15 APRIL 2012: 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 regain the championship lead.
Exciting young rookie 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.
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.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 6, Monza (ITA) 15/4/2012
19 laps / 68.392 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 41m 22.078s / 99.17mph
2 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +16.711s
3 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +27.424s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +32.083s
5 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +33.891s
6 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +38.530s
7 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +41.236s
8 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +41.749s
9 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +49.826s
10 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +1m 30.064s
R Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 7 laps
R Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 6 laps
Fastest lap Sainz 2m 06.638s / 102.34mph
1 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 44.938s
2 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 52.702s
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/HPJKcd
Provisional championship standings
1 Sainz 74 points; 2 Serralles 66; 3 Jaafar 65; 4 Harvey 63; 5 Derani 48; =6 Fantin & Tincknell 40 etc.
National class: 1 Goddard 104; 2 Padayachee 82.