7 APRIL 2012: Jack Harvey opened his Cooper Tires British Formula 3 account with a near-perfect performance at Oulton Park this morning, leading all the way from pole position to chequered flag to win round one by a 7.7s margin.
Despite setting his pole time on a cold but dry track yesterday and having to race in unfamiliar warmer but very wet conditions, the Lincolnshire 19-year-old made a good start and no errors to head home his Carlin team-mate Jazeman Jaafar. The only thing Racing Steps Foundation driver Harvey lacked was the extra championship point gained for fastest lap of the race, which went elsewhere.
“I wasn’t really happy with my start,” said the Volkswagen-powered driver. “Jazeman was right behind me into the first turn, and he started from third, so I may have a little work to do there… But after that I pushed hard; I needed to, to establish a gap, and then in the last laps I reined it in a bit. The team did a great job for me: the conditions couldn’t have been more different compared with yesterday.”
Jaafar’s super start caught Harry Tincknell by surprise, the Malaysian slotting ahead of the Exeter man into Old Hall for the first time. Jaafar kept a watching brief behind Harvey for the duration but by his own admission was unable to do anything about catching the leader.
The battle for third was a highlight, with Carlos Sainz seizing it from Tincknell at the start of the eighth lap after the Spaniard got a better exit from Lodge corner. Carlos might reasonably have expected that to have settled matters, but he came under fierce late-race pressure from Fortec’s Dutch driver Hannes van Asseldonk.
Mercedes-powered Hannes, who started seventh, moved into fifth on the opening lap and snatched fourth from Tincknell on lap 12. Van Asseldonk then brilliantly closed down the gap between himself and Sainz to threaten him for the final podium slot in the closing moments. Alas it was went wrong on the final lap, Hannes sliding off at Druids and out of the race. His consolation was fastest lap and one point.
Sainz was therefore third on his British F3 debut. “It is a really good result for the start of the season,” he said. “It’s a really difficult track for a rookie, and even more difficult in the wet.”
Fortec’s Alex Lynn battled with Tincknell over fourth spot for the last third of the race but the more experienced Harry kept the upper hand at the line by 0.049s. Double R’s Fahmi Ilyas bounced back from his qualifying crash yesterday to claim sixth ahead of his team-mate Felix Serralles and Carlin’s Pietro Fantin. Pipo Derani (Fortec) and Nick McBride (T-Sport) engaged in some synchronised spinning at the final corner but recovered to finish ninth and 10th respectively.
In the National class, Spike Goddard did not put a wheel wrong to claim class victory in his first British F3 race, the T-Sport man finishing nearly a full lap ahead of his rival, Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 1, Oulton Park International 7/4/2012
19 laps / 51.148 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 31m 35.051s / 97.16mph
2 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.736s
3 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +11.165s
4 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +23.070s
5 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +23.119s
6 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +37.052s
7 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +39.354s
8 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +42.102s
9 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +53.068s
10 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +54.727s
R Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 18 laps
R Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 4 laps
Fastest lap Van Asseldonk 1m 36.027s / 100.92mph
1 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 05.418s
2 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 18 laps
Provisional championship standings
1 Harvey 20 points; 2 Jaafar 15; 3 Sainz 12; 4 Tincknell 10; 5 Lynn 8; 6 Ilyas 6 etc
National class: 1 Goddard 21; 2 Padayachee 15.
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/f3_opkArticle Written By Admin on 7th Apr 2012