1 AUGUST 2012: The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series arrives in Norfolk this weekend with a dramatically different look to the championship points table thanks to events last week at Spa-Francorchamps. Fortec’s Felix Serralles and Carlin man Carlos Sainz Jnr claimed a win apiece in Belgium, with Serralles moving into the championship lead.
Twenty-year-old Serralles is the fourth different championship leader this season – the others being Jack Harvey, Sainz and Jazeman Jaafar. And he’s the first non-Carlin driver to lead British F3 since mid-2010, not to mention the first Puerto Rican to do so. Felix was mighty in the first, dry race at Spa and led the wet finale also. But for a spin he might have taken a double.
Rookie Serralles leads Lincolnshire man Harvey by just four points following Spa, with Malaysia’s Jaafar only a further four points adrift. Sainz last weekend did much to make up for his mid-season run of poor form but the Spaniard is nonetheless still 36 points off top spot.
In terms of race victories, it’s four apiece for Harvey, Sainz and Serralles, and two to Jaafar… Harvey was on top at Oulton and Rockingham, and did a double at Brands Hatch; Serralles also took a win at Oulton, and added victories at Monza, Norisring and now Spa; Sainz claimed the honours twice at Monza, at Pau, and at Spa; Jaafar’s wins came at Pau and Rockingham.
With only three races at Silverstone and three at Donington Park remaining after this weekend, Snetterton will surely prove vital to the hopes of all four of the leading championship contenders.
What is certain is that the top four won’t have everything their own way: there are three other race winners on the grid, all hoping for repeat victories. Fortec’s other victor is Brazilian Pipo Derani, who was victorious in the Oulton Park and Brands Hatch reverse-grid sprint races; Carlin’s Harry Tincknell won the Rockingham and Norisring sprints, while Pietro Fantin broke his duck for Carlin in one of the Norisring feature races.
Fortec men Alex Lynn and Hannes van Asseldonk are both still seeking their maiden British F3 wins and coming closer with each meeting, and there’s more yet to come from Double R duo Geoff Uhrhane and Fahmi Ilyas. T-Sport’s International runner Nick McBride is showing promise too, as is the team’s new-for-2012 Nissan power unit.
The battle for National class honours is hotting up thanks to the arrival of T-Sport’s Pedro Pablo Calbimonte and CF Racing man Adderly Fong to make it a four-way battle. Spike Goddard has done most of the winning this season for T-Sport, and leads Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee by 31 points.
The more experienced Fong ought to have it his own way at Snetterton – particularly if there are wet races – and Bolivian rookie Calbimonte impressed on his Spa debut to beat his team-mate Goddard to second place in the wet final race of the weekend.
Fri 3 Aug 1010-1110 & 1445-1545 free practice
Sat 4 Aug 1120 qualifying; 1515 race 1
Sun 5 Aug 1010 race 2; 1510 race 3
Article Written By Admin on 1st Aug 2012