Stefano & Shane Take Championship Titles!

The final meeting for the 2021 F3 Cup Championship kicked off at a warm and dry Snetterton for a triple header all in one day. Stefano Leaney came into the meeting already 44 points ahead of Shane Kelly in second overall and showed his dominant pace early on by securing pole by 2.6 seconds over George Line who qualified second overall and first in the F3 Cup class. George started the weekend third in the championship, forty nine points behind Shane. Even with a maximum points score over the three races, Shane would have to have a non finish in a race for George to be able to beat him in the class championship. Shane qualified third, just 0.382 seconds short of George’s time. Tony Bishop qualified fourth overall with Mark Harrison finishing the grid behind him.

The five cars lined up in the pit lane for race 1, taking the green flag lap straight from the pits before lining up on the grid for the race start. Stefano got away well from the start and disappeared into the distance; performing faultlessly and taking the race win by over 24 seconds and setting a fastest lap of 1:42.769. George Line seemed to start well initially from second place on the grid, but bogged slightly on his change to second gear, allowing Shane Kelly to challenge for position. George blocked him going down into turn one and then put in consistently faster laps than Shane over the course of the race, to finish well clear of him 13.2 seconds up the road and setting the fastest lap in class to secure another second place start overall for the following race. Shane held on to third place overall and second in class, he set a fastest lap of 1:46.800 to give him another third place start for race two.

Tony Bishop had a good start for race one and stuck with Shane Kelly for the first lap, closing in on him for position, but on lap two he ran wide at the first corner, taking to the grass and picked up a puncture. He nursed the car round and pitted for a tyre change which got him back out over half a lap down on the rest of the grid. He struggled for pace during the rest of the race as he had gained a vibration and finished in fifth position. Mark Harrison gained a position from Tony Bishop’s incident, he then maintained fourth position overall, getting faster every lap and set his fastest lap on the last lap of the race. He put in a better time than Tony Bishop, which gave him fourth position on the grid for race two of the day.

Race two saw Stefano Leaney get a poor start from pole position, dropping him back to third place as George Line and Shane Kelly seized the opportunity to go round either side of him. Stefano soon gained second place back from Shane Kelly with a lunge into turn two but George Line held him for the full lap, before being out-dragged down the start/finish straight. Stefano had the move done for the lead by the first corner of lap two and soon disappeared into the distance to take the race win by another large margin of 19.8 seconds. Conditions on track weren’t as good as race one though with the increase in temperature decreasing times slightly throughout the grid.

After losing his brief the lead of the race on lap two, George Line held his second position well throughout the race. Shane Kelly was close on him for the first couple of laps but soon started to drop back, with George finishing 11.5 seconds ahead of him. Shane finished the race in third position overall and second in class. Tony Bishop finished fourth having got past Mark Harrison on the first lap and drove an incident free race to fourth overall and second in class. Mark Harrison rounded the grid out in fifth place and third in the F3 Cup class.

The final race of the day and the championship ran smoothly as per the entire day. George Line had another good start, staying up with Stefano for a while and only one second slower than him on the first lap. Stefano then began building his gap to George, to finish the race 19.7 seconds ahead. George put in impressive lap times for the duration of the race; he quickly built a gap to Shane Kelly behind and finished the race 22.3 seconds ahead of third place.

Tony Bishop started the race in fourth position and stuck with Shane Kelly, keeping the gap between them to within a second and eventually gaining third position overall a couple of laps from the end. After getting past Shane, Tony then pulled away to finish the race 5.5 seconds ahead of Shane. Mark Harrison had another consistent race to finish fifth overall and third in the F3 Cup class.

Stefano Leaney had already secured the F3 Euro and Overall win of the championship before the final race, but by winning the final race as well, he gave CF Racing the Team Championship title ahead of University of Wolverhampton Racing. Shane Kelly won the F3 Cup class title and second overall, with George Line coming in third overall and second in the F3 Cup class. Third in the F3 Cup class went to Dominic Paul and Tony Bishop and John Corbett came second and third in the F3 Euro class championship respectively.