Big leap forwards for Kennard at Snetterton British racing ace Jonathan Kennard added another couple of points to his British Formula 3 series tally at rounds nine and 10 at Snetterton this weekend, but the big news was that he and his Alan ...
Big leap forwards for Kennard at Snetterton
British racing ace Jonathan Kennard added another couple of points to his British Formula 3 series tally at rounds nine and 10 at Snetterton this weekend, but the big news was that he and his Alan Docking Racing team have made great strides to improve the performance of his car.
Following a very positive test day between races at Welsh circuit Pembrey, in which Kennard, 21, topped the timesheets, the improvements made to the set-up of his Mugen-Honda powered Dallara were clear to see in the first qualifying session at Snetterton.
Setting quick lap times, Kennard was on his quickest lap of the session when he picked up a puncture on the run between Coram and Russell chicane, which ruined the end of his lap, leaving him in a disappointing ninth.
"We did a lot of work to the car at Pembrey, and changed a lot of things. We are using the tyres much more effectively now," said Kennard. "It's a lot better and it's nice to be able to say I could actually have challenged for pole."
The step up in pace that Kennard has shown in glimpses all season was very much in evidence during race one, with a stellar start catapulting Jonathan past Bruno Senna at the first corner. When two cars tangled in front of him later at Sear, Kennard was able to pass both of them in one move promoting him to sixth.
After that, he was dicing with Oliver Jarvis and Yelmer Buurman ahead of him and, although he knew that he was quicker, could not find a way past. "It was very easy sitting in sixth and I knew if I could get past them I would be away in fourth."
Before he got the chance to make a concerted effort though, Kennard's car started experiencing an electrical problem, which caused the engine to cut out intermittently, losing him pace to the tune of three tenths of a second per lap.
The problem got progressively worse and eventually, Kennard was forced to pull into the pits and retire the car after 15 of the 27 laps. "That was really disappointing, because the car was so good and the points for sixth would have given me a real boost in the championship standings," said a philosophical Kennard.
In race two, starting again from ninth, Kennard again gained a place at the first corner, passing Christian Bakkerud. But a fast-starting James Walker had forced his way past Kennard at the same time, leaving him still in ninth. A titanic, race-long scrap with Walker ensued, with Kennard ending up less than half a second behind the Jerseyman at the chequered flag.
"It was a weekend of mixed fortunes," mused Jonathan. "We've made some excellent progress with the car, so that was very good and it means I'm very confident going into the next round.
Kennard's next races in the British F3 Series will be at classic Belgian Grand Prix circuit Spa-Francorchamps where he has secured two pole positions in the past. The legendary track is one of the most revered, and feared, circuits in the world and will provide a unique challenge for Jonathan but, after the Snetterton weekend, he is more than up for it.
The Spa weekend is on July 29/30.