7 APRIL 2012: Puerto Rico has a new national hero – Felix Serralles, the rookie racer who rocked the establishment this afternoon at Oulton Park to win round three of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. He’s the first of his countrymen to win a race in the world’s premier Formula 1 feeder series.
Serralles, 19, effectively won the race away from the startline, outgunning pole man and round one victor Jack Harvey to snatch the advantage into Old Hall corner. Felix drove impeccably throughout the 40-minute feature race to win by 2.8s and claim the Fortec team’s second victory of the day. Harvey placed second to end the day with a six-point lead in the championship.
Serralles was jubilant: “Coming into the weekend I certainly did not expect to take a win. This year there are a lot of competitive and very experienced drivers. This is my first year and my first time in an F3 car, so it is an amazing feeling to have won and I am very pleased. I had a really good start, got ahead of Harvey and really just pulled away. I am the only driver from Puerto Rico racing in Europe, and that makes it special too.”
Harvey was pleased with his second place which, added to his earlier win, hands him the championship lead – at least for a week: “I was hoping for two wins, but it was not to be. I nearly achieved it but fair play to Felix he made a great start and drove a great race; he deserved to win. I thought I had made an OK start, so maybe that’s something we need to work on. I’m looking forward to next weekend’s races at Monza – I have always gone well there.”
Round three was interrupted at the outset when the Fortec car of race two winner Pipo Derani seized on the line; the safety car had to be called in while it was manhandled from the track, and that meant Serralles’ early lead was wiped. When the race was restarted after three laps, Serralles made the perfect getaway once again and put half a second between himself and Harvey. From then on, the pattern of the race was set.
Harry Tincknell slotted into third off the line and held on there to claim the final podium slot. His hand – badly broken in a testing crash late last year – held up well to the abuse. “It’s a bit sore,” said Harry, “and I noticed that towards the end of the race, which maybe affected my concentration a little. But when I think back to lying in my hospital bed last year, not sure whether I would ever race again, to be standing here on the podium on my first weekend back is amazing.”
Carlos Sainz led home his Carlin team-mate Jazeman Jaafar for fourth, with Alex Lynn sixth for Fortec. Hannes van Asseldonk ran out of road after five laps to join his Fortec team-mate Derani in retirement.
Spike Goddard made it three out of three in the National class, leading all the way for T-Sport to win the class by 20s from Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 3, Oulton Park International 7/4/2012
26 laps / 69.992 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 40m 34.462s / 103.50mph
2 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +2.843s
3 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +9.303s
4 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +12.522s
5 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +22.392s
6 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +23.632s
7 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +24.348s
8 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +41.523s
9 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +58.214s
10 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +1m 09.723s
R Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 5 laps
R Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 0 laps
Fastest lap Serralles 1m 28.902s / 109.01mph
1 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 10.331s
2 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 30.255s
Provisional championship standings
1 Harvey 41 points; 2 Jaafar 35; 3 Tincknell 32; 4 Sainz 30; 5 Serralles 29; 6 Derani 23 etc
National class: 1 Goddard 63; 2 Padayachee 45.
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/f3_opkArticle Written By Admin on 7th Apr 2012