Epping’s Ayrton Simmons kicked off his 2019 British Formula 3 campaign with impressive second and third place podiums and now sits firmly in third place in the championship after round one at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.

After suffering a DNF in race two due to a rear wheel nut failure, Simmons could have had even more championship points but what was a somewhat difficult weekend ended as a very happy one.

After qualifying for race one in third place, Simmons took full advantage of a safety car restart by overtaking USA driver Frederick on the inside of the hairpin to take second place behind second-year F3 Swiss-French driver Clement Novalak.

Race two (reversed grid) saw Simmons start in 12th and, after charging his way up to 9th position, the Epping ace suffered the rear wheel nut failure at 130 mph which, after immense car control, saw him retire out of the race safely.

Race three saw Simmons’ first pole position of the year. However, after leading for half of the race following another perfect start, the talented racer and Novalak found themselves wheel to wheel and subsequently wide off track, in a fierce battle which let through the eventual race winner Jonathon Hoggard.

Although Simmons finished in second, his defensive drive was seen to be ‘unfair’ but ‘unintentional’ and he was penalised by race officials with a minor one second penalty which demoted him to third.

Nevertheless it was a great start to the season for the 17-year-old. After being out of the car for six months and with only seven days testing, the British Racing Drivers Club 2019 Rising Star and current Formula 4 vice-champion continues to impress in what is a highly rated international field.

Simmons said after the races: “A big thanks to Chris Dittman Racing for the hard work and for the amazing car. In what was a difficult weekend I take my two podiums with a big smile. Roll on the next round at Snetterton.”