Max Esterson: Looking forward and back

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Max Esterson

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Published on October 22, 2022 with No Comments

Esterson enjoyed an impressive ’21 season with Ammonite.

BRANDS HATCH, England – My first season in the GB3 Championship came to end last weekend at Donington Park. I finished up the year seventh in the standings with a win, a pole, and three podiums. Unfortunately I didn’t repeat my earlier successes at Donington this time around and struggled to maximize my performance in qualifying. The times were super tight in testing leading up to Saturday, so being just a little bit off wouldn’t cut it. I ended up 11th fastest which made Race #1 difficult as the turbulent air makes it nearly impossible to overtake at Donington. That said, I think Race #2 was one of the most fun races of the season and I’m glad I performed well in super tricky conditions.

A cold and damp British morning meant that only about a third of the drivers opted to start on dry-weather tires, while the rest, including myself, chose wets. I lined up 13th on the grid, so I had plenty of work to do. I made a good start and felt really confident with the car. I had to be careful to not push too hard as the conditions really were too dry for rain tires. Despite managing the tires, I made good headway and at about the halfway point I started to push on. I was on pace with the leaders and was passing cars left and right. I eventually made it up to fourth with just a few laps remaining. The few drivers who had started on the slick/dry tires closed in rapidly as the track almost completely dried up and two of them over took me coming up to the last lap. I ended up sixth on the road but was put back to eighth after a track limits penalty. Despite the so-so result, I was really thrilled with how I drove.

Lots of promise this year in GB3.

The reversed-grid Race #3 was a disappointment as I was pushed wide in the first corner and then was hit a few corners later. This dropped me to the back with a bit of damage and I failed to make any real progress. I’m a bit frustrated with how the second half the season went as I thought that after my speed and success at Donington in May and Spa in July that I’d be able to keep the good form up. I’m glad I’ll have some time over the winter to analyze what went wrong and to think about how we can improve. Despite the underwhelming finish to the year, I’m happy that I was able to get a win, a pole, some other podium finishes, and some fastest race laps in my rookie year after making such a big step-up to GB3 from Formula Ford.

Second place at the 2021 Formula Ford Festival.

Speaking of Formula Ford… I’m so excited to be racing in the Formula Ford Festival this week. I’ll also be racing in the Walter Hayes Trophy in two weeks time. At the events last year I finished second and first respectively, with the same team I’m running for this year, Ammonite Motorsport. Hopefully I can improve upon last year’s results! I’ve been testing at Brands Hatch since Wednesday and the racing will begin on Saturday with qualifying and a heat race followed by the semi-final and then Grand Final on Sunday. The Grand Final will take place at 17:05 UK-time on Sunday and will be live streamed on the BRSCC YouTube channel. The heat and semi-final will also be streamed and I will post the times on my social media pages once available.

Thanks to everyone who has supported and followed my GB3 efforts this year. It wouldn’t be possible without the so many people who have helped out along the way. It really means a lot to me.

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