Results > October 20th 2019 - Silverstone National

Hibberd wins both races Armer takes the Championship



HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship

Rounds 10 and 11, Silverstone, 20 October

While Andrew Hibberd claimed a double win in rounds 10 and 11 Historic Formula 3 Championship, it was Simon Armer who clinched the 2019 championship title as the season wrapped up at the HSCC Finals meeting at Silverstone (20 October).

A healthy field of 1-litre F3 cars gathered for a busy Sunday, with qualifying and two races in the day. In championship terms, it was down to Armer and Leif Bosson and the March 703 driver had a slender three-point lead over his Swedish rival going into the final two races. After non-finishes in the second races at Croft and Oulton Park, Armer knew that he needed to finish both races ahead of Bosson’s Brabham BT28 to be assured his second title in four seasons.

Sunday morning’s qualifying session pointed to a close contest between Hibberd (Brabham BT18) and the returning Jon Milicevic (Brabham BT21B). This was Jon’s first F3 outing since Anglesey in July but he qualified only seven-hundredths of a second slower than Hibberd.

Andy Jarvis (March 703) continued his strong Oulton Park form to be third fastest by a fraction from Armer before the Brabhams of Peter Thompson and Michael Scott rounded out the top six. Bosson was nicely in touch in seventh slot ahead of welcome visitors Enrico Spaggiari (Lotus 41X) and Harindra da Silva (Tecno) as Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21) rounded out the top 10.

Milicevic got the jump into the first race and led for 11 laps with Hibberd as a constant threat. Then, into Luffield for the 12th time, Milicevic put his hand up and headed for the pits as the engine was struck with a misfire. Hibberd took over and reeled off the remaining laps to win by nearly 20 seconds.

A fabulous battle raged for what became second place as Thompson, Armer, Jarvis and Scott were covered by little more than two seconds after a fine race-long spectacle. Meanwhile, Spaggiari retired the Lotus with concern over a possible engine issue and Da Silva narrowly beat Bosson for sixth.

Hibberd had jumped into the Brabham fresh from racing his F2 Brabham BT38 in the preceding XL Aurora race. “Talk about chalk and cheese,” he said of the two cars. Milicevic headed to his trailer to try and track down an electrical gremlin, so it was a surprised Thompson who took second place. “That was great fun: we were changing places all the time!”

Armer was relieved to see the chequered flag after being in the midst of the four-way battle. “I was trying to win the championship, so I was trying to be cautious! I nicked third coming out of the last corner,” he said.

Milicevic took up pole for race two later on Sunday afternoon, not sure if his electrical issue was resolved. “The green flag lap was OK but it didn’t pick up properly off the line,” he said. By Copse, the engine had died and he pulled off and retired. Frustratingly, after the race the engine fired up again and he drove the car back to the paddock. Spaggiari also retired the Lotus when the engine didn’t sound right.

Hibberd, this time straight from victory in the Guards Trophy in the Lotus 23B he shares with his father Michael, jumped straight into a lead he would never lose. “It’s a shame that Jon had problems,” said Andrew, who jumped up the points’ table with his fourth win from five starts.

In Hibberd’s wake, there was a lot going on. Jarvis had to set about a mighty recovery after a disastrous start left him seventh at the end of the first lap. Meanwhile, Thompson also had to mount a big recovery after a first lap spin at Becketts left him at the back of the pack.

Armer initially ran second, but didn’t fight too much when Scott and then Jarvis appeared in his mirrors. With his focus on the title, Armer let them go and consolidated fourth place as Thompson recovered to fifth and Andrew Tart, showing fine pace in the Merlyn Mk9, headed Bosson for sixth.

The title went to Armer and he was a deserving champion. “I was trying not to take any risks,” said Simon. “That’s the first year the engine has run really well since 2016 and it’s been great since Anglesey. I broke the cam in the second race at Croft but got away with it. Then the battery went flat in the second race at Oulton Park.” At Silverstone, it all came right and Armer regained the title he first won in 2016.

Paul Lawrence



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