Keith Dempsey crowned F3 Champion

by Rob King

A fantastic drive from Keith Dempsey at the historic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw him clinch the F3 title in style.

The F3 championship was held on the iRacing platform and visited 5 different locations over the 10 round season; Road America, Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos, Silverstone, and Catalunya. Some of the world’s finest racers took part including Alex Albon (Red Bull F1 Driver) and a number of Aston Martin Factory drivers such as Jonny Adam, Charlie Eastwood and Richard Westbrook.



Each race day had 2 heat races. The top 10 finishers from the heat races were reversed for the feature race, with the driver finishing in 10th now starting on pole position. This really mixed up the grid and provided some brilliant action.

Round 5 of the F3 Championship was an extremely action packed one. Dempsey managed to grab pole ahead of the up-and-coming racer, Jamie Moylan. Dempsey’s championship rival, Charlie Eastwood could only manage 6th on the grid.
Off the line it was Dempsey who got the jump with Eastwood making a blinding getaway to make it up to 3rd but was then swamped into turn 1. Nathan Healy suffered a massive off down the main straight with the car getting launched into the air.

The race was only 8 laps in length but the action was incredible. With just 3 laps to go, Moylan made a brilliant move around the outside of Turn 10 to take the lead from Dempsey. This also allowed Eastwood to challenge Dempsey into Turn 1, but he managed to hold on. Moylan was under severe pressure from both Dempsey and Eastwood but Moylan just about managed to hold on to claim victory ahead of Dempsey and Eastwood.

Reverse grid pole was claimed by Kyle Stephens who managed to fend off Westbrook at the line.
The feature race would be 17 laps with Kyle Stephens starting on Pole,  Marty Moore in P2 and David Yamamoto in P3. It was a great getaway for Stephens and Moore who fought it out into turn 1. Stephens held on and managed to build a small lead as carnage unfolded behind. A move up the inside by Niall Murray send Moore spearing off into the gravel trap with title contender Eastwood sent into the gravel in avoidance.

One corner later, another incident involving Niki Meredith and Nathan Healy put them down the order. Meanwhile, Dempsey had been keeping his nose clean and made a move on Yamamoto for P3 immediately into turn 10. Moylan followed close behind as he made contact with Yamamoto who then suffered a very high speed off in the last corner, putting him out of contention. After lap 1, it was still Kyle Stephens who lead the race.

Stephens managed to hold the lead until lap 4 where he was swamped down the main straight. Murray took the lead, Dempsey and Moylan followed through and Stephens was dumped down to P4. A couple of corners later, Jonny Adam took P4 from him leaving Stephens in P5. Dempsey took the lead from Murray on lap 6, where he would stay. On the same lap, there was disaster for Murray who was sent off at high speed after contact with Moylan, putting him out of the race.

Lap 8 was where the title challenge came undone for Charlie Eastwood. Eastwood tried a dive up the inside of Joseph Ottofaro which didn’t work out and put himself and Ottofaro out of the running. All Dempsey had to do now was finish. On Lap 9, Brian McManus, who started in 20th on the grid made a move on Kyle Stephens for third place. A fantastic drive from the VRA regular and this secured him the Bia Maith driver of the day award.

Ultimately, nobody could stop the reign of Keith Dempsey and he crossed the line to win the feature race and the VRA F3 championship. Moylan grabbed 2nd and Brian McManus finished in 3rd. A fantastic evening of racing to bring an end to the season.

On behalf of and Virtual Race Academy, a big thanks to Bia Maith and Dan Ryan Truck Rental for their support of the championship. Thanks as well to all the drivers and admin team who put in so much work to make the championship happen, and to Apex Racing TV who provided some brilliant broadcasts.

If you’d like to get involved in the next championship, check out for all the information which will be released shortly.

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