Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen took a fabulous British Formula 3 victory at Snetterton today.
The Dane pulled off two very brave moves around the outside of Riches corner, to assume the lead, either side of a safety car period.
It was not the greatest of starts for Magnussen. A sluggish start from the front row saw the 18-year-old fall to 3rd place behind Hitech Racing’s Riki Christodoulou. Amidst this, poleman Felipe Nasr flew off the line, although the Brazilian was only able to pull out a small margin in the early stages.
Magnussen made the first of his sterling overtakes around Riches at the beginning of the third tour, as the Dane forced the issue upon Christodoulou. With the Hitech man dispatched, Magnussen pegged Nasr’s lead to just over one second, until eighth lap, whereby the race was neutralised by the safety car.
Both Scott Pye (Double R) and Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec) retired on laps six and seven respectively, – Pye with a mechanical and Ilyas with an accident; however with their machines stranded in dangerous positions, the safety car emerged, closing up the field in the process.
Green conditions returned on the eleventh lap, and though Nasr got a good restart, Magnussen’s was even better, allowing the Dane to force the issue and push around the outside of Riches turn. The decisive move made, Magnussen held the lead, eventually winning by 0.6 of-a-second despite some late race pressure being applied by Nasr.
“I didn’t make the best start and fell down to 3rd, but got passed Riki [Christodoulou] in the first corner. I was catching Nasr when we had the safety car – he was good on the restart and got a really good go, but I managed to get on the outside of him on the first corner and just take it. I just took my chance really – I saw a gap and just went for it.”
Carlos Huertas completed an all-Carlin podium. The Colombian started 4th, collecting 3rd spot when Christodoulou suffered an off on the the fifth lap while under pressure. While not ecstatic, Huertas was seeing some positives from his run:
“Yeah, much better than qualifying where I was really struggling with the car. I had good pace and was within a tenth of the fastest lap. It’s a big improvement and points, so I’m happy.”
Christodoulou’s error also let Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Pietro Fantin through; however where the Briton would repass Fantin on the twelfth tour, Svendsen-Cook was simply too far ahead.
Fantin, for his efforts, assumed a safe 6th ahead of Hywel Lloyd (7th, Sino Vision) and Harry Tincknell (8th, Fortec).
Fortec Motorsport duo William Buller and Lucas Foresti rounded out the top ten, with Buller ahead at the flag. Foresti started from 15th, but having reached 10th by lap seven, the Brazilian attempted several aggressive moves on his teammate.
However Buller was just as aggressive in his defence – although Buller came close to crossing the line on the 13th lap, squeezing Foresti onto the grass on the start / finish straight.
Yann Cunha (T-Sport) took 11th ahead of Adderly Fong (Sino Vision). They finished far in front of Jazeman Jaafar, who had a disastrous race – a poor start (falling from 7th to 14th on the opening tour) left the Malaysian on the back foot for the first stint.
Jaafar made his way to 11th for a time, only to be jumped by Cunha and Fong at the post-safety car restart.
Come the chequered flag, Jaafar also lost places to Pipo Derani (13th), Menasheh Idafar (14th) and Jack Harvey. While Idafar and Harvey had indifferent races, Derani earned his 13th spot, by lining up on the grid incorrectly, gaining a drive through as a result.
Magnussen’s victory lifts him to 9th in the championship table with 32 points; however the Dane is still a long way adrift of his Championship leading teammate, Felipe Nasr – his podium leaves him with 108 points; twice that of next up Lucas Foresti.
Bart Hylkema took another Rookie Class win over Kotaru Sakurai, giving the Dutch driver a 64 point lead over his Japanese rival.
Race Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1 Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW 30m54.041s (17 laps) 2. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 0.616s 3. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.373s 4. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 5.255s 5. Riki Christodoulou Hitech Dallara-VW + 8.051s 6. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 8.542s 7. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 11.238s 8. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc + 11.906s 9. William Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc + 12.016s 10. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc + 13.427s 11. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 15.210s 12. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 19.791s 13. Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc + 23.081s 14. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW + 23.729s 15. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 26.026s 16. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 26.952s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 28.744s 18. Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen + 34.746s Retirements: Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc 6 laps Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc 4 laps British Formula 3 International Championship (Rd 3, Race 1) Pos Drivers Points 1 Nasr 108 2 Foresti 59 3 Jaafar 58 4 Huertas 55 5 Svendsen-Cook 45 6 Fantin 37 8 Buller 34 9 Magnussen 32 10 Tincknell 21 Rookie class 1 Hylkema 109 2 Sakurai 45