motorsport, Chris Dittmann Racing and Arden VRD, so any aspiring contenders need to make their move quickly before the grid reaches capacity levels!
Returning 2022 contenders
Of the 23 drivers confirmed so far, eight are returnees from 2022; Nico Christodoulou, John Bennett, Callum Voisin, Zak Taylor, McKenzy Cresswell, Max Esterson, Matthew Rees and David Morales. Voisin, Esterson and Rees are already race-winners and should be title contenders, while the rest were all podium finishes last year and will look to be regulars at the front this time around. Ayato Iwasaki meanwhile is gearing up for his first full campaign after debuting at the Donington Park finale last year.
F4 graduates from around the world flock to GB3
Graduates from seven national Formula 4 categories (British, Brazilian, Chinese, French, Spanish, UAE and USA F4) are all on the grid. Last year’s dominant British winner, Ireland’s Alex Dunne, is another likely title candidate, while equally rampant Chinese Championship winner, Hong Kong’s Gerrard Xie, has also confirmed his place in GB3.
Lucas Staico is the Brazilian F4 runner-up while Noah Ping and Tymek Kucharczyk finished inside the top-three of the USA and Spanish series respectively.
There’s also GB4 runner-up Jarrod Waberski to keep an eye on too, the South African proving just as rapid on his step up to GB3 as he was in the series’ feeder category in 2022.
How many nationalities?!
This year’s line-up is as cosmopolitan as they come, for 13 different nationalities make up this year’s current driver entry. British drivers account for six spots on the grid, the USA four, and Japan two with 10 other countries also represented with a single driver each. Find out more about each driver by clicking here.
Will a long standing Oulton Park record be broken?
The Oulton Park International Circuit lap record has stood since the 2011 British F3 season, when Brazilian driver Lucas Foresti lapped the Cheshire circuit in a time of 1m28.668 seconds. Twelve years later, that record could finally be beaten, judging by the testing pace at the venue earlier this week.
The Tatuus MSV-022 GB3 car came within six tenths of a second of breaking the record during the races last year, but at this week’s test, four drivers were inside the record time! Rees, Cresswell, aspiring entrant Oliver Stewart and Joseph Loake all lapped quicker, so we’ll be keeping a keen eye on lap times during the race weekend next month!
Who else will join the grid?
With just three seats left on the grid, the final question relates to who will fill them? Oliver Stewart and James Hedley have yet to confirm their drives for the new season but have tested cars over the last week or so. At least 13 other drivers without a seat for 2023 are known to have tested GB3 machinery since the conclusion of last year, meaning that competition is high to secure the final places in this year’s line-up!