Strong progress for Hillspeed duo at Spa-Francorchamps

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Markham Vale Hillspeed team rookies Aditya Kulkarni and Marcus Luzio both made strong progress throughout the third race meeting of the GB3 Championship, partnered by the BRDC season at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, with Kulkarni posting the squad’s best finish with 12th in round nine.

Notable for being the first ever visit to the Ardennes track for both Hillspeed youngsters, for Luzio the event actually marked his GB3 debut and his maiden experience of the GB3 car in the wet.

Like Kulkarni, newcomer Luzio also posted his highest placing of the weekend for the Markham Vale team in the final encounter the on Sunday afternoon, taking 15th position despite an unfortunate issue with his car at the start.

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Rain impacted the learning curve of Harrow 16-year-old Kulkarni and 17-year-old Lichfield racer Luzio during the two test days, and into the weekend itself, but while qualifying proved challenging there was very good progression from both drivers across rounds seven, eight and nine.

The Hillspeed duo in action in Belgium.The Hillspeed duo in action in Belgium.
The Hillspeed duo in action in Belgium.

Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “There has been a huge amount of learning this weekend for both Marcus and Adi, so it’s job done where that’s concerned.

“Marcus had never driven the GB3 in the wet and Adi had only had the wet sessions at Oulton Park at the start of the season, so they have had a big curve in front of them and should be pleased with their progress.

“It was disappointing to have the issue with Marcus’ car at the start of race three, it just wouldn’t fire-up but for no apparent reason – MSV and Mountune are looking into the cause.

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“As soon as it was in pitlane it fired-up, so had team personnel been allowed onto the grid he would’ve caught the train under the Safety Car rather than going a lap down. He had the pace to come through.”

In race one finished 21st while Luzio posted 19th spot on his debut while, due to a penalty for a rival in race two, Kulkarni was elevated to 16th and Luzio 17th.

For the third and final race of the weekend on Sunday, round nine, Luzio’s hopes were hit straight away when he was unable to get away from the grid and had to be wheeled into pit lane.

Joining the race a lap down when his car fired into life, the misfortune was more frustrating than it might have been as he had the benefit of running brand new Pirelli tyres in the first truly dry race of the event.

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Even so, the debutant lapped well and in a race which required no fewer than three Safety Car interventions he took the chequered flag on lap nine inside the top 15 to bring the curtain down on a positive maiden appearance in GB3 – just one week after agreeing his deal to step-up from GB4.

From the 11th row of the grid, alongside his team-mate, Kulkarni took the flag in 13th place but was then promoted to 12th post-race after a penalty for a rival.

There is now a three-week break in the GB3 calendar with rounds 10, 11 and 12 taking place over the weekend 22nd/23rd June at the Hungaroring near Budapest.

Due to his exam commitments, Luzio has to sit-out the Hungarian race meeting as a result of a clash and so his seat will be available for the upcoming event – a fantastic opportunity for young drivers at F3 level or Formula 4 and GB4.

Drivers interested in exploring the available race seat are invited to contact Team principal Richard Ollerenshaw on +44 (0)7966 650400 or at [email protected]

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