KENNARD SHOWS YET MORE PROMISE AT SILVERSTONE
Rising motorsport star Jonathan Kennard showed yet again why he is regarded as one of the UK's most exciting young racing drivers at Silverstone this weekend.
The 21-year old from Tunbridge Wells followed on from his sterling performances at Spa last time out to qualify fourth for the first of the weekend's two British Formula 3 races - his best grid slot to date.
An incident in which Kennard was the innocent victim meant he had to endure a frustrating race, but he made up for it with a scintillating scrap in race two, which saw him finish a strong sixth, proving once again that he is making rapid progress in his debut Championship class campaign.
In race one, held in wet conditions rather than the dry weather in which he qualified, Kennard was holding his position near the head of the field when contact from behind by Stuart Hall at Maggots sent him spinning off the track. He rejoined the race, but right at the back of the field, a very difficult situation to stomach after such a good qualifying performance.
A spirited charge through the pack during the rest of the race saw him climb impressively up to 11th spot, but it was still a disappointing result.
"I think we made some mistakes in setting the car up for wet conditions,' explained Jonathan. "I was really struggling to find any grip on the wet track, so it was very difficult."
Kennard started seventh in race two, blasting past Stephen Jelley off the line and passing Bruno Senna when the Brazilian ran wide at Stowe to move up to fifth.
A battle with Salvador Duran and Maro Engel ensued, Engel piling the pressure on and Kennard, whose Alan Docking Racing-run Dallara was suffering with a touch of understeer, had to let the German past.
Lying in sixth position, Kennard then found himself embroiled in an awesome scrap with Senna and James Walker, the trio passing, re-passing and swapping places many times over the remaining laps. Countless times, one or other of them made a move to gain a place, but onlookers described Kennard's brave and skilful lunge up the inside of Senna at Abbey chicane as the overtaking move of the race.
Once past Senna, Kennard went on a charge and pulled away from the warring pair, despite the power displayed by Senna's car earlier. "I had been running alongside Senna through Club corner,' mused Kennard. "We were running side by side down the straight with nothing between us in terms of power, and then suddenly his car just took off. It was like he'd pressed a boost button! I've never seen anything like it."
"Once I got past for the final time, I just put my head down and managed to leave them behind, which left me in sixth place."
It was another fine showing from the young Kent man, which again marked him as one to watch for the future. Kennard's next British F3 action will be at his home circuit, Brands Hatch, on August 26/27.