Jake Dennis finally broke the spell of bad luck by scoring a third place in Race one during the Budapest race weekend, his maiden podium in the Series. The fourth round of the GP3 Series was held at the Hungaroring and despite several efforts for the podium in the previous couple of rounds, they had been in vain.
The Brit qualified fourth, his best qualifying session to date and just five tenths behind poleman Nyck de Vries (ART) to line up on the second row for Race one. The Racing Steps Foundation driver had a great start up to third, where he remained, building nearly a 2second gap from fourth placed Nirei Fukuzumi (ART) to take the final spot on the podium. British-Korean driver Jack also secured his best qualifying place, to line up seventh for the first race. Unfortunately, he bogged down at the start losing a place then made a mistake on lap three to drop back to ninth. However, he still managed to bag two points to add to his growing tally. Tatiana also had an lucky start dropping back to eighteenth from her qualifying position (16th), more misfortune followed as the Colombian driver was tapped in the rear, she dropped back to cross the line 21st.
The reverse grid for race two lined Jake up in sixth, with Jack in ninth and Tatiana 21st. It was Jack’s turn to shine through the field as he stormed up to fifth on the start. Team-mate Jake dropped back to eighth and Tatiana continued in 21st. Jack took advantage of the battle with Ralph Boschung (Jenzer) and Charles LeClerc (ART) when Boschung tipped LeClerc, Jack seized the opportunity to take fourth place to the finish. Jake made a respectable recovery to finish seventh and pick up two points. Tatiana crossed the line in 22nd. Jack was later penalised for an earlier race incident causing a collision, therefore dropped two spots to finish sixth and collect four points.
Jake: “It was a pretty clean final lap in Qualifying with nothing really left on the table. I came into a little bit of traffic which could have prevented me from being on the front row but Nyck de Vries (ART) was just a bit too fast. The plan for the opening race was to get points on the board but tyre degradation was a bit of an unknown with the newly resurfaced track.
I’m glad I’ve finally grabbed a podium in a clean race too. It’s generally quite difficult to overtake for all drivers due to the circuit characteristics, so it’s all down to getting your position on the first lap. Nyck’s car not starting benefitted me of course. In the opening half of the race the two ART GP cars were strong but I managed my tyres in those early stages and the pace was therefore good at the end which was demonstrated with the fastest lap.
My launch in race two wasn’t great and unfortunately I didn’t have the drive to turn one. The sticking throttle really affected me and damaged the tyres so I had to really manage them.
The weekend as a whole has gone well though. To score points in both clean races, without any contact is a relief. We’ve now got some momentum so we need to carry that on towards the next round at Hockenheim.
“Qualifying is the most important part of the weekend and unfortunately it was compromised by a red flag and a mistake on my side on the only clean lap that we had, so we knew it was going to be tough from then on. It was very difficult to overtake after the first lap in race 1. I made a pretty good start up to P13 but got hit from behind. I think we have good pace and it's a matter of putting everything together, thankfully we will have another chance this weekend!”
“It was not a bad weekend overall. We achieved some more solid points and we had a very good race on Sunday. However, I am still looking to put things together because we have the potential to be on the podium. I am looking forward to that for the next round. “