Written by Archie O’Reilly, Edited by Sameena Khan
Interview quotes courtesy of Olly Radley
DIVEBOMB-sponsored driver, John Bennett, endured a tough first race weekend of the 2023 GB3 season at Oulton Park, leaving him 19th in the standings as he returns for his second season in the championship.
“Just a weekend to forget overall, really,” the Rodin Carlin driver told the DIVEBOMB team when reflecting on his weekend, which started on a bad note with a difficult qualifying session.
“Quali just made a mistake and then lost the tyres,” he said. “My teammate chose to come in for a second set, and a couple of guys at the top did, but I didn’t, which is a mistake at my end. That just set the weekend off, really.”
Bennett incurred damage and had to pit for a new front wing on the first lap of the opening race of the season on Saturday, meaning he could only manage a 19th-place finish - two places below his starting position of 17th.
“Race two today was good, moving up from 17th to ninth - most positions gained I think,” Bennett detailed, more positively, on Monday after no track action on Easter Sunday. “That kind of showed what we were capable of.”
Wet conditions on Monday led to a challenging situation for the drivers, resulting in some errors and a sizable amount of chaos. To Bennett’s credit, he drove in an incredibly measured manner in order to make up his eight places in the first race of the day.
“It was mostly just about surviving that race, really,” he said. “I couldn’t see anything with all the spray - just looking at the lights of the car in front, just trying to keep it on the track. I moved up like four or five positions in the first lap, and then after that it was just keeping it on the track and other people making mistakes.”
However, after starting in ninth in the third race of the weekend, which saw the qualifying order for the race reversed, Bennett fell foul to a collision and failed to complete the first lap. He had made up places in the first few corners, which saw him well-placed for a possible podium.
“Race three, starting ninth, hoped to get more points, moved up from ninth to fifth, I think, after the first two corners, then got taken out,” he recounted. “So yeah, a weekend to forget, but I think we showed that we do have some pace, moving up from 17th to ninth [in race two]. And, yeah, just looking forward to Silverstone.”
Bennett will be hoping for a smoother weekend at Silverstone on the first weekend of May as he will try to improve on his eighth-place championship finish in 2022.