30 JUNE 2012: Brazil’s Pietro Fantin scored his first British Formula 3 win of the season this morning at the Norisring, the 20-year-old Brazilian bringing his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen home in third place overall, surviving unscathed an incident-packed race which saw dramas for several leading championship contenders.
Fantin finished behind two of the Euro F3 series drivers in the combined British and European series event; the race was won overall by Carlin’s Will Buller following the exclusion of Prema Powerteam driver Daniel Juncadella after a series of controversial late-race clashes.
With a 28-car field on a tight, bumpy and twisty street track, incidents came thick and fast. The turn one hairpin produced an opening-lap clash between British F3 title protagonists Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar, Racing Steps Foundation driver Harvey colliding with the rear end of his Carlin team-mate’s car, sending Jaafar spinning into the path of the field which resulted in front-end damage for the Malaysian and necessitated a pit call.
“I tried to go up the inside of Jaz, and he covered a bit,” said Jack, “and at that point I just couldn’t stop it. I was on the ‘marbles’ and in dirty air, and couldn’t stop…” Race officials penalised Harvey, then running eighth overall, with a drive-through penalty.
Fortec’s Alex Lynn was caught up in the first-corner melee also. “It’s just so tight here,” said the Essex man. “I just got squeezed out and into the inside wall. I was lucky to be able to keep going.” Lynn was forced to the pits for a new nosecone.
Later on the opening lap it was the turn of Carlos Sainz to strike trouble, or more specifically the wall; the Spanish Carlin driver retired to the pits with suspension damage.
Despite an average start, Fantin was away and running in sixth overall, with a Euro car between himself and his closest championship rival, Pipo Derani, with Felix Serralles next up from Harry Tincknell.
Fortec man Derani ended his race on lap seven, when he was tapped into a spin by Prema Powerteam’s Michael Lewis. Derani’s team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk got caught up in the fracas. “I got hit from behind and my wing broke,” said the Dutchman, “I lost a lot of places and then I got a flag to come into the pits and the team pulled my wing off.”
Double R’s Fahmi Ilyas joined Sainz and Derani in retirement on lap seven when the Malaysian damaged his suspension on one of the Norisring’s unforgiving retaining walls.
With Juncadella and Mucke Motorsport’s Pascal Wehrlein disputing top spot, Fantin held a secure sixth with a lead of around 5s over Serralles, and Harry Tincknell – minus his rear wing in a radical attempt to boost his straightline speed – up to third.
Fantin was bottled up behind ma-con Euro runner Emil Bernstorff but dared not risk his British series lead by attempting to pass. “My start was not really good,” said Pietro after the race. “I lost one position there, but my position compared with the British cars was really good. I needed this win, so I didn’t risk anything by trying to pass the Euro Series guy. I did try to have a go one time but I ran wide and Felix caught up a little with me. I had good pace today, the car was really good and I am really happy.”
Fantin crossed the line 1.3s ahead of Serralles, with Tincknell a further 8.8s behind in third. “I started with no rear wing,” said Harry. “It was a tactical decision to try to help me pass people – it didn’t really pay off until later in the race when I got used to it.”
Australians Geoff Uhrhane and Nick McBride were next up for Double R and T-Sport respectively. “It was chaos out there,” said McBride. “I got hit and lost quite a few spots as a result. We are still paying the price for our qualifying performance when we had too much understeer.”
Jack Harvey returned to the fray after his drive-through penalty to finish sixth among the Brits and the last unlapped runner. Spike Goddard was seventh for T-Sport to win the National class – his eighth class win of the year – ahead of pit-callers Jaafar, Lynn and van Asseldonk, with Duvashen Padayachee completing the finishers in his Double R National class car.
Juncadella crossed the line first overall but was later excluded from the results for his part in closing-laps collisions with his team-mate Raffaele Marciello, as well as Wehrlein.
British Formula 3 International Series
Round 15, Norisring (GER) 30/06/2012
42 laps / 60.02 miles
Amended provisional results British International & *Euro classes
1 *William BULLER / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Mercedes 37m 13.438s / xx
2 *Emil BERNSTORFF / GBR, ma-con Dallara-Volkswagen +1.109s
3 (1) Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +1.720s
4 (2) Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +3.014s
5 *Felix ROSENQVIST / SWE, Mücke Dallara-Mercedes +4.298s
6 *Pascal WEHRLEIN / GER, Mücke Dallara-Mercedes +11.387s
7 (3) Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +11.817s
8 *Sven MULLER / GER, Prema Dallara-Mercedes +12.095s
9 *Tom BLOMQVIST / GBR, ma-con Dallara-Volkswagen +12.684s
10 *Sandro ZELLER / SWI, Zeller Dallara-Mercedes +19.001s
11 (4) Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +19.978s
12 (5) Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +20.545s
13 (6) Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +20.783s
17 (7) Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 41 laps
18 (8) Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 41 laps
19 (9) Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 41 laps
16 (1) Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 41 laps
20 (2) Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 40 laps
Did not finish
Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 7 laps
Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 6 laps
Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1 lap
Fastest laps Marciello Raffaele 49.138s; Harvey & Serralles 49.424s / 104.10mph
Provisional championship standings
1 Jaafar 178 points; 2 Harvey 174; 3 Serralles 140; 4 Sainz 137; 5 Lynn 126; 6 Fantin 115 etc
National class: 1 Goddard 228; 2 Padayachee 202; 3 Adderly Fong 62.
Article Written By Admin on 30th Jun 2012