Reigning Formula Ford GB Champion, Scott Pye, claimed his maiden British Formula 3 victory this morning.
The Australian dominated the twenty-minute race in very wet conditions to win by over ten seconds from Championship leader Felipe Nasr.
It was just rewards for Pye, who has endured a trying learning curve so far this season.
Prior to this, the Double R pilot had achieved a best of 4th place at Brands Hatch earlier this year. Pye was rightfully pleased with his victory:
“It was all about the start. In the rain there’s a lot of spray, but thankfully Kevin [Magnussen] and I both made similar starts, but mine was a little bit better and I led into turn one. From then on, it was all about controlling the race. The pressure was on, but I know I could get the result. Our pace is very good. I just felt that race came on and I drove at the pace that I was comfortable with.”
Pye had little to worry about from behind, although Nasr was not quite as comfortable. The Brazilian picked up 2nd spot on the fourth tour when fellow Carlin runner, Kevin Magnussen had an off in turn two. Magnussen’s mishap also allowed Jazeman Jaafar through into 3rd.
Despite a constant stream of pressure, Nasr held Jaafar at bay for much of the duration, but as the race aged, Jaafar’s threat began to dissipate, allowing Nasr to secure the runner-up spot. Nasr appeared philosophic about his run:
“[The conditions were] very, very different from yesterday – especially this track, which very slippy compared to others tracks. It was a difficult race, tough to keep the car on the track, but it was good to still finish 2nd and gain those points and make the title possible.
I feel very relaxed. I just need to do the job as I have done and if it is possible to win [race 3], I will try to, but if not, then I would prefer to take the car to the finish for the title.”
The race was not quite as comfortable for Jaafar. As the Malaysian’s tyres fell away, he found himself under pressure from the resurgent Magnussen and the Fortec of William Buller, with Jaafar eventually losing out on the final tour.
As the trio battled through the last turns, Magnussen sliced through the inside of Jaafar at Brook corner taking the final podium position, with Buller grabbing 4th as Jaafar lost traction in the last corner. For Magnussen, it was a case of what could have been:
“It was a shame I went off, I could have challenged for the win had a stayed on track, but that’s if – it’s what you do that counts. So I expected to come back, but it was quite difficult. I had a tough fight with Jazeman [Jaafar], but managed to get through.”
It was a great reward for Buller, who started down in 15th following a questionable penalty after race one yesterday. The Northern Ireland man had meteoric start, jumping from 15th to 7th on the opening lap alone. Moves on Carlos Huertas and Menasheh Idafar gave Buller sight of Magnussen.
Jazeman was left to accept 5th with disappointment.
Carlin’s Carlos Huertas came 6th just ahead of Menasheh Idafar (7th, T-Sport). Huertas fought for the top-six spot early on, passing Idafar on the sixth tour – despite Idafar’s best intentions, the place would not be regained. Pipo Derani (Double R) took 8th with two laps to go from Sino Vision’s Hywel Lloyd, while Rupert Svendsen-Cook closed out the top ten.
It was poor luck for ex-Formula BMW championship runner-up, Jack Harvey – the Briton suffered a poor start to drop from 6th to 15th, before picking up a place in the later laps.
Kotaro Sakurai took the Rookie Class win, having lapped his sole competitor Luca Orlandi.
“It was really tricky. With twenty cars around, the spray was coming from everywhere, so I had to guess where all the braking points were.”
Race 3 gets the green light shortly.
2011 British F3 Round of Rockingham (Rd 8, Race 2) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc 20m19.368s 2. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 10.217s 3. William Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc + 14.592s 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 15.359s 5. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW + 15.765s 6. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 16.229s 7. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW + 17.976s 8. Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc + 18.406s 9. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 20.220s 10. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 23.827s 11. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 25.638s 12. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc + 28.719s 13. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc + 30.610s 14. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 31.643s 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc + 43.699s 16. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 46.835s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-VW + 59.250s 18. Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen + 1m13.910s 19. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 1m27.725s 20. Luca Orlandi West-Tec Dallara-Mugen + 1 lap 2011 British F3 Standings Pos Driver Points Championship Class 1. Felipe Nasr 274 2. Carlos Huertas 161 3. William Buller 153 4. Kevin Magnussen 148 5. Jazeman Jaafar 144 6. Rupert Svendsen-Cook 143 Rookie Class 1. Kotaro Sakurai 267 2. Bart Hylkeman 214