15.04.2012: The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series is shaping up to be the most competitive seen in recent years
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series is shaping up to be the most competitive seen in recent years with the championship lead now having changed hands at every race of the season. Spain’s Carlos Sainz is now on top of the points tables having this afternoon sailed to his second win of a wet weekend at Monza.
The Carlin man is hotly pursued by Puerto Rico’s Felix Serralles, the rapid rookie adding a Monza race win and a second-place finish to the victory he scored for Fortec Motorsport at Oulton Park last weekend.
In the National class, Australians Duvashen Padayachee and Spike Goddard shared the class honours in today’s races on the Italian Grand Prix circuit.
A week after scoring his maiden British Formula 3 race victory, Serralles racked up his second this morning at a streaming wet Monza, leading from pole to chequered flag. Birthday boy Jack Harvey finished second to briefly regain the lead of the championship.
The weather was so bad that the first two laps of the 20-minute ‘reverse grid’ sprint race were conducted behind the safety car. When the race splashed into life, more than a few runners found the conditions distinctly treacherous: Hannes van Asseldonk did not even make the start, having spun into the barriers on the out lap, while Spike Goddard left the track on the sixth lap.
There were no errors from Serralles, however: the Puerto Rican quickly established a useful lead over T-Sport’s Nick McBride, who had started third on the grid. Carlin man Harvey demoted McBride to third next time around with an impeccably handled manoeuvre at the Variante Ascari, but by this stage Serralles was 4.8s ahead. Harvey took chunks out of the leader’s advantage to close to 3.7s by the line.
“I was unlucky yesterday,” said Felix. “I had the pole but the pit stop put me pretty much last and I just couldn’t do anything much with it. But I was lucky I finished 10th and started today from the pole, which was good because of the conditions. It was a good race, I was just being very cautious and trying not to make any mistakes. Harvey was pushing to catch me but I was able to stay ahead.”
Added Harvey: “These were difficult conditions but we rose to them. The pace was good and everything went well. It’s a good birthday present as well. The expectation for the next race is to try to win.”
McBride’s hopes of a maiden podium finish were dashed by a determined Pietro Fantin, the Brazilian harrying the Australian for two laps before passing two laps from home, again at Ascari. Nick held on to fourth to score his best-yet finish, ahead of Jazeman Jaafar.
There was a fierce battle between Fortec team-mates Alex Lynn and Pipo Derani; they touched wheels into the first chicane on the final lap as Derani pulled ahead, and Lynn then missed part of the chicane. Alex finished ahead of Pipo on the road but was penalised a second by race stewards for gaining an unfair advantage.
Unfortunately the team-mates clashed again on the slowing-down lap, Derani having failed to see the chequered flag because of the rain. His car was badly damaged in the collision, and Lynn brought his home with a missing rear wing.
Derani was thus classified sixth, ahead of Lynn, Saturday race winner Carlos Sainz, Harry Tincknell and Fahmi Ilyas, who had started second but spun down the order on the first racing lap. Geoff Uhrhane completed the International class field for Double R, ahead of his team-mate Duvashen Padayachee, who collected the National class win following Goddard’s demise.
“I couldn’t see a thing, there was so much spray, said Padayachee. “I had no idea I was leading class until the last lap. It makes up a little for yesterday, when I crashed out of the race.”
Carlos Sainz repeated his Saturday rain dance at Monza this afternoon, leading the third and final race of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series’ Italian weekend from start to finish. The Carlin-run Red Bull Junior, 17, crossed the line nearly 17 seconds ahead of his closest rival to move back into the championship lead.
Felix Serralles was second for Fortec; the Puerto Rican’s points haul from this race and his round five victory promote him to championship second.
As with today’s earlier race, conditions were deemed bad enough to warrant starting the race behind the safety car. Pole position man Sainz led the field away as the safety car peeled into the pits at the end of lap one, and by the end of the first proper racing lap was 2.3s clear of Serralles. By mid-distance his advantage was 8.9s and he continued to increase the gap every lap thereafter.
“It may have looked straightforward,” said Carlos, “but as always it’s never easy, especially in these conditions. The team gave me a great car to be able to pull away, and I used it; no mistakes. It was the perfect race for me, the dream race. A top job from the team and a good race from me, so I am very happy.”
Serralles was suffering from a gearbox issue which hampered his pace, in the event second place was more than he expected and he was delighted: “It’s been a really good weekend - a win and a second place is a really good result. Fortec have done a fantastic job and I’m pretty impressed with myself as well, being a rookie. I had a gearshift problem so I had to lift every lap to be able to shift into the next gear, so I am more than happy with the way I drove.” For his efforts at Monza, Serralles was voted the Mobil Service Centre Master of the Weekend.
Felix’s Fortec team-mate Alex Lynn (Essex) had a rather lonely run to third - it was the reigning Formula Renault UK Champion’s maiden British Formula 3 podium finish.
Malaysia’s Jaafar ran fourth from grid to chequered flag to collect a hat-trick of top-five finishes from the Monza weekend; he was a second ahead of Hannes van Asseldonk, who shadowed him throughout.
There was a superb four-way duel for sixth which was settled in favour of Devonian Harry Tincknell when he pulled off impudent passing manoeuvres at the second chicane on the penultimate and final laps, first demoting his Carlin team-mate Jack Harvey and then Pipo Derani, who had held sixth from the outset in a car which Fortec had toiled to get on to the grid after his morning crash.
Nick McBride was ninth, behind Harvey, with Fahmi Ilyas 10th after a drive-through penalty, imposed after he collided with his Double R team-mate Geoff Uhrhane on the seventh lap. The Australian’s race ended there, and he was joined in retirement by Pietro Fantin, who had been a key contender in the battle for sixth, the Brazilian sidelined by mechanical woes.
T-Sport’s Spike Goddard bounced back form his morning crash to head home his National class rival Duvashen Padayachee and collect his fifth class win of the season so far, extending his points lead.
Carlos Sainz is celebrating his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 race win this afternoon after putting in an impressive display in treacherous driving conditions at a rain-hit Monza. Carlin driver Sainz gained the upper hand from the outset and quickly built a useful lead weiter >>
Alex Lynn was the quickest man of the day at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy today, leading home a Fortec 1-2-3 from Pipo Derani and Hannes van Asseldonk. Felix Serralles was tenth fastest in this afternoon’s Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series practi weiter >>
Fortec Motorsport sprung a 1-2-3 surprise at Monza this afternoon, British rookie Alex Lynn leading home his team-mates Pipo Derani and Hannes van Asseldonk in free practice for the weekend’s rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. weiter >>
Just days after taking a double-victory at Oulton Park in Cheshire, Fortec’s British Formula Three team arrives at Monza for the next three rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series this weekend, keen to build on its early success. Taking two victories from a possible three, with both Pipo Derani and Felix Serralles securing their maiden Briti weiter >>
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Top Brit Harry Tincknell at Oulton Park today by Jakob Ebrey PhotographyWith the opening rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series just over a week away at Oulton Park, Carlin team-mates Jazeman Jaafar, Jack Harvey and Harry Tinckne weiter >>
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The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, the long-established proving ground of the Grand Prix stars of tomorrow, is set for another stellar season of competition in 2012. The championship, which gets u weiter >>
Harry Tincknell's Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen in action at Rockingham today. Image by Jakob Ebrey PhotographyHarry Tincknell today became the fourth different driver to top a Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series test s weiter >>
British hopeful Jack Harvey chalked up a vital testing success at Rockingham today, going ahead of his rivals by a third of a second to lead on the first of two days of official testing for the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Nick McBri weiter >>
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caption: Jazeman Jaafar The countdown to the start of the 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series began in earnest today at Snetterton, venue for the first official collective test session of the year. It was also the first officially time weiter >>
Official test day 1 / Snetterton, Norfolk / 6 March 2012Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Seriescaption: Alex Lynn.1 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 44.970s / 1m 40.096s2 Jack H weiter >>
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Fortec Motorsports confirms today that 19-year-old Felix Serralles is to join its four-car assault on the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Puerto Rican racer Serralles will team up with Brazil’s Pipo Derani and young Brit Alex Lynn on the For weiter >>
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Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, just four of the 11 illustrious names on the list of Brazil-born champions of British Formula 3. Early next month there’s a strong chance that a 12th name, that of Felipe Nasr, will be added to the roll weiter >>
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Excitement levels in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will be ratcheted up a degree or two next weekend (2/3 July) as the championship swings into Germany for the first of three European summer stops.The Nürburgring is the venue for weiter >>
Another superbly exciting day of Cooper Tires British Formula 3 action at the new Snetterton 300 circuit brought race victories for Lucas Foresti and the Fortec team and Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen, the Dane following up his maiden win of Saturday with another fine victory.
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The MSA Team UK driver, originally from Scarva but weiter >>
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Lucas Foresti salutes the Fortec team on his win
Lucas Foresti came of age as a driver in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series this afternoon at Oulton Park, the Brazilian leading Round 4 of the championship all the way fr weiter >>
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Just half a second covered the top 10 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series runners in final testing at Oulton Park today (Friday) ahead of tomorrow’s official qualifying and fourth round of the championship at the Cheshire circuit.
Colombi weiter >>