15 APRIL 2012: A week after scoring his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race victory, Fortec’s Felix Serralles racked up his second this morning at a streaming wet Monza, leading Round 5 from pole to chequered flag. Birthday boy Jack Harvey finished second to 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.”
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 5, Monza (ITA) 15/4/2012
9 laps / 32.396 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 21m 09.965s / 91.84mph
2 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +3.702s
3 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +10.915s
4 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +15.235s
5 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +18.254s
6 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +19.823s
7 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +19.959s (inc penalty)
8 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +21.313s
9 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +22.692s
10 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +26.107s
11 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +47.433s
NS Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes
Fastest lap Serralles 2m 08.651s / 100.72mph
1 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda +56.468s
R Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 5 laps
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/HPJKcd
Provisional championship standings
1 Harvey 60 points; 2 Jaafar 55; 3 Sainz 53; 4 Serralles 51; 5 Derani 44; 6 Fantin 40 etc.
National class 1 Goddard 83; 2 Padayachee 67.Article Written By Admin on 15th Apr 2012