First British success at Silverstone as Browning takes F3 pole

Friday 05 July 2024

Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning took a last-gasp Pole Position in the Formula 3 Championship at a rain-hampered qualifying session at the British Grand Prix.

The Motorsport UK Academy Team UK driver left it late on a drying circuit with a time of 1:44.992 to take top spot.

Following the morning’s wet Practice, the drivers went out on the Hard tyres, but as they started their warmup laps reports of heavy rain started to come in over the radios.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Noel León then set the initial time to beat with a lap of 1:45.475, Alexander Dunne, the 2022 ROKiT British F4 Champion moved up to second, just 0.070s off top spot, while Gabriele Minì settled into third for PREMA Racing.

However, as most of the grid returned to the pitlane looking to strap on a new set of hards, the rain intensified. This left Dino Beganovic at the back after the Swede lost his initial time to a track limits violation, while Championship leader Luke Browning was demoted to P13 by Tim Tramnitz.

But with all looking lost, the drivers ventured out on to the track aiming to do as much learning in mixed conditions before tomorrow’s Sprint Race.

However, the track began to improve heading into the final minute, with Leonardo Fornaroli going fastest on a 1:45.265. This was bad news for the drivers in the pit lane like León and Dunne as the timing screens lit up with purple and green sectors.

Browning then came across the line to complete a lap of 1:44.992 giving him Pole Position on home soil, as Max Esterson went second moments later as Sami Meguetounif then moved up to P3.

Callum Voisin had been fastest in the drying conditions for Rodin Motorsport but ended up in P9 ahead. Joseph Loake came through in 16th and Cian Shields finished 23rd.