King's Lynn driver produces strongest drive of the season so far at Snetterton.
Oliver Clarke battled the weather as he produced his strongest showing of the British F3 Championship season so far on his home track at Snetterton.
The Lynn-born Hillspeed driver scored a brace of fourth place finishes alongside a seventh and a ninth in the four races this weekend.
Entering the fifth meeting of the year with a new sponsor in the shape of Sandles Car Supermarket, the 17-year-old got to grips with the challenges of the 2.99-mile circuit during practice.
He initially reached a season’s best position of fourth. But, due to the chequered flag being erroneously shown on the messaging screens before the end of the session, the result was amended and the grid taken from when the chequered flag was first shown.
Subsequently starting seventh for the opening encounter, the Torq Racewear athlete wasted no time, moving up to fourth by the end of the first lap.
Despite consistently pressing third placed man Nazim Azman for the remainder of the 20-minute contest, he couldn’t get by.
Clarke found himself in the thick of the action in race two as he banked yet more points.
Starting tenth, the Fewkes Sport Management racer dropped down the order in the early stages but battled back to finish ninth.
With the rain having only intensified come Sunday, race three started behind the safety car.
But, starting from 11th, Clarke produced a stellar opening lap to climb to seventh by the end of the opening tour.
Holding position from there, Clarke lapped more than a second a lap quicker than his team-mate to close the gap to sixth but ultimately ran out of time to make a move.
Bringing the curtain down on a dream weekend in front of his home crowd, Clarke narrowly missed out on scoring his second podium of the season.
Lining up sixth as the race once again began behind the safety due to the adverse conditions, the home hero produced one final star performance.
Holding position as the action got underway, Clarke made two eye-catching moves in two laps to slot in fourth before then challenging Azman for third.
Like race one, Clarke gave it his all but couldn’t find a way past onto the rostrum and settled for fourth once again.
But, after his strongest weekend of the season, Clarke is now up to seventh in the overall Drivers’ Championship.
He admitted being frustrated by what happened in qualifying, but added: “To come to my home event and have the weekend we have had, my best this year to-date, is something I’m really happy about and hopefully it can propel us onto even greater things in the races to come.
“I made progress in every race and had there been an extra lap in races one and four, I think we could have come away with some silverware.
“I’ve got to say a huge thank you to the team as they gave me a great car and also thanks to my friends, family and partners, including Sandles Car Supermarket, for their support.
“Finally, the fans deserve a huge thank you as they turned out in force despite the weather.”
The penultimate weekend of the season is at Donington Park on October 24/25.