2011 British Formula 3 Round of Brands Hatch (Rd 4, Race 1, June 18th)

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

It was difficult to ask for a better drive of Lucas Foresti.

Starting from 6th at a damp Brands Hatch in first British Formula 3 race of the weekend, the Brazilian bravely stayed out on wet Copper tyres, even though a returning, sun dried the circuit during the running.

In terms of risky strategies, it was right up with the best of them, but Foresti’s smooth style kept his wet tyres intact, while others fell by the wayside.

Foresti climbed to 4th off the line, coolly following the battling Felipe Nasr and Carlos Huertas (both Carlin) – meanwhile, polesitter Rupert Svendsen-Cook used the fight to his advantage, pulling out a lead of 3.4 seconds in the first five laps.

As a drying line emerged, Nasr began to struggle, with Foresti moving into 3rd at Paddock Hill Bend on the 8th lap. With seemingly little to lose, the Brazilian pitted a lap later with Huertas following two tours later and Svendsen-Cook on lap 12.
The delay would cost Svendsen-Cook his advantage. The Englishman emerged from the pits neck and neck with Nasr, only for the Brazilian to steal the position into Paddock Hill Bend.

Uncanny Strategy
Amidst the stops, Foresti surged to the top of the leader board, assuming a near 30 second lead over the now 3rd place Nasr.
Between the Brazilian pair stood reigning British Formula Ford Champion Scott Pye. Having started from 9th, Pye attempted to use the changeable conditions to his benefit, adopting an identical strategy to Foresti.
However the Australian had neither the large gap nor the steady car that his Fortec Motorsport opponent possessed. By the the 18th lap, Nasr had passed the Hitech man, with Svendsen-Cook taking the final podium spot on the penultimate lap.
Pye, his grip gone, could no longer hold the stalking pack off – the Australian soon shuffled back toward to the mid-table.

Yann Cunha also stayed out for the duration. Having started 18th, the T-Sport driver climbing as high as 3rd, before his Cooper tyres had cried enough, leaving the Brazilian to fall through the pack almost as quickly as he had risen.

Bringing it Home
Felipe Nasr pulled nearly 25 seconds out of Foresti in the final laps, but it was not enough – the Fortec pilot claimed yet another victory (by 4.96 seconds) and it was easily Foresti’s best yet.

“I was thinking to take slicks at the start, but I started on the wets – I just did the best laps I could. In the pits, it takes a long time to change tyres in Formula 3 – sometimes quick, sometimes not. The race was halfway wet and halfway dry, so it was a tricky decision.”

Nasr took 2nd place with an eight second advantage over Svendsen-Cook (3rd). Of his stop, Nasr revealed:

“We set up the car for the wet, but once it started drying, we were slower than anyone else, so that was a good time to go into the pits and it seemed to work out.”

Svendsen-Cook, however, was clearly disappointed with the outcome:

“I had a massive lead in the wet conditions, our pace was evident, but Lucas was catching me. We made a decision to pit for slicks a lap or two later than Felipe [Nasr], so his tyres were up to temperature and I went wide at the first turn and he got me. That was the story of the race.”

Taking the Flag
A quiet Jazeman Jaafar crossed the line a further four seconds back ahead of Huertas who could do no better than 5th, showing vague pace on dry tyres.
William Buller took 6th for Fortec. The Northern Ireland man stalled on the grid dropping him down the order, but a determined run with a cunning strategy (he was the first to pit) saw Buller scythe through the field, without necessarily having to pass other on track.
Scott Pye eventually claimed 7th, but only after Kevin Magnussen received a ten-second penalty for exceeding the track limits repeatedly.

Menasheh Idafar (9th, T-Sport) and Harry Tincknell (10th, Fortec) rounded out the top ten with solid drives, while Sino Vision racer Adderly Fong was the first outside the points, not helped by a sluggish mid-race stop.
Fong just held off Pietro Fantin (Hitech) at the line, with the pair only separated by three-tenths.

Finishing 13th was Carlin’s Jack Harvey after something of an indifferent race, wedged around a slow pitstop. Harvey crossed the line with a sizeable gap to Cunha (14th) and Pipo Derani (15th, Double R).
Hitech Racing substitute Max Snegirev claimed a very distant 16th, while Kotaru Sakurai finished 17th overall, taking another Rookie Class win in the process, following Bart Hylkema’s fourth lap spin and retirement.

“It is a very hard track when it’s really wet and changing, but it’s really good to improve myself. I was pretty clean in the wet and up to the Championship cars, but they have more downforce. When they changed to slick tyres, there was no reason to fight against them.”

Hywel Lloyd (Sino Vision) and Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec) also suffered race ending accidents in the final stages of the race.
Race Rating: 4 out of 5

Results - 21 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  Lucas Foresti         Fortec Dallara-Merc        30m35.827s
 2.  Felipe Nasr           Carlin Dallara-VW            + 4.966s
 3.  Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin Dallara-VW           + 12.447s
 4.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW           + 16.903s
 5.  Carlos Huertas        Carlin Dallara-VW           + 19.329s
 6.  Will Buller           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 21.838s
 7.  Scott Pye             Double R Dallara-Merc       + 28.417s
 8.  Kevin Magnussen       Carlin Dallara-VW           + 29.708s
 9.  Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 34.168s
10.  Harry Tincknell       Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 38.714s
11.  Adderly Fong          Sino Vision Dallara-Merc    + 40.042s
12.  Pietro Fantin         Hitech Dallara-VW           + 40.411s
13.  Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW           + 45.635s
14.  Yann Cunha            T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 55.528s
15.  Pipo Derani           Double R Dallara-Merc       + 57.310s
16.  Maxim Snegirev        Hitech Dallara-VW         + 1m19.824s
17.  Kotaro Sakurai        Hitech Dallara-Mugen          + 1 lap
     Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision Dallara-Merc      17 laps
     Fahmi Ilyas           Fortec Dallara-Merc           15 laps
     Bart Hylkema          T-Sport Dallara-Mugen          3 laps

British Formula 3 (Rd 4, Race 1)
Pos Driver Team Points
Championship Standings
 1. Felipe Nasr           Carlin        129
 2. Lucas Foresti         Fortec         91
 3. Carlos Huertas        Carlin         79
 4. Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin         78
 5. Kevin Magnussen       Carlin         60
 6. Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin         57
 7. Pietro Fantin         Hitech Racing  52
 8. Riki Christodoulou    Hitech Racing  51
 9. William Buller        Fortec         49
10. Harry Tincknell       Fortec         34
11. Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport        18
12. Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision    18
Rookie Class Standings
 1. Bart Hylkema          T-Sport       130
 2. Kotaru Sakurai        Hitech Racing  93

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