Cool and damp conditions welcomed a twenty-car British Formula 3 field for the first of a two-day test at Snetterton yesterday.
Indeed yesterday saw Formula 3 action on the new Snetterton ‘300’ circuit for the first time and it was Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen who took first blood. The Dane enjoyed a busy day – despite the conditions – as he notched up a best of 1:40.115 during the afternoon running.
Like many of the competitors, Magnussen clocked up seventy laps throughout the day – the Dane himself registered 75 tours – however times did not see dramatic improvement, as the cool temperatures refused to rise by any significant measure.
Carlos Huertas and Felipe Nasr made it an all-Carlin top three, with the Colombian Huertas a mere four-hundredths shy of Magnussen come the chequered flag and Nasr a further tenth in arrears.
It was left to Double R Racing’s Pipo Derani to break up the Carlin party near the front, as the Brazilian assumed 4th spot following a 78 lap day. Carlin’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook rounded out the top-five, some three-tenths shy of Magnussen’s quickest.
Reigning British Formula Ford champion Scott Pye displayed some solid pace as well – eventually the Australian took 6th in the second-Double R machine with a 1:40.539.
Pye headed a brief gaggle of Mercedes-powered machinery. Indeed, Pye pipped Adderly Fong (7th, Sino Vision Racing) and the Fortec pairing of William Buller (8th) and Harry Tincknell (9th).
Hitech’s Pietro Fantin rounded out the top-ten in his Volkswagen driven Dallara following a 69 lap session.
Hywel Lloyd (11th, Sino Vision), Riki Christodoulou (12th, Hitech) and Jazeman Jaafar (13th, Carlin) fell mere thousandths shy of Fantin’s top-ten time.
Lucas Foresti enjoyed the busiest day’s running as the Brazilian notched up 87 laps in his Fortec Motorsport machine; however a best lap of 1:40.837 was only good enough for 14th spot, despite being only seven-tenths down on Magnussen.
Jack Harvey had a tough day in his Carlin Dallara. The young Briton only completed 18 laps in the morning, followed that up with a further 30 after lunch. His best of 1:41.388 was only good enough for 15th.
Harvey was still able to better efforts by reigning Rookie Class champion, Menasheh Idafar (16th, T-Sport), while fellow T-Sport runner Yann Cunha fell even further back.
Japanese Formula 3 contender Richard Bradley ran a spare for Double R Racing yesterday as he aims to get more miles under his belt. The reigning Formula BMW Pacific champion registered 45 laps on his way to a best of 1:42.306, giving him 18th position overall.
This year’s Rookie Class runners Bart Hylkema (T-Sport) and Kotaru Sakurai (Hitech) rounded up the time sheets with the pair finishing 2.51 and 4.38 seconds down on Magnussen respectively.
Today will mark the final day of testing for the British Formula 3 Series, before the 2011 season begins in Monza in one-and-a-half weeks time.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Official testing, Snetterton 300 / 5 April 2011 1 Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.115s 2 Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.155s 3 Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.264s 4 Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Mercedes 1m 40.395s 5 Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW 1m 40.437s 6 Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Mercedes 1m 40.539s 7 Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 1m 40.694s 8 William Buller Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 40.697s 9 Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 40.719s 10 Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.747s 11 Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 1m 40.775 12 Riki Christodoulou Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.791 13 Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 40.795 14 Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 40.837 15 Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 41.388 16 Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 41.622 17 Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 41.988 18 Richard Bradley Double R Dallara-Mercedes 1m 42.306 19 Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 1m 42.626s 20 Kotaru Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 1m 44.494s