Kevin Magnussen recorded his second win British F3 win this weekend with another stunning display at Snetterton.
The Dane initially trailed fellow Carlin driver, Felipe Nasr off the line, but a first lap safety car period saw the Brazilian’s advantage pegged.
Indeed, it was an incident only 100 metres into the race that triggered the safety car, as Hywel Lloyd punted Fortec’s William Buller hard into the barrier. Buller was uninjured, but the race director neutralised the event while his stricken chassis was moved.
As the green conditions flew on the fourth lap, Magnussen wasted little in forcing his way past Nasr – in fact he repeated his move for the lead yesterday, going around the outside of turn one.
“There was my chance and I took it. It’s been a tough start to the season and to turn it around like this is incredible. Still a long way, still a long season and it’s going to be hard work. Felipe is a really good driver and there’s a lot of other good drivers as well. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to carry on like this. It’s going to be hard work, but I’ll keep pushing and believe in it.”
From there on, Magnussen was unchallenged as he slowly pulled away; however Nasr was facing a very different problem – his right front tyre picked up a slow puncture under the safety car, leaving his Volkswagen-powered Dallara disabled.
Nasr was then adjudged to fallen too far behind the safety car during the yellow period, earning the Brazilian a drive through penalty.
The pair of pitstops eventually dropped him down to the rear of the field, where he would eventually come home in 17th place. On fresh tyres, Nasr would claim not just the fastest race lap, but also Snetterton’s lap record.
While Magnussen ran ahead, Carlos Huertas (Carlin) and Riki Christodoulou (Hitech) fought over the final podium position – a fight won by the Carlin man thanks to a fourth lap pass.
“It was good. Started 5th and finished 2nd, taking two people. Obviously Rupert [Svendsen-Cook] couldn’t make the start. Bad for him, but I keep scoring points. I still have to improve qualifying, it’s not been great. I have to keep working on that, but I think the race pace is much better and all the time I improve, it’s gets better.”
Indeed, it was an unfortunate result for Svendsen-Cook – the 21-year-old was due to start 3rd, but an ill engine stranded him in the pits until moments before the race start.
Following his win at Oulton Park three weeks ago, Christodoulou maintained his cheerful form with another podium and a strong showing from the Hitech runner. It could have been more for the Englishman, who found himself blocked by Nasr on the restart.
“The start was good. I got close to Nasr and Magnussen at the start – wasn’t able to put it passed them, because [they] were battling and when Magnussen did the move around the outside of turn 1, I went to inside of Nasr, but he pretty abruptly chopped the door. It could have been a bit of crash, but I managed to avoid that, but it let Carlos [Huertas] passed me, so moved to 4th. As the race went on, I was able to pressure Nasr and put a pass on him.”
In what has been a quiet week for the Malaysian, Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) secured a top four position ahead of Pietro Fantin (5th, Hitech). Double R’s Pipo Derani came home 6th.
Derani’s Double R teammate, Scott Pye, had an adventurous race. The Australian made a magical start from 12th position, claiming 9th by the first lap. That became 8th when Harry Tincknell slipped off circuit under the safety car and 7th as Nasr fell by the wayside.
Next up was Tincknell. A solid performance saw the Fortec driver earn the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award, despite his safety car mishap. He had been running 6th early on, before falling to 10th; but climbed back to 8th as Nasr and Menasheh Idafar fell into trouble.
Lucas Foresti also had a good start, jumping from 13th to 9th by the flag. The Brazilian passed fellow countryman Yann Cunha (T-Sport) in the process, with Cunha eventually claiming the final point.
Adderly Fong took 11th, just missing out on the points. The Chinese driver held off a train of machines including Carlin pair Jack Harvey (12th) and Rupert Svendsen-Cook (13th), with the repaired Lloyd at the rear of the group in 14th.
An off for Fahmi Ilyas left the Fortec pilot running in 15th at the end, ahead of Rookie Class winner, Bart Hylkema. This win gives Hylkema a further points advantage over his sole Rookie Class rival, Kotaru Sakurai at the series breaks up for five weeks.
“I was struggling a lot in the beginning, I had a bad start – it just went wrong and I got stuck behind [Sakurai], but I was struggling a lot anyway with my car. It got a little bit better and he made a little mistake, so I was able to pass him. That was good, but I definitely was struggling with this race, so there are mixed feelings. It’s something that I look at, I really don’t know, but we had quite a lot of damage this morning. The guys did a great job and the car was fixed. I need to have a look, because we were lacking pace.”
Sakurai was the last of the finishers, coming home 18th and one lap down. He faired better than Idafar – the Bahraini driver pitted on the sixth tour with an engine misfire, losing two laps before rejoining the field.
Pos Drivers Teams Time / Gap 1. Kevin Magnussen Carlin-Volkswagen 41:12.422 (23 laps) 2. Carlos Huertas Carlin-Volkswagen +4.737 3. Riki Christodoulou Hitech-Volkswagen +6.913 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin-Volkswagen +7.188 5. Pietro Fantin Hitech-Volkswagen +9.155 6. Pipo Derani Double R-Mercedes +14.913 7. Scott Pye Double R-Mercedes +15.626 8. Harry Tincknell Fortec-Mercedes +19.135 9. Lucas Foresti Fortec-Mercedes +19.670 10. Yann Cunha T-Sport-Volkswagen +24.571 11. Adderly Fong Sino Vision-Mercedes +35.029 12. Jack Harvey Carlin-Volkswagen +35.677 13. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin-Volkswagen +36.433 14. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision-Mercedes +38.261 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec-Mercedes +47.447 16. Bart Hylkema T-Sport-Mugen Honda +1:15.494 17. Felipe Nasr Carlin-Volkswagen +1:30.741 18. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech-Mugen Honda +1 lap 19. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport-Volkswagen +2 laps Retirements R William Buller Fortec-Mercedes +23 laps Fastest Lap Felipe Nasr Carlin-Volkswagen 1:39.933 (Lap 21)* *Track record 2011 British Formula 3 Championship (Round 3) 1. Felipe Nasr Carlin-Volkswagen 114 points 2. Carlos Huertas Carlin-Volkswagen 73 3. Lucas Foresti Fortec-Mercedes 71 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin-Volkswagen 68 5. Kevin Magnussen Carlin-Volkswagen 56 6. Pietro Fantin Hitech-Volkswagen 52 7. Riki Christodoulou Hitech-Volkswagen 51 8. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin-Volkswagen 45 9. William Buller Fortec-Mercedes 42 10. Harry Tincknell Fortec-Mercedes 33 Rookie Class 1. Bart Hylkema T-Sport-Mugen Honda 130 2. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech-Mugen Honda 72