A year of great racing and championships were recognized at the season-end F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda banquet in Sebring, Florida. With a total of five wins, six additional podium visits and four top-10 finishes, Global Racing Group rookie Dakota Dickerson of San Diego was crowned the F3 Americas champion and awarded a comprehensive championship package that included a full ride in a Ligier JS P3 in 2020 with MLT Motorsports.
Dakota will also be invited to participate in several of Ligier Automotive North America’s new chassis testing and development programs. As the defending F4 U.S. champion, the championship marks Dickerson’s second title in two seasons.
“It’s been an amazing couple of years racing in F4 and now in F3 Americas,” said Dickerson. “Securing this championship feels fantastic and I think it’ll really help elevate my career to the next level. Being surrounded with the incredible support of the series partners like Honda, Honda Performance Development, Ligier, Hankook Tires and SCCA Pro Racing is also a dream come true. None of this would have been possible without them and my amazing Global Racing Group team. I am excited for our future together.”
The full 2019 championship package included:
- A full Ligier Automotive scholarship to compete in the 2020 IMSA P3 Prototype Challenge season
- $50,000 cash prize from Red Line Synthetic Oil and Phillip’s 66 to use on 2020 racing expenses
- $25,000 cash prize from SCCA Pro Racing
- 2020 Ligier Automotive North America Development Driver
- A full co-branded suit kit which includes a custom-fit suit, shoes, gloves and Nomex with a carrying bag from Sabelt
- A merchandise line and driver branding package from Druck
“It’s a dream come true and a huge honor to be a part of the Ligier program in 2020,” said Dickerson. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ligier Automotive North America since 2017, and it is rare to find a collective group of people who are so passionate and dedicated about racing. I can’t thank them enough for all the support they have given me, and I’m looking forward to representing them in P3 next year!”
In addition to the Ligier Automotive North America scholarship and prize package, the 2019 F3 Americas Regional Champion also received the Engine Manufactures Award from Honda Performance Development for his outstanding performance as a Honda driver and brand ambassador along with 18 FIA Super License Points.
“Dakota has proven himself a champion in and out of the car,” said Max Crawford, CEO of Ligier Automotive North America. “It is very fitting that he be awarded a full season with one of our top Ligier Automotive North America IMSA Prototype Challenge P3 teams. He has dipped his toes in that program and has been extremely successful. The experience he gained through the progression from the F4 and F3 SCCA Pro Series program has been proven to be very valuable.”
Dickerson will be piloting the Ligier JS P3 prototype under MLT Motorsports. Dickerson secured his first IMSA victory with MLT earlier this year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“We were fortunate enough to get Dakota into our MLT Motorsports Ligier P3 for a few races this year and I must say I was very impressed with his immediate quickness,” said Dr. Michael Thompson, Principal Owner of MLT Motorsports. “We are very excited to have him on board for the full 2020 season and joining our fight for a 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge P3 championship.”
Global Racing Group also secured the driver’s Vice Championship with the honors being awarded to Danish-American Benjamin Pedersen. Participating in just half of the season as a fill-in driver for the GRG team, Pedersen placed second in the season-long points battle, claiming the most wins of anyone in the field.
Pedersen scored seven wins, including two second-place finishes and a top-five result in his second F3 Americas season. The valent effort also earned Pedersen 14 FIA Super License Points to continue his open-wheel path through the upper FIA echelons of racing.
“Overall this has been a very successful year in the F3 Americas Championship and to have sealed up P2 in the Drivers’ Championship despite missing six races due to British F3 overlapping is very promising,” said Pedersen. “We finished off the season strong with a clean sweep at Sebring and it’s a true testament to how strong the Global Racing Group team is! I look forward to preparing now for 2020 and to carry over this strong momentum.”
Rookie Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, rounded out the championship podium in third. Battling three other competitors for the last championship title, Soler-Obel’s final drive in the F3 Americas session at Sebring International Raceway boosted him to the championship podium. Piloting under the pink, black, grey and white colors of one of the newest F3 Americas team Velocity Racing Development, Soler-Obel earned a win, five additional podium visits, three top-five results and three top-10 finishes.
Soler-Obel was also awarded the Ligier Automotive Most Improved Driver Award for his upward climb throughout the season and 12 FIA Super License Points.
“Thank you to F4 U.S. and all of its series sponsors Honda, HPD, SCCA Pro Racing, Ligier Automotive and Hankook Tires for providing a great platform for young races to prove their skills in front of the right people. Also a huge thanks to the whole Velocity Racing Development team,” Soler-Obel said. “The COTA race was the last race of the season, but 2019 has already begun.”
Drivers placing fourth through ninth place were also acknowledged and awarded with FIA Super License Points. The top-10 represented five different countries and half were rookies.
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The top-three teams, Global Racing Group, Velocity Racing Group and Abel Motorsports, were also recognized at the banquet. Global Racing Group took the overall F3 Americas Team Championship title with a dominating win, finishing the season with 617 points.