British Formula 3 Pre-Season Testing (Oulton Park, March 22nd)

Oulton Park. © Will Pittenger / Creative Commons

Reigning British Formula Ford Champion, Scott Pye, topped the single of testing at Oulton Park on Tuesday.

The Australian Double R driver became the first to break the Carlin stranglehold in testing this year and also became the first driver to run quickest with a Mercedes engine.
Indeed, it was a busy day for Pye, who had completed a sterling 63 laps by the final chequered flag.

Pye’s fastest lap – 1:27.621, set half-way through a short stint in the morning – was more than enough to keep Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport) in 2nd spot; however the 20-year-old registered his quickest turn on ageing Cooper tyres.
Carlos Huertas (3rd) finished the day as the leading Carlin driver, nearly half-a-second slower than Pye. For the rest of the day, no one was able to improve on Pye’s time in spite of the excellent weather conditions.

Pietro Fantin took 4th for Hitech Racing, albeit seven-tenths back the top spot. The Brazilian just edged ahead ahead of Rupert Svendsen-Cook (5th, Carlin), Pipo Derani (6th, Double R Racing) and title favourite Felipe Nasr (7th, Carlin) by mere thousandths in the final session.
Kevin Magnussen claimed 8th spot with a best of 1:28.402 during a 58-lap day, while the Fortec pairing of Lucas Foresti and Harry Tincknell rounded up the top-ten, albeit one second off the pace.

Riki Christodoulou took 11th for Hitech, a few hundredths ahead of the leading Sino Vision runner, Hywel Lloyd (12th). Next up were Will Buller (13th, Fortec) and the Carlin duo, Jazeman Jaafar and Jack Harvey, who registered the 14th and 15th best times respectively.
Adderly Fong could do no better than 16th, 1.888 seconds down on Pye, yet it was still enough to pip Yann Cunha (17th, T-Sport) and the Rookie Class pair of Bart Hylkema (18th, T-Sport) and Kotaru Sakurai (19th, Hitech).

Accidents for Jaafar and Sakurai brought temporary stoppages for those entries; however Fong’s day was brought to an abrupt end thanks to a more serious incident. A big crash during the second session, knocked out the Hong Kong native for a short time.
Following precautionary checks at the hospital, Fong was given the all clear and released.

Pos  Driver                Team            Time     
 1.  Scott Pye             Double R        1m27.621s
 2.  Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport         1m27.989s
 3.  Carlos Huertas        Carlin          1m28.093s
 4.  Pietro Fantin         Hitech          1m28.332s
 5.  Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin          1m28.339s
 6.  Pipo Derani           Double R        1m28.346s
 7.  Felipe Nasr           Carlin          1m28.402s
 8.  Kevin Magnussen       Carlin          1m28.481s
 9.  Lucas Foresti         Fortec          1m28.643s
10.  Harry Tincknell       Fortec          1m28.701s
11.  Riki Christodoulou    Hitech          1m28.716s
12.  Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision     1m28.769s
13.  Will Buller           Fortec          1m28.962s
14.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin          1m29.117s
15.  Jack Harvey           Carlin          1m29.139s
16.  Adderly Fong          Sino Vision     1m29.509s
17.  Yann Cunha            T-Sport         1m29.807s
18.  Bart Hylkema          T-Sport         1m30.618s
19.  Kotaru Sakurai        Hitech          1m31.771s

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