OLIVER CLARKE SET TO BRING THE CURTAIN DOWN ON MAIDEN BRITISH F3 SEASON AT SILVERSTONE

Oliver Clarke will bring the curtain down on his rookie season in the BRDC British F3 Championship this weekend (November 7/8) at the Home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone.

In what has been an unprecedented year where the 2020 season has been crammed into a three-month period due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Hillspeed driver has emerged as one of the standout performers in the single-seater series, tallying a string of notable results.

Two podium finishes, the first in just his second race meeting and the other coming last time out at Donington Park, have been the highlights of the 17-year-old’s campaign however he is far from finished in adding to his trophy collection.

With three races scheduled to play out around the legendary Grand Prix layout of the Northamptonshire venue, the Torq Racewear Athlete is setting his sights on one final flurry to sign off what has been a memorable maiden foray into British F3.

Having really hit form in recent rounds and underlined his credentials as one of the most exciting single-seater prospects to move up the racing ladder in recent years, Clarke is also hoping to use the finale to make his mark on potential new investors as he begins to look ahead to the 2021 season.

Oliver Clarke:

“This season has literally flown by and it is a bit surreal that we are now heading into the finale. It’s been a rollercoaster year but I’m really happy with how things have gone and to have two podiums to my name is something I’m proud of.

“I feel that I’ve really hit my stride in recent rounds and I’m confident we can be in the mix at Silverstone. I’m not in title contention or anything like that so I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain; I’m going there to get more podiums and hopefully even a win.

“I’ve already got one eye on 2021 as well and I know that this weekend’s performance, as well as how I’ve performed in recent rounds, is the greatest pitch for any potential sponsor, partner or investor that I could possibly make.

“We’ll head to Silverstone with great optimism, work hard like we always do and hopefully the results will fall our way. I’m fired up to end the year on a high!”

To view all of the important information ahead of this weekend’s race meeting at Silverstone, including links to live timing and the event timetable, click here.

OLIVER CLARKE EXCELS WHILST SCORING SECOND BRITISH F3 PODIUM OF ROOKIE SEASON AT DONINGTON PARK

Oliver Clarke excelled whilst enduring a whirlwind of emotions during the penultimate event of the 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship at Donington Park this past weekend (October 24/25) as he scored a sensational podium and then saw another slip away on the penultimate lap of the final race.

Proving to be one of the stars of the show around the National layout of the Leicestershire venue, the Hillspeed driver underlined why he is one of the most exciting single-seater talents to progress through the racing ladder in recent years.

Backed by Mark Brown Electrical, Mitchell Piling Ltd and S Rodwell Decorators for the weekend, the 17-year-old got his eye in across Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, showing impressive pace and bolstering his confidence heading into qualifying.

In what proved to be a frenetic battle for pole position on Saturday morning, the Torq Racewear Athlete left it until the dying moments before he punched in a rapid time of 1:03.221 to move into second place – securing his best qualifying of the season.

Following qualifying however, heavy rain forced race officials to postpone the opening race until Sunday due to the adverse track conditions.

Greeted by autumnal sunshine the following day, a quick rain shower prior to race one saw tyre choice being the big topic of discussion. Clarke would opt for intermediates; a decision that would ultimately serve him well.

Scrambling for grip as he launched off the outside of the front row in race one, Clarke dropped to third, however his chances of fighting back were immediately halted due to the appearance of the safety car after a string of incidents took place further down the order.

Following a handful of laps behind the safety car, the restart saw Clarke apply pressure on the driver in second place but he was unable to find a way back past. Settling into a groove as the laps ticked by, the Fewkes Sport Management ace held station to cross the line in third place for his second podium finish of the season.

In race two, Clarke was forced to take avoiding action of a rival on the opening lap, taking a trip through the gravel and subsequently dropping to the back of the pack. Producing a string of eye-catching overtakes, the former karting ace underlined his overtaking prowess to bank valuable points in ninth.

Starting second for the third and final race of the weekend, Clarke endured heartbreak as he saw a guaranteed podium finish slip away in the closing stages. Breaking away from the chasing pack, the teenage ace was running comfortably in second before a rear right mechanical failure forced him to pull off the track.

Not only did Clarke’s race three retirement cost him a third podium of the season but it also dented his hopes of cementing sixth in the overall Drivers’ Championship, subsequently now sitting ninth.

Oliver Clarke:

“It really is a weekend of mix emotions because I’m obviously over the moon to have equalled my best result of the season and clinch a second podium but we could have repeated the feat in race three.

“Ever since we hit the track on Thursday we were on the pace and I’ve just been able to carry that speed into every session. The car felt great and I really felt I’ve elevated myself to another level in recent rounds.

“Scoring that podium in race one was mega and we had good pace in race two, it was just a shame that I dropped down the order early on. That podium finish was all-but guaranteed in race three and I can’t describe the emotions I felt when the problem struck – I was gutted.

“We’ve got to keep our heads held high though cause we have shown a signal of intent to the rest of the grid. We’ll head to Silverstone in less than two weeks’ time and see if we can end the year on a high.”

OLIVER CLARKE TARGETING ROSTRUM RETURN AS BRITISH F3 HEADS BACK TO DONINGTON PARK

Oliver Clarke is setting his sights on a return to the podium this weekend (October 24/25) as the BRDC British F3 Championship makes its third and final visit to Donington Park for the penultimate event of the 2020 season.

Coming off the back of producing his strongest showing to-date in the single-seater series at his home circuit of Snetterton, the Hillspeed driver has his tail firmly in the air as he chases after more silverware.

Having showcased his raw speed and overtaking prowess as the season has progressed, 17-year-old Clarke has now established himself into a regular top ten contender and is ready to make that next step forward.

With three races scheduled to play out under the flightpath of East Midlands airport over the course of the weekend, the Torq Racewear Athlete will be looking to reproduce his performance from the categories first visit to Donington Park, which saw him net a maiden rostrum in just his second race meeting.

The sixth weekend of the campaign will also see Clarke welcome two new partners on-board in the shape of Mark Brown Electrical from his home town of King’s Lynn and Mitchell Piling Ltd, who as based in Norwich.

Oliver Clarke:

“It’s a bit surreal that we’re about to head into the penultimate meeting of the season, this condensed campaign has really flown by but I’ve enjoyed every second so far; we’ve still got lots of racing to do though.

“Heading into the weekend, I’m feeling confident that we have really turned a corner after I had my best performance of the year at Snetterton last time out. Everything clicked and I’m hopeful that I can carry that momentum into Donington Park.

“This will be our third trip to Donington this season so we’ve got plenty of data and experience to draw upon. It’s a circuit I relish driving and it hold special memories as it was where I scored my first podium in the series earlier in the year.

“The way I see it; there are now six opportunities to get back on the podium before the curtain falls on the 2020 season and I’m going to give it everything I have to make sure we I pick up some more silverware!”

OLIVER CLARKE ENJOYS STRONGEST BRITISH F3 WEEKEND OF THE SEASON ON HOME TURF

Oliver Clarke battled treacherous wet weather conditions at his home circuit of Snetterton this past weekend (October 3/4) to produce his strongest showing of the season in the BRDC British F3 Championship.

Born and raised in King’s Lynn – less than an hour away from the Norfolk venue – the Hillspeed driver served up a scintillating performance to extend his run of scoring points in every race; netting a brace of fourth place finishes alongside a sixth and seventh.

Entering the fifth meeting of the year with a new sponsor in the shape of Sandles Car Supermarket, the 17-year-old got to grips with the challenges of the 2.99-mile circuit across Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions.

Greeted by heavy rain battering the venue come Saturday morning, qualifying proved to be a frenetic affair as drivers battled the elements to set their best times. As he has done in the wet previously, Clarke flourished in the conditions and powered his single-seater machine to a season-best position of fourth.

However, due to the chequered flag being erroneously shown on the TSL and start line messaging screens before the end of the session, the result of qualifying was amended and the grid was taken from when the chequered flag was first shown.

Subsequently starting seventh for the opening encounter, the Torq Racewear athlete wasted no time in fighting his way back up the order as he showcased his wet weather prowess, moving up to fourth by the end of the first lap.

Settling into a groove, Clarke soon began to hound the back of third place man Nazim Azman and despite applying constant pressure for the remainder of the 20-minute contest, the former karting ace couldn’t find a way past and settled for fourth.

Clarke found himself in the thick of the action in race two as he banked yet more points. Starting tenth, the Fewkes Sport Management racer dropped down the order in the early stages but battled back to show his fighting spirit, charging back up to ninth at the chequered flag.

With the rain having only intensified come Sunday, race three started behind the safety car and lining up 11th, Clarke had plenty of work to do. That however didn’t phase him as he once again produced a stellar opening lap to march up the order into seventh by the end of the opening tour.

Holding position from there, Clarke lapped more than a second a lap quicker than his team-mate to close the gap to sixth but ultimately ran out of time to make a move, finishing seventh.

Bringing the curtain down on a dream weekend in front of his home crowd, Clarke narrowly missed out on scoring his second podium of the season. Lining up sixth as the race once again began behind the safety due to the adverse conditions, the home hero produced one final star performance.

Holding position as the action got underway, Clarke made two eye-catching moves in two laps to slot in fourth before then challenging Azman for third. Like race one, Clarke gave it his all but couldn’t find a way past onto the rostrum and settled for fourth once again.

Virtue of having his strongest weekend of the season, Clarke has now vaulted up to seventh in the overall Drivers’ Championship.

Oliver Clarke:

“On the whole it has been a great weekend! To come to my home event and have the weekend we have had, my best this year to-date, is something I’m really happy about and hopefully it can propel us onto even greater things in the races to come.

“If I’m honest, having fourth place in qualifying taken away from me was very disappointing – especially given the circumstances around it all. Had I started from fourth in race one then who know’s how the weekend could have panned out, it would have been totally different and that is frustrating on reflection.

“Those conditions really suited me though and I felt I could really push when others couldn’t. I made progress in every race and had there been an extra lap in races one and four, I think we could have come away with some silverware.

“I’ve got to say a huge thank you to the team as they gave me a great car and also thanks to my friends, family and partners, including Sandles Car Supermarket, for their support – as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be in this position without them. Finally, the fans deserve a huge thank you as they turned out in force despite the weather.”

The penultimate weekend of the 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship will take place at Donington Park on October 24/25.

OLIVER CLARKE AIMING TO MAKE HOME ADVANTAGE COUNT AS BRITISH F3 HEADS TO SNETTERTON

Oliver Clarke will look to make home advantage count this coming weekend (October 3/4) as the BRDC British F3 Championship descends on his local circuit, Snetterton, for the latest instalment of what has been a blockbuster 2020 season so far.

Born and raised less than an hour away in Kings Lynn, the Hillspeed driver heads to the Norfolk track with momentum having finished the last 14 races in the points – one of which was his maiden podium in just his second event in the single-seater series.

Coming off the back of a rollercoaster outing at Donington Park which saw the results not reflect his front-running pace, the 17-year-old is fully focused on putting on a five star display for those in attendance.

With four races scheduled to play out around the challenging 2.99-mile circuit over the course of the weekend, Clarke will be one to watch as the category reaches the business end of the season.

Clarke’s home race will also see him welcome a new sponsor in the shape of Sandles Car Supermarket. Based in Kings Lynn, Sandles offers one of the largest selections of used cars and vans in the King’s Lynn, Norfolk and East Anglia area and they have been in business for more than four decades. View their full fleet of vehicles at https://www.sandles.co.uk/.

Oliver Clarke:

“I really can’t wait to get going this weekend! When the revised calendar was announced and I saw that Snetterton was still part of it I was over the moon as this will be the first time I get to race at my home circuit, it’s a really exciting prospect.

“I enjoy the challenges that Snetterton presents, it is a real driver’s circuit and the data we collected in pre-season and at the annual Media Day will undoubtedly serve us well as a team.

“This year we have shown we have had the speed but things just haven’t always fallen our way. Snetterton is hopefully where we can hook everything together and the aim will be to qualify well; if we do that then I’m confident we can fight towards the front throughout the weekend – I want to get back on that podium!

“Being on home turf also means that a few more friends and family will be watching trackside so hopefully that will be worth an extra tenth of a second to push me on. To welcome a new sponsor in Sandles Car Supermarket for the weekend is a real boost too, they’re renowned throughout East Anglia so hopefully we can give them even more exposure with some top results.”

John Sandle, Sandles Car Supermarket Director, added

“We at Sandles are really pleased to be partnering with Oliver on his journey through the motorsport ranks. It is a sport we are really passionate about and it has been great to see a local lad doing so well. We’re glad we can get behind him and look forward to watching him not only at Snetterton this weekend but in the future as well.”

To view all of the important information ahead of this weekend’s race meeting at Snetterton, including links to live timing and the event timetable, click here.

OLIVER CLARKE KEEPS IMPRESSIVE BRITISH F3 POINTS-SCORING RUN GOING AT DONINGTON PARK

Oliver Clarke extended his run of points scoring finishes in the BRDC British F3 Championship to 14 races this past weekend (September 19/20) after producing a consistent performance at Donington Park.

Having taken advantage of the recent three week break to rest and reset following a busy start to the season, the Hillspeed driver returned to the scene of his maiden podium in the single-seater series with his sights firmly set on scoring top results.

Hitting the Leicestershire track for practice on the Friday prior to the weekend, the 17-year-old showed impressive speed and headed into qualifying optimistic of making his mark.

In what proved an ultra-competitive session, the Torq Racewear athlete saw two of his best lap times – both of which would have been good enough for the top five – removed, forcing him to reset and ultimately post the ninth fastest time.

Lining up on the fifth row of the grid for the opening encounter, Clarke showed his fighting spirit as he moved into eighth in the early stages and from there settled into a rhythm as he ran on the back of a train of cars all dicing for fifth.

Applying relentless pressure to those in front of him, the Fewkes Sport Management racers hard work was rewarded late on as he moved up a spot into seventh in the latter stages.

Race two – streamed live online – would see Clarke once again progress as he banked more points with an eighth place finish. Starting tenth, the former karting ace got his elbows out and found himself in the thick of the action, showcasing his undeniable speed by setting one of the fastest laps whilst moving up the order.

Had it not been for another car making contact with Clarke at exit of Old Hall corner, the King’s Lynn-based teenager had the pace to make his way into the top six.

Unfortunately for Clarke, the third and final race of the weekend proved to be a frustrating one as a visit to the pit lane at the end of the first lap to rectify a puncture scuppered his chances of a strong result.

Leaving Donington Park for the second time, Clarke sits 12th in the overall Drivers’ Championship.

Oliver Clarke:

“I’m pleased to have extended my points scoring tally to 14 races showing consistency, but overall I am quite disappointed with how the weekend went for us.

“We were only able to test on Friday due to budget restraints this week and we showed some brilliant pace straight away, which would have transferred quite clearly to qualifying had my third and fifth place times not had been disallowed.

“We’re working on improving all the time and it is just about having the cards fall your way on the weekend. I enjoyed getting my elbows out in races one and two, it was just unfortunate we couldn’t do the same in race three due to a puncture.

“Next up we’re off to my home circuit of Snetterton and I’ve got my tail firmly in the air. It will mean a lot to get a big result there so I’ll be giving it everything I’ve got.”

The BRDC British F3 Championship now heads to Clarke’s home circuit of Snetterton next, with four races scheduled to take place around the Norfolk venue on October 3/4. 

OLIVER CLARKE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS BY SCORING FOUR BRITISH F3 POINTS FINISHES AT BRANDS HATCH

Oliver Clarke produced another strong performance in the BRDC British F3 Championship this past weekend (August 29/30) around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, scoring a quartet of points finishes – the best of which being a fourth place in race two.

Coming off the back of his first podium of the season at Donington Park last time out, the Hillspeed driver was keen to build on the momentum he had built up across the opening month of the 2020 season.

Getting to grips with the 2.43-mile circuit across Friday’s four practice sessions, the 17-year-old endured a frustrating start to his weekend on Saturday as a small mistake in damp conditions during qualifying saw him skate into the Druids gravel trap and ultimately fail to set a lap time.

Subsequently starting from the back of the grid for the opening encounter, the Torq Racewear athlete wasted no time in moving forward as he made up five places on the first tour. Following a brief safety car period, Clarke settled into a groove and made up a fourth spot before the end to finish ninth.

Lining up in sixth for the second race of the weekend, the King’s Lynn ace underlined why he shows all the hallmarks of being a future race-winner as he narrowly missed out on a second podium of the season.

Jumping up two spots during the opening stages, Clarke began to hound the top three and would continue to do so throughout the race. Unable to find a way past however, Clarke ultimately settled for fourth place and banked a solid haul of points.

Race three was to be one of pure attrition as the Fewkes Sport Management driver had to once again start from the back of the grid due to his qualifying woes. Surviving a frenetic opening few laps which subsequently caused a red flag stoppage, Clarke kept his nose clean on the restart to cross the line in 11th.

Clarke capped off his weekend with another consistent drive as he competed a clean sweep of race finishes in 12th place.

Following the third event of the season in the single-seater category, Clarke sits 12th in the overall Drivers’ Championship.

Oliver Clarke:

I think it is fair to say it has been a bit of a rollercoaster weekend. Failing to set a time in qualifying put us on the back foot and we were playing catch up from that point onwards.

“We did the best job we could and to come away with fourth place in race two was really encouraging. We’ve got the pace to mix it towards the front, we just need the consistency – that will come in time.

“Overall, four points finishes is not something to be disappointed and I made progress every time I was in the car.

“It’s been a busy month but we’ve now got time to take a second to relax and take stock of things. There are plenty of positives and negatives to look at across the opening three events so we’ll look at where we’re strong and where we can improve to ensure we’re in the mix next time.”

The BRDC British F3 Championship returns to action on September 19/20, making the second of three visits this year to Donington Park. 

BRANDS HATCH BECKONS FOR OLIVER CLARKE AS BRITISH F3 CAMPAIGN CONTINUES TO GATHER MOMENTUM

Brands Hatch will mark the latest stop on the BRDC British F3 Championship calendar this weekend (August 29/30) and Oliver Clarke is aiming to keep momentum going after scoring a maiden podium at Donington Park on just his second outing in the series.

Taking centre stage little over a week ago, the 17-year-old Hillspeed driver produced a sensational performance in wet conditions to underline why he is one to watch in the highly competitive category.

Now heading to the legendary Kent venue for the third event of what has already proven to be an action-packed season in high spirits, Clarke has his sights set on adding to his trophy collection.

Having showcased his raw speed and ever-improving race craft in the single-seater category so far, the Torq Racewear athlete is optimistic that further success is just around the corner.

With four races scheduled to take place around the 2.43-mile Grand Prix layout of Brands Hatch this weekend, its all to play for and Clarke is raring to get underway.

Oliver Clarke:

“Heading into this weekend off the back of scoring my first-ever podium, not only in British F3 but also in car racing, has been a real boost and I’m confident that I’ll be able to carry to momentum we have into Brands Hatch.

“It’s been a busy month and we’ve learnt a lot from the opening two events. The results have been a mixed bag but on the whole we’ve had great pace, we just need things to fall our way a little bit more.

“Brands Hatch is obviously an iconic circuit and any chance you get to drive around the Grand Prix layout is special. It’s a real drivers circuit where you have to tighten the belts that little bit more and take a deep breathe – it has all the hallmarks of suiting my driving style so I’m excited to get going.”

To view all of the important information ahead of this weekend’s race meeting at Brands Hatch, including links to live timing and event timetable, click here.

OLIVER CLARKE MASTERS THE RAIN TO CLAIM MAIDEN BRDC BRITISH F3 PODIUM AT DONINGTON PARK

Oliver Clarke showed his fighting spirit at Donington Park this past weekend (August 15/16) to master the wet weather on his way to a first-ever podium finish in the BRDC British F3 Championship.

Coming off the back of an encouraging debut at Oulton Park which yielded three top seven finishes, the Hillspeed driver found himself in the thick of the action at the Leicestershire venue but took on a starring role in race two to claim his first piece of silverware behind the wheel of a car.

Showcasing encouraging speed across Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions under the flightpath of East Midlands airport, the 17-year-old endured a frustrating start to his weekend on Saturday in dry conditions.

Despite setting the 11th fastest time in what proved to be an ultra-competitive qualifying session, Clarke was later deemed to have failed to comply with yellow flag signals which subsequently saw him disqualified, affecting his grid position for races one and three.

Starting 17th for the opening encounter, the Torq Racewear athlete set about making amends following his qualifying woes and was soon on the move as he fought his way up the order. Making up a handful of spots early on, Clarke ran 14th for a majority of the race before pulling off a string of masterful overtakes on the last lap to cross the line in 11th.

However, a timing error meant the chequered flag was inadvertently delayed and shown incorrectly at the end of lap 13, with the regulation distance actually being 12 laps. Counting back one lap in accordance with Motorsport UK regulations, Clarke’s sensational hard work was undone as he was ultimately classified in 14th.

Greeted by rain for the first of Sunday’s two races, the Fewkes Sport Management racer lined up in fifth virtue of the reverse grid and he made the most of his lofty third row starting spot.

As the lights went out, Clarke’s wet weather prowess came to the fore and he was soon into the top three by the second tour, exploring the levels of grip and underlining his eye-catching car control.

Finding a way past Carter Williams as the race reached the halfway marker, Clarke ran comfortably in second place for a number of laps before being shuffled back to third on lap seven. From there, the former karting ace fended off the challenge of Guilherme Peixoto to cross the line for his first podium in the series.

Sadly Clarke’s second weekend in the single-seater category came to a close with a technical issue forcing him to make an unscheduled pit-stop early on, dropping him down the order and out of contention of a good result.

Leaving Donington Park, Clarke sits 12th in the overall Drivers’ Championship after the first seven races of the 2020 campaign.

Oliver Clarke:

“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster weekend but to come away with my first British F3 podium is amazing; I’m really happy that I’ve been able to tick that box now.

“I didn’t get the best of starts but managed to remain in the mix around the first few corners and that set me up for the rest of the race. It was difficult to stay on the track and I outbraked myself a few times but once I got into a groove I felt really comfortable, especially as I’d never driven round here before in the wet.

“To come away with a first podium in just my second event is really encouraging moving forward. I’ve got to say a huge thank you to my team, family, loyal sponsors and partners – without them this wouldn’t have been possible.

“Aside from the podium it has been a difficult weekend where things didn’t fall our way. It’s all a learning process though and we will take what we’ve learnt here and see what improvements can be made heading into the next event.”

The BRDC British F3 Championship now heads to Brands Hatch on August 29/30, with four races scheduled to play out around the legendary Grand Prix layout of the Kent venue.

OLIVER CLARKE IN CONFIDENT MOOD AS BRDC BRITISH F3 HEADS TO DONINGTON PARK

The BRDC British F3 Championship speeds into Donington Park this weekend (August 15/16) for the second event of the revised 2020 season and Hillspeed ace Oliver Clarke is confident that he can make his mark after enjoying an impressive debut last time out.

Making his eagerly-anticipated bow in the single-seater series at Oulton Park earlier this month, the 17-year-old underlined his credentials as one to watch this year by powering his way to a trio of top seven finishes.

Showcasing the raw speed and race craft that led him to success in previous categories, Clarke was a constant threat inside the top ten from the outset – a credible achievement despite having not raced competitively in more than a year.

Now, sitting eighth in the overall championship standings after the opening four races, the King’s Lynn driver heads to Donington Park for the first of what is scheduled three events set to be staged at the Leicestershire venue during the remainder of the year.

Having clocked plenty of pre-season testing mileage under the flightpath of East Midlands airport in recent months, the Fewkes Sport Management racer enters the weekend in a buoyant mood and optimistic of what he can achieve across Rounds 5, 6 and 7.

Oliver Clarke:

“To score three top seven finishes on my debut in the championship was a great start to the season, but now it’s just as important that we carry that momentum forward and build on those results at Donington Park this weekend.

“Before the season started I’d done quite a bit of testing at Donington Park so I’m feeling confident that we’ll have good pace and be able to mix it towards the front. It is a real driver’s circuit and one I’ve always loved so that will hopefully play into my hands.

“This season looks like it is going to be super competitive but we know where we can improve and I’m optimistic we can make another step forward this weekend. If I can come away with some silverware I’ll be very happy!”

To view all the important times of when Clarke will be on track around the Grand Prix layout of Donington Park this weekend, as well as other information, click here.