- Fortec Swede the blink of an eye from victory at Snetterton
- Close racing between title rivals as Granfors/Browning battles entertain
Joel Granfors clinched a fresh pair of podiums in this weekend’s mid-season round of the GB3 Championship at Snetterton, the Swede coming within fractions of victory after an entertaining duel with main title rival Luke Browning.
Granfors was a regular frontrunner throughout the Norfolk meeting, going second fastest across Thursday and Friday testing and then repeating the same performance to take P2 in qualifying.
Lining up on the front row for both of the opening two races of the weekend, Granfors duly converted his grid slots into a brace of rostrum visits, taking his fifth and sixth podium finishes of the year after some serious battling.
A slow getaway cost the Fortec youngster one position at the start of Race 1, with Browning – second behind Granfors in the standings going into the weekend – able to slip ahead.
It set up a fierce tussle not only for second, as Granfors put Browning under immense pressure, but also for the win as both title rivals shadowed eventual winner Callum Voisin throughout the 12-lap encounter.
The Granfors/Browning saga then stepped up another gear in Race 2, with the pair sharing the front row of the grid and Granfors frantically pressurising Browning for victory.
The British Hitech GP driver managed to defend his lead throughout, however, with Granfors eventually crossing the line a mere 0.235s behind; the equivalent of a human blink.
”It’s been a good weekend, with two podiums and strong pace throughout,” says Joel Granfors. “It’s definitely a good result, and it’s been really close between Luke and I all weekend. I did feel quicker than him, but it’s hard to overtake around Snetterton and he did a good job defending. Tight, close racing, and next time hopefully the margins will be on my side instead.”
In the concluding reverse-grid race on Sunday afternoon, Granfors went from 21st to 16th, picking up some further crucial championship points.
With exactly half the season now completed, Granfors now sits second in the GB3 standings, just 11 points behind new leader Browning. Meanwhile, the top two have opened up a 40-point gap over third-placed Brazilian Roberto Faria.
“It’s obviously a little bit frustrating to drop some points to Luke this weekend, but we’re basically tied heading into the second half of the season,” Joel Granfors concludes. “It’s absolutely all to play for and I feel really confident with the pace we have at the moment. I’m up for the fight!”
Next up on the GB3 Championship calendar is the only non-British round of the season, with Belgium’s iconic Spa-Francorchamps playing host to the next chapter in the title race on July 23-24.
Joel Granfors will pay a visit to Formula 1 world champions Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes premises on Monday, receiving his prize factory tour for leading the GB3 standings following last month’s Donington Park round.
Rd. 4 | Snetterton
After 4/8 rounds
1: Luke Browning (GBR), 239 p.
2: Joel Granfors (SWE), 228 p.
3: Roberto Faria (BRA), 187 p.
4: Max Esterson (USA), 181 p.
5: Callum Voisin (GBR), 172 p.