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2011 British F3 Round of Spa-Francorchamps (Rd 7, Race 1, July 29th)

July 30, 2011

Spa-Francorchamps © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

A dominant performance by Roberto Mehri was more than enough to give the Spaniard victory in the weekend’s opening British Formula 3 race.

The Prema Powerteam driver launched off the pole spot and into an immediate lead, eventually building a 12 second gap over 2nd place man William Buller (Fortec).

Mehri saw little of what occurred behind him throughout the thirteen laps, such was his dominance at the famed track.

The Spaniard joined British F3 this weekend to compete in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy. Mehri’s victory extends his lead in the International Trophy considerably ahead of Daniel Juncadella and Daniel Abt.
It also gave Buller his second British F3 class win of the season, lifting the Fortec pilot up the points standings.

Buller, too, enjoyed a great start. The Northern Ireland shot off his 3rd on the grid spot, pipping teammate Lucas Foresti at La Source. Foresti, determined to keep pace with Buller, banged wheels with Signature’s Marco Wittmann, spinning the unfortunate German and damaging Foresti.
Wittmann fell down the order, recovering to 11th for his troubles. Foresti, meanwhile, lost two places, before progressively falling to 13th come the race finish.

Unlike Mehri, Buller was unable to shake off rearward competition. The Fortec pilot fell under the gaze of Jazeman Jaafar, who pressed his British F3 rival to the flag, separated by only six-tenths as the pair finished.
It was a thoroughly deserved result for Jaafar. The Malaysian started 9th, but a good start twinned with the first corner clash was enough to bring the Carlin man to the forefront.
Another Euroseries invitee, Carlos Munoz, assumed 4th just one second shy of Jaafar, while Jack Harvey claimed 5th place, six-tenths shy of Munoz. Both took an ailing Foresti on the opening lap, before commencing their own battle.

Carlin teammates Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Kevin Magnussen battled throughout. Magnussen initially led the pairing, until Svendsen-Cook forced his way through on the seventh lap to garner 6th place ahead of the Dane.
Magnussen refused to give the position lightly, trailing Svendsen-Cook rear wing to the bitter end.

Daniel Juncadella registered an 8th place finish, despite his Prema Powerteam car filling momentarily with fire retardant during the race. Felipe Nasr climbed his way to 9th after starting on the eighth row of the grid. The Brazilian came home three seconds shy of Juncadella, but five ahead of Carlos Huertas.
Kotaro Sakurai took an unchallenged victory in the Rookie Class.

Bart Hylkema (T-Sport) and Raffaelle Marciello (Prema Powerteam) were early retirements, but neither were quite as dramatic as Marko Asmer’s early crash.
The Double R guest pilot smashed his Dallara chassis in the Bus Stop chicane, taking him clean out of the event. Menasheh Idafar withdrew on the ninth tour.

2011 British F3 Rd of Spa-Francorchamps (Rd 7, Race 1)
Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
 1.  Roberto Merhi         Prema           Dallara-Merc    29m18.572s
 2.  William Buller        Fortec          Dallara-Merc     + 12.846s
 3.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 13.486s
 4.  Carlos Munoz          Signature       Dallara-VW       + 14.410s
 5.  Jack Harvey           Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 15.005s
 6.  Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 16.378s
 7.  Kevin Magnussen       Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 16.912s
 8.  Daniel Juncadella     Prema           Dallara-Merc     + 22.360s
 9.  Felipe Nasr           Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 25.511s
10.  Carlos Huertas        Carlin          Dallara-VW       + 30.999s
11.  Marco Wittmann        Signature       Dallara-VW       + 32.627s
12.  Hannes van Asseldonk  Van Amersfoort  Dallara-VW       + 32.982s
13.  Lucas Foresti         Fortec          Dallara-Merc     + 34.351s
14.  Daniel Abt            Signature       Dallara-VW       + 35.452s
15.  Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision     Dallara-Merc     + 36.017s
16.  Scott Pye             Double R        Dallara-Merc     + 37.502s
17.  Laurens Vanthoor      Signature       Dallara-VW       + 38.518s
18.  Pipo Derani           Double R        Dallara-Merc     + 43.275s
19.  Pietro Fantin         Hitech          Dallara-VW       + 45.137s
20.  Fahmi Ilyas           Fortec          Dallara-Merc     + 53.692s
21.  Adderly Fong          Sino Vision     Dallara-Merc     + 56.479s
22.  Harry Tincknell       Fortec          Dallara-Merc     + 56.646s
23.  Yann Cunha            T-Sport         Dallara-VW       + 59.179s
24.  Kotaro Sakurai        Hitech          Dallara-Mugen  + 1m16.779s
Retirements:
     Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport         Dallara-VW          8 laps
     Marko Asmer           Double R        Dallara-Merc        3 laps
     Raffaelle Marciello   Prema           Dallara-Merc        2 laps
     Bart Hylkema          T-Sport         Dallara-VW          0 laps

2011 British F3 Rd of Spa-Francorchamps (Rd 7, Race 1)
Pos Driver Points
Championship Class
 1. Felipe Nasr        243
 2. Carlos Huertas     137
 3. Lucas Foresti      130
 4. Jazeman Jaafar     130
 5. William Buller     126
 6. Kevin Magnussen    122
Rookie Class
 1. Kotaro Sakurai     234
 2. Bart Hylkema       214
FIA International Trophy
 1. Roberto Mehri       93
 2. Daniel Juncadella   47
 3. Daniel Abt          38
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