Dean Smith produced an impressive debut in the British F3 International Series at Donington Park after taking home a brace of fourth place finishes from the final race weekend of the season.
Called into the Fortec team for the last meeting of the year, Smith – who has raced for the team in the Formula Renault Eurocup this season – joined Marcus Ericsson and Phillip Major for the weekend and went on to score more points in one race than Fortec regular Major had managed during the entire season.
Smith started the opening race of the weekend from fifth on the grid but moved up a place when he took Nick Tandy for fourth exiting Redgate on lap one. Keeping pace with then-points leader Oliver Turvey ahead, Smith held fourth through to the finish, less than two seconds away from a debut podium.
From tenth on the grid in race two, Smith soon started to make up place and found himself battling with team-mate Ericsson before taking the Swede and Oliver Oakes in one move to go fifth. He then chased down Sam Abay to take the flag in fourth place once again, this time less than a second away from the podium positions.
“It's been an incredible weekend,” he said. “I've really enjoyed the racing and hopefully now people will be able to see what I can do at this level and we'll be able to secure some more sponsorship to help fund a full season in Formula 3 next year.
“Fourth in the first race was fantastic, but to finish fourth from 10th on the grid in the second one was the real highlight. It was important for me to be the top Fortec driver this weekend so I'm absolutely delighted. The car was good and I think we've shown exactly what we can do in Formula 3.”