HILLSPEED WITH CLIFF DEMPSEY RACING DRIVER OWEN CLIMBS INTO BRITISH F3 SERIES TOP EIGHT AT ROCKINGHAM
- Chase Owen posts season-best P7 in Rd6 at Rockingham
- First year BRDC British F3 driver climbs into series top eight
- Rookie Nick Worm adds to experience on second outing
American racer Chase Owen secured Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing’s best result of the BRDC British Formula 3 season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire over the weekend, 29th/30th April, after taking seventh place in round six – helping elevate him into the championship top eight.
Ending the last of the event’s three races only a fraction outside the top six, the 24-year-old from Houston in Texas just missed out on the top 10 in the preceding pair of encounters but wrapped-up the second race meeting of his maiden season in British F3 one position higher in the title race.
Young team-mate Nick Worm, embarking on only his second weekend of car racing, added to his experience with two consistent finishes in rounds four and five. The 16-year-old had to miss the final contest on Sunday, though, due to a flight scheduling issue for his return journey home to Germany.
“It’s been another step forward for Chase in terms of the race three result and his move up the championship”, said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “We had an unfortunate problem with a component on the car in qualifying, which is being fully investigated over the coming days, and that did compromise the outcome.
“The team quickly rectified the issue in the pits but then the session was red flagged, further compromising what Chase could do. Overall though, it was a solid weekend and we’re looking to making further steps at Snetterton in a few weeks.”
He added: “Rockingham posed another big challenge for Nick but he took everything in his stride and brought the car home safely in races one and two. It’s unfortunate he had to miss the third race because of his flight home, but we were happy once again with the work he put into this weekend.”
Owen started the Rockingham weekend strongly in pre-event testing on Friday with the seventh fastest time overall – just 0.4 seconds shy of the outright pace. Qualifying, though, didn’t run as smoothly when the component issue relating to the front wing impacted Owen’s pace.
Choosing to complete the lap when the wing issue occurred before pitting next time around, the team swiftly replaced the nose box and front wing assembly. Before the American could try and improve his lap time, though, red flags were shown following an incident.
In the sister Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing car, Worm improved his pace markedly between testing and qualifying. Ending the grid-determining session 16th quickest, the young German was just half a second shy of the next car having been 1.3 seconds adrift on Friday.
Round four on Saturday was pretty uneventful for both team-mates, Owen finishing the race in 11th position on the tail of multiple F3 race winner Toby Sowery– with pace just 0.3 seconds shy of top six performance. Worm, meanwhile, climbed through into the top 15 and eventually finished in 14th place after a time penalty for Jeremy Wahome.
Opening lap drama in the first of Sunday’s encounters, round five, delayed Owen and he slipped back to 13th position behind Worm. Getting back ahead of his less experienced team-mate on the opening lap at Tarzan, the American ended the race in 11th place. Worm, learning with every lap, took another consistent 14th position in the sister car.
Due to his requirement to catch a return flight to Germany, which had been booked prior to the event timetable being finalised, Worm had to miss race three of the weekend so Owen was the sole Hillspeed with Cliff Dempsey Racing representative.
Starting the race in 10th position, he made a good launch and enjoyed some terrific battles with several rivals. Following a tangle between two cars at Chapman Curve on lap two, Owen moved up into the top eight and although edged back a spot on lap six he sliced through to seventh at Tarzan when two rivals clashed. Pressuring for sixth to the flag, Owen just missed out by 0.2 seconds.
Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk will be the next destination on the BRDC British Formula 3 calendar with rounds seven, eight and nine of the season set to take place over the weekend 27th/28th May.