After winning the LMP3 championship in 2018, Kris’ 2019 race season started with a podium at the 24 hours of Daytona. We decided to grab the bull by the horns and get Kris into the British Formula 3 Series, the toughest single seater entry level racing in the world. All the top F1 and IndyCar drivers trained in British F3. For Kris’ development curve we felt it was the right racing for him to do in order to get to that next level.
He got a bit of a late start with testing because of Daytona. So, we made up for it before the first race of the season with a full six days of testing in England. Kris tested four days at Oulton Park, one at Donnington, and one at Snetterton.
It’s not easy to start out campaigning as a rookie in F3 at Oulton Park because it’s a high speed, off-camber circuit. Kris did well, in part because he had good data from a teammate with extensive experience. Kris got familiar with the car, the team and the track throughout testing.
It was challenging and a great learning experience for the first race weekend at Oulton. Qualifying was tough as Kris worked to get up to speed; it’s hard to find the limit. He did a great job, had a couple of respectable races and learned good race craft. Unfortunately, he was taken out at Turn 4 in the second race but came back in the final race.
One of the many challenges Kris faced was standing starts, which is a very different technique, and Kris has very little general experience with, and none in this type of car, especially compared to all of his competitors. Also, the British F3 car also has very unique braking characteristics that require a specific braking technique into hard braking zones and slow and medium speed corners and sections of the track. He’s been working on that and progressed well at medium to slow speeds. The high speed, off-camber, elevated corners with the tire dynamic through different loads is the next step we’re working on and making great progress.
British F3 racing is as tough as you can get. We both talked that the British F3 will be a great challenge and learning experience to get to the next level, both as a driver, and also to learn how the different processes works between driver and engineer to gain more technical and set up knowledge. After talking this through we agreed this would be the best step in our program to achieve what we want down the road.
The qualifying session was a fantastic learning experience since Kris never raced on this tire before. To get the most out of the car and tire, you need to practice this a lot to know when the tire has its core and surface temp and the tire is ready for that flying lap. There’s also a specific way to warm the tires up gradually, and this might be one of the most difficult things, but he did a good job with this as well. It’s going to keep getting better each qualifying session throughout the year.
Kris is new to this car and all of the British F3 tracks so seat time will be invaluable to him and as the season goes on and he accrues more seat time, I have no doubt he’s going to grow and become a formidable driver in the series.
The next British Racing Drivers Championship (BRDC) Formula 3 series race is scheduled for May 18-19 at the Snetterton 300 in Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Additional information is available on Wright's Web site at KrisWrightMotorsports.com. Fans can also follow him on Facebook at Kris Wright Racing.
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