Luke battles hard on Spanish soil

Luke Browning remains second in the race to secure the 2024 FIA Formula 3 Championship after battling drive in the Spanish sun at Catalunya.

The Hitech Pulse-Eight driver went into the weekend on the back of a podium finish in the previous meeting on the streets of Monaco, which left him sitting four points behind Gabriele Minì in the championship standings.

Fourth quickest in free practice, the Williams Academy-backed racer repeated that result in qualifying to earn a place on the second row of the grid, albeit only after one of the most competitive sessions in recent memory.

Lapping nearly half a second quicker than he had done in practice, Luke was only 0.056s away from pole as the top five were covered by little more than a tenth of a second.

A tricky start to the reverse grid race cost Luke places off the line and he would then find himself battling in the heart of the midfield – at one stage going four-wide whilst dicing for position in the pack.

Although a twelfth place finish meant Luke was unable to add to his points tally, Minì also failed to score after a contact induced retirement – although seventh for Leonardo Fornaroli saw him split the pair in the standings.

From his second row start in race two, Luke fought his way up into the podium places with a move on Nikola Tsolov and battled hard to try and find a way ahead of Christian Mansell into second spot.

Unable to make a move stick, Luke looked set to settle for a podium finish in tricky conditions as rain started to fall, putting his car in the ideal position lap-after-lap to keep Fornaroli at bay despite him being close enough to benefit from the DRS system.

However, on the final lap of the race with the weather now as its worst, Fornaroli was able to get ahead of Luke into third spot with Oliver Goethe also nipping ahead as the Briton struggled for grip with his fading tyres.

Whilst Fornaroli has now taken the points lead, Luke has moved ahead of Minì to end the weekend still sitting in second spot going direct to Austria for the next event.