2011 British F3 Round of Rockingham (Rd 8, Race 2, Sept 4th)

Rockingham. © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

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

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