Dempsey returns to secure maiden F3 podium in Suzuka
Motorsport Ireland’s International Racing Driver of the Year Jordan Dempsey returned to the F3 Asian Championship last weekend with Pinnacle Motorsport, having been forced to sit out the previous round in Buriram. The CJJ Motorsport backed driver was keen to hit the ground running and prove that he had what it takes to make his mark on the series, despite a difficult debut in the championship earlier this year.
The Free Practice time-sheets were a clear early indicator that despite the young Mullingar man having no prior experience at the Formula 1 Grand Prix host venue, he was looking set to be a contender going into the weekend. Dempsey’s qualifying performance was equally impressive, setting the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively in the two sessions, just under a second off pole position against some of his experienced rivals.
Buoyed by his revitalised pace and confidence, Jordan was feeling confident going into the races that he was ready to make a big impression and convert his strong starting positions into top results. A superb start to the opening race of the weekend would promote Dempsey to P3 early on before a lengthy Safety Car period would neutralise the race. When the race did return to green, Jordan’s used tyre pace wasn’t quite on-par with those around him. Nevertheless, he held on to finish P6 at the chequered flag.
Knowing that his Tatuus F3 was getting close to the sweet spot in terms of setup, Dempsey and his Pinnacle team made some important changes before race two. Instantly noticing the improvements, Jordan’s chances of converting them into another strong result were cut short when an electrical problem forced him into retirement after just one lap.
Going into the third and final race of the weekend, Dempsey was hoping to complete his weekend on a positive note to make up for his race two woes. However there was some early dramas on the way to the grid when the car developed further electrical issues that looked set to rule him out of contention. A superb repair job by the Pinnacle Motorsport mechanics ensured this would not be the case and Jordan was now on the grid and ready for action. Starting from P5, Dempsey made fantastic progress early on and was quickly up to P4. Looking set to secure this position to the end, a final push on the last lap would see him move into third to take a truly deserving first F3 Asian Championship podium of his career.
Jordan Dempsey – #3 Pinnacle Motorsport F3: “Great weekend here at Suzuka. I’m absolutely delighted to get my first podium in F3 and at Suzuka of all places is just surreal! I have to say a huge thanks to all the boys and girls at Pinnacle Motorsport for working so hard to give me such a good car. Race three was a bit stressful to start with when the car cut out on the way to the grid but the boys got to the bottom of it and got me out! Obviously a huge thanks to CJJ Motorsports for their support. I’m delighted to get such a great result for you guys and it’s a privilege to be on this program and without it I wouldn’t be racing! Also a huge thanks to all the people who have come on board to help me get back out for this race, it means the world to me!”