2011 British Formula 3 Round of Paul Ricard (Rd 6, Race 1, July 16th)

Circuit Paul Ricard. © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

As the 2011 British Formula 3 Series turns to its second half, Carlin’s Felipe Nasr notched up his sixth victory of the season, earning a ninety-six point lead.

While not cruising to the flag, the Brazilian kept his nose clear of runner-up pilot Antonio Felix da Costa (Hitech Racing) for the duration, although the Portuguese runner tried his luck early on.

Nasr registered the win by only 1.2 seconds, yet appeared to have plenty in hand – an element demonstrated by claiming a late fastest lap.

There was another close fight for the final spot on the podium with Carlos Huertas (Carlin) holding off his Danish teammate, Kevin Magnussen. For the most part, it had been a quiet race for the Colombian, disturbed only by the charging Magnussen in the final few tours.

Magnussen, on the other hand, had a very different race. Having started on pole, the Dane bogged down badly, dropping him to 7th by the first turn. Swift moves passed Jack Harvey and Rupert Svendsen-Cook saw Magnussen climb back to 5th, followed by a multi-lap battle with championship challenger Lucas Foresti.
Sadly, the Fortec pilot was the loser in fight – as they fought, the pair collided at Beausset corner sending Foresti into a quick spin and demoting the Brazilian to 7th.
Breaking from the chasing pack, Magnussen chased Huertas down, but ran out of laps, leaving the Dane to settle for 4th. In the ensuing melee, Harvey swept passed Svendsen-Cook, soon pulling clear of his Carlin teammate.

As Harvey picked up another top-five, Svendsen-Cook was under pressure from Fortec’s William Buller. The Northern Ireland man grabbed 7th from a struggling Foresti, pushing Svendsen-Cook to the line – indeed, only six-tenths separated the pair as the crossed the finish line.

If anything, the fight for the final points places was just as ferocious. Suffering from battle scars, Foresti fell toward Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin), Harry Tincknell (Fortec), Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport) and Pietro Fantin (Hitech).
The quintet fought eachother hard – probably a little too hard – but it was Idafar and Fantin that would lose out. In fact, their races ended some laps prior to the flag, with Idafar retiring at two-thirds distance with a broken exhaust and Fantin suffering from an out of breath engine.
Jaafar headed the remaining trio, while a damaged Foresti claimed 9th, only two-tenths ahead of Tincknell.

Sadly, both Jaafar and Idafar garnered race 2 grid penalties for their battle tactics – Idafar took his T-Sport machine well outside the track limits to overtake early on, while Jaafar’s driving was considered far too aggressive in his fight for position.

Idafar wasn’t alone on the retirement list. The Bahraini national joined Bart Hylkema, who pulled in on lap three with a damaged suspension and rear wing.

Kotaro Sakurai won the Rookie Class – an anonymous feat as he is now the class’ only competitor. It didn’t stop him having a tough race – in the early laps, cockpit ballast came loose in his Hitech machine, lodging itself under the brakes, necessitating a pitstop. Sakurai finished 18th and one lap down.

2011 British Formula 3 Rd of Paul Ricard (Rd 6, Race 1)
Pos Driver Team Time / Gap
 1  Felipe Nasr             Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  28m 50.120s (14 laps)
 2  Antonio Felix da Costa  Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen      +1.295s
 3  Carlos Huertas          Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen      +8.602s
 4  Kevin Magnussen         Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen      +8.994s
 5  Jack Harvey             Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen     +12.811s
 6  Rupert Svendsen-Cook    Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen     +19.612s
 7  William Buller          Fortec Dallara-Mercedes       +20.232s
 8  Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen     +33.329s
 9  Lucas Foresti           Fortec Dallara-Mercedes       +35.888s
10  Harry Tincknell         Fortec Dallara-Mercedes       +36.059s
Other finishers:
11) Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec);       12) Hywel Lloyd (Sino Vision);
13) Pipo Derani (Double R);     14) Scott Pye (Double R);
15) Pietro Fantin (Hitech);     16) Yann Cunha (T-Sport);
17) Adderly Fong (Sino Vision); 18) Kotaro Sakurai (Hitech, Rookie Class);
    Bart Hylkema (T-Sport, 3 laps); Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport, 10 laps)

2011 British Formula 3 Championship Standings (Rd 6, Race 1)
Pos Driver Points
Championship Class
 1 Nasr          217 points
 2 Foresti       123
 3 Huertas       119
 4 Jaafar        113
 5 Magnussen     106
 6 Svendsen-Cook  85
Rookie class
 1 Hylkema       214
 2 Sakurai       180

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