2011 British F3 Round of Monza (Rd 1, Race 1, April 16th)

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

Carlin’s Felipe Nasr took a well fought victory in the opening race of the 2011 British Formula 3 season at Monza.

The Brazilian crossed the line with a three second advantage over Jazeman Jaafar in what was crash infested affair that saw three safety car period in the thirty minute sprint.

Nasr ran in 6th for much of the race, before moves on teammate’s Carlos Huertas and Rupert Svendsen-Cook brought him into the top four. Nasr swept by Jaafar on the 9th tour.
A clash between then leaders Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Lucas Foresti (Fortec) handed Nasr the race.

“It was a great race, but I was a bit concerned from the start. …at the chicane I was on the outside which wasn’t the best place to be and I dropped to sixth. After the first safety car I climbed to fifth and then after the second safety car I climbed another two places. When I caught up with Kevin and Lucas I knew something was going to happen as they were pretty close. After they touched I had the opportunity to be in front and I just did the best I could to break the tow from the cars behind.”

Jaafar did lead the race temporarily. A stellar start elevated the Malaysian to the front of the pack, only to lose the advantage to Magnussen and Foresti upon the first restart. The Carlin runner stayed in the running for the rest of the event.

Huertas made it a Carlin 1-2-3, while polesitter Will Buller claimed 4th. Buller had something of a dreadful opening, as he and several others – inexplicably – did not make it to the grid on time, relegating them to a pit lane start.

Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Carlin) took 5th ahead of Riki Christodoulou (6th, Hitech). Hywel Lloyd (Sino Vision), Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport), the recovering Foresti and Bruno Mendez (Hitech) rounded out the top-ten.

Harry Tincknell brought his Volkswagen-powered Fortec home 11th, with British F3 débutante Fahmi Ilyas safety behind in 12th. Adderly Fong and Yann Cunha trailed home in 13th and 14th respectively, while the wounded Kevin Magnussen crossed the line 15th and last.

The season started with a smash for Pipo Derani. The Brazilian collided first with Jack Harvey and then the barrier off the start line, bringing out the first safety car; however that mishap could not compare to accident that claimed the Rookie Class drivers, Bart Hylkema (T-Sport) and Kotaru Sakurai (Hitech).
Approaching the Variante della Roggia, Sakurai slammed into the rear of Hylkema, leaving Sakurai sliding down the escape road on his roll hoop bar. Hylkema returned to the pits with a sliced rear tyre and damaged rear wing, but rejoined with half the race run.

The final safety car period was instigated by Pietro Fantin (Hitech) and Scott Pye (Double R). The duo removed eachother approaching the Variante del Rettifilo on the 9th tour, ensuring the race was neutralised once more.
Race Rating: 4 out of 5

Results - 14 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  Felipe Nasr           Carlin Dallara-VW          30m56.691s
 2.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW            + 3.116s
 3.  Carlos Huertas        Carlin Dallara-VW            + 3.166s
 4.  William Buller        Fortec Dallara-Merc          + 4.103s
 5.  Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin Dallara-VW            + 5.140s
 6.  Riki Christodoulou    Hitech Dallara-VW            + 6.674s
 7.  Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision Dallara-Merc     + 9.995s
 8.  Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 10.018s
 9.  Lucas Foresti         Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 10.137s
10.  Bruno Mendez          Hitech Dallara-VW           + 11.324s
11.  Harry Tincknell       Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 11.447s
12.  Fahmi Ilyas           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 13.553s
13.  Adderly Fong          Sino Vision Dallara-Merc    + 13.857s
14.  Yann Cunha            T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 14.121s
15.  Kevin Magnussen       Carlin Dallara-VW         + 1m21.068s
Retirements/Not classified:
     Bart Hylkema          T-Sport Dallara-Mugen         10 laps
     Pietro Fantin         Hitech Dallara-VW              9 laps
     Scott Pye             Double R Dallara-Merc          9 laps
     Kotaro Sakurai        Hitech Dallara-Mugen           2 laps
     Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW               1 lap
     Pipo Derani           Double R Dallara-Merc           1 lap

Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr         21 points 
2 Jaafar       15 
3 Huertas      12 
4 Buller       10 
5 Svendsen-Cook 8 
6 Christodoulou 6

Rookie class:
 1 Hylkema     21
© Leigh O Gorman

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