The 2020 BRDC British F3 season drew closer with a test and media day at Snetterton earlier in the week.
The peace and quiet of the Suffolk countryside was shattered by the sound of racing cars as the British F3 test and media day kicked off at Snetterton Circuit. Run in conjunction with British GT, it’s an excellent chance for drivers to get laps and different set ups under their belts and for fans and media, a chance to scope out the competition.
16 drivers took part in the day with three sessions of official running totalling nearly three hours of priceless time in the car. It was American Kaylen Frederick who was the fastest overall. The Carlin driver, retuning for another year, notched up a lap time of 1m43.705s in the final session.
Returnee Ulysse De Pauw topped the morning’s opening session which was very damp, Nazim Azman, also retuning for his second season, this time with Carlin, picked up the pace in session two.
Pace-setter Frederick commented: “We’ve been working quite hard in the off-season and getting things how we want them. Even though a lot of people in that last session put on new tyres, we still put in quite a good time. We’re still looking for places to improve but it’s a good way to start the season knowing that we’re quite quick.
“I had a disadvantage last year, everyone who came for their second year had quite a bit more experience, and a lot of people had done British F4 beforehand too, so they had a lot of experience on the tracks and with the teams. So having a year under my belt now is really useful and I’m feeling really comfortable. I’m in a great position with this team, I like working with everyone, so I feel confident heading into this year. I got some decent results last year with a couple of wins and a bunch of podiums but we’re aiming for those consistent results this year as I had way too many mistakes last year!”
There were a few familiar faces returning for the 2020 season. Josh Mason returns with Lanan Racing along with Kiern Jewiss and already mentioned Ulysee De Pauw, both for Douglas Motorsport. Benjamin Pedersen returns with Double R along with Carlin’s Frederick and Azman mentioned earlier.
Keeping the old guard on their toes there was plenty of fresh talent in the paddock. Drivers from Jordan and Mexico give this years roll call a real international feel. Not to be out done, there is plenty of home grown talent, drawing in the best from British F4, karting and other series making one of the most competitive grids for a while.
It was also a chance to see the new-look BRDC British F3 car for the first time. Major differences include the addition of an Advanced Frontal Protection device, new engines, and a heavily revised aerodynamic set-up including a new front wing assembly, barge boards, revised engine cover and fin and a heavily changed rear wing set-up. The new Mountune engines, made especially for British F3, including revised valve-train components, control systems updates, newly designed wiring looms and a pre-heater system that allows the engine to be brought up to temperature without being run in the garages beforehand.
The season kicks off at Oulton Park for Easter Weekend (11-13 April).