Aussies aplenty in British Donington Park finale

Monday 18 October, 2021
Photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography


It was a tough ending to the 2021 GB3 season at an unforgiving Donington Park for Christian Mansell and Bart Horsten as the duo dropped in the outright standings.  
With Mansell fighting for outright second place and Horsten in the running for a top five finish, both drivers had a big season finale ahead of them, however both ended up having a weekend of bad luck. 
Ahead of race one, Horsten qualified the better of the two, ending the session less than a tenth off pole for both race one and two, while Mansell ended both sessions on the third row.  
When it came to the round’s opening race, both Horsten and Mansell both endured difficult opening laps as they, along with several others, picked up damage and fell down the order. 

Mansell managed to make a bit of recovery and ended up crossing the line in 13th, two places behind championship rival Ayrton Simmons, while Horsten finished 18th. 
There was a bit more fortune in a wet race two as the two drivers went head-to-head for a podium place. While Horsten was the one who dominated for much of the outing, the tiniest of mistakes in the final stint allowed Mansell to jump him for a podium. 
The result saw Mansell move back into second in the championship, while Horsten’s top five chances were slipping away. 

In the final race of the year, Mansell found himself in an extremely tight battle with Simmons and Japanese teenager Reece Ushijima, however all three faced troubles of their own. 
Unfortunately, the 16-year-old Australian was involved in a crash midway through the race and plummeted down the order, while Simmons overcame front wing damage to finish 10th and score enough points to secure second in the championship over Mansell, who still finished an impressive third in his rookie season. 
Horsten on the other hand had a decent final race as he started in P20 and climbed up nine positions to finish 11th, just seven-tenths behind Simmons. 

Although Ushijima finished last in the final race, his two runner-up placings earlier in the weekend saw him leapfrog the West Australian and Brazilian Roberto Fabio to finish fourth on the standings. 
Horsten and Mansell weren’t the only Australians to compete in the GB3 season finale over the weekend with Victorian Tommy Smith and Flynn Jackes both competing. 
Jackes - Jakob Ebrey Photography
Making his international single-seater debut, Jackes enjoyed a better weekend than his more experienced compatriot, scoring points in the opening two races as opposed to Smith who retired in the opening race. 
Smith finished three places high in race two but was then beaten by Jackes during the final race. 
Smith’s season continues in two weeks with the final round of the Formula Regional European Championship at Monza on 30-31 October. 

British GT Championship 

Harry Hayek has picked up a solid finish to his 2021 McLaren campaign with a seventh-place finish in the championship's Donington Park finale. 
Racing for Jenson Team Rocket RJN alongside local driver Katie Milner for the fourth time this year, the young duo showed plenty of pace in their last outing for the season making up a number of positions in the 70-lap race. 
After a sluggish start in free practice one, the duo got progressively faster in free practice two, however a tough qualifying session saw them qualify in 12th and 24th overall. 
When it came to the race, they were far more consistent and ended up making up five positions – eventually guiding their McLaren 570S GT4 to P19 overall and seventh in class.  
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