Hillspeed rookie Hurst ends F3 season with silverware

Ben Hurst with his trophy for finishing runner-up at Silverstone. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey)
Ben Hurst with his trophy for finishing runner-up at Silverstone. (PHOTO BY: Jakob Ebrey)

Rookie Ben Hurst celebrated his first podium spot for the Hathersage-based Hillspeed team in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship at rain-lashed Silverstone.

In the final weekend of the campaign, Canadian Hurst finished runner-up in the 23rd round to end the season with silverware and secure 16th in the overall standings with 137 points.

The highest-placed Hillspeed driver overall was Sasakorn ‘Cutter’ Chaimongkol, who was ninth with 242 points after bagging two podium finishes earlier in the campaign. He took seventh position behind Hurst in Sunday’s race, having finished tenth in the opening race of the weekend at Silverstone the previous day when Hurst was 15th.

Another rookie, young German Jusuf Owega, ended up 11th in the overall standings with 187 points, having crossed the line in seventh and tenth in the two Silverstone contests.

The third and final race of the weekend had to be abandoned because the rain refused to relent and track conditions became very poor.

Richard Ollerenshaw, team principal at Hillspeed, said: “We are delighted for Ben. He has improved his racecraft and picked up his pace throughout the season.

“It’s a great reward to end the year with and, hopefully, something he can build on for 2019.

“As for Jusuf, he has the speed and ability to be a multiple podium finisher in F3. The fact that this has been his first season in cars speaks volumes for the way he has developed with the team .

“Cutter was not far away from the championship’s top eight in the end, so it has been impressive stuff from him.

“Hillspeed always prides itself on the driver development here, and all three of our racers have certainly made very strong progress.”

Hurst’s runner-up effort was given extra merit because, by the time of the race, the track was potentially dangerous.

It started behind the safety car, but with horrendous spray and lots of standing water, officials chose to bring out the red flags.

Hillspeed now head into an extensive winter programme of testing in the UK and Europe, ahead of the 2019 F3 campaign.