During what was, at times, a disjointed season for the GP3 Series, only Dean Stoneman became a reasonably persistent threat to eventual champions Alex Lynn.
Managed this upon his full-time return to single-seater racing caught the attention. That he did so despite changing team with two rounds remaining made his run even more impressive.
Initially driving for the Marussia Manor squad, Stoneman won the opening round’s reverse grid race; however fortunes went somewhat south for the 24-year-old, as he only picked up a point over the next two weekends.
Thereafter visits to Germany and Hungary merely dropped him further behind Lynn, while others around him – notably Marvin Kirchhöfer, Jimmy Eriksson and Richie Stanaway – built their own short-lived title fights.
Yet once the series returned after the summer break, Stoneman turned it on. Victories at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza just kept him in the championship hunt, but as the finish line drew into sight, the early season dry spell really began to hurt.
Amidst his late season charge, Marussia Manor closed their doors after Monza and Stoneman switched to Koiranen GP, replacing the hapless Carmen Jorda from Sochi onward.
In a car that not qualified in the top twenty or even scored a point, Stoneman took two wins, a 2nd place, a pole position and a fastest lap. Alas, such was the gap to Lynn, that Stoneman’s inability to pick up the bonus points for pole in Abu Dhabi dropped him out of contention, deciding the title in Lynn’s favour, but the point had been made.
As per usual Stoneman displayed his fighting spirit to the last and one can only hope the Briton gets a proper chance to display his talents in a top tier series soon.