Results > 19st-20nd March 2016 - Goodwood

Hibberd takes debut F3 win at Goodwood 74th Members’ Meeting

Historic Formula 3: Derek Bell Trophy

Goodwood 74th Members’ Meeting, 19/20 March 2016

Hibberd takes debut F3 win

Andrew Hibberd scored a debut F3 victory in the Derek Bell Trophy race at the 74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood (20 March). Hibberd took the ex-Chris Irwin Brabham BT18 to victory in a race impacted by a lengthy safety car period.

In the racing laps available, Hibberd went clear as Peter Thompson fought off Jim Blockley for second. James King, race winner a year earlier, was an early casualty after his engine blew up on the Lavant Straight on the opening lap.

After the runaway success of the 2015 race, the 1-litre F3 cars were back at Goodwood for the third Members’ Meeting of the modern era and a tremendous field of 28 cars arrived at Goodwood. The two absentees were likely front-runners Jon Milicevic (Brabham BT15) and Jonathan Hughes (Merlyn Mk14) with neither car ready in time. New to the action was the newly-restored Chevron B15 of Jon Waggitt, resplendent in Reine Wisell 1969 livery but destined not to start after qualifying problems. Meanwhile, Martyn Halliday made his single-seater debut in the ex-Stuart Tizzard Chevron B15C.

Hibberd showed his hand in qualifying, with a best lap that put him almost two seconds clear of King’s Chevron B17. Thompson (Brabham BT21), Simon Armer (March 703), Blockley (Chevron B17) and Ian Bankhurst (Alexis Mk8) rounded out the top six.

Sunday was once more dry but cool and proved to be a day of accidents and safety cars. Hibberd led the F3 field away but further around the opening lap Bankhurst and Mike Scott (Brabham BT28) tangled and went out, causing a six-lap safety car period while the stricken cars were moved.

When the green flag was waved, four more racing laps were fitted in and Hibberd wasted no time in re-establishing himself at the head of the race to make sure of victory in his first Formula 3 race. “I was getting a bit bored behind the safety car but it was a great race,” said Hibberd. “I wanted to chase the lap record, but it was difficult getting enough heat into the tyres.”

The battle for second place ran all the way to the flag as Thompson headed Blockley by just eight-tenths of a second. “After the safety car Andrew got away quicker,” said Thompson, who then had to concentrate on defending his second place. “Jim was certainly quicker than me in some of the corners,” he added.

Third place and the final podium slot went to Blockley’s Chevron. “It was a shame we lost all that time behind the safety car, but I certainly wouldn’t have caught Andrew,” he said.

Armer, who came so close to winning at Goodwood in 2015, had to race hard to fend off a determined challenge from Marcus Mussa (Tecno) for fourth, while Swiss visitor Christoph Widmer (Brabham BT18A) just pipped Paul Kite (Brabham BT21) and Stephen Smith (Chevron B15) after an excellent dice for sixth.

In fact, right down this competitive field were spirited battles that raged to the flag, ensuring that the season-opening Goodwood race was another fine advertisement for the category.

Paul Lawrence

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