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2011 British F3 Rnd of Donington (Rd 9, Race 1, Sept 24th)

September 24, 2011

Donington Park. (Public domain)

Carlin’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook claimed his second British Formula 3 victory of the season at Donington Park circuit today.

The Ipswich man launched into the lead following a perfect start from pole, while fellow front-row man Jack Harvey fell behind Carlos Huertas on the approach to the Redgate.

As they came to collect the chequered flag twenty-nine minutes later, Svendsen-Cook proudly led home an all-Carlin podium.
Svendsen-Cook dominated the twenty-one-lap race from then on and never looked like losing the lead at any stage; however rather than embellish his lead, the 21-year-old treated his lead softly, extending it to 3.19 seconds come the chequered flag.

“I have been having good starts all year and you really need to maximise your time on pole. Every lap, I was still improving the lap time – we had the pace from the start to finish and it never went away and had a feeling that if I wanted to push a little harder, there was pace in the car to do so.”

Huertas, on the other hand, was kept somewhat busy for the duration. For much of the event, the Colombian held the eager Harvey at bay, yet despite the rookie Harvey was unable to force his way by Huertas – a common issue at the Leicestershire circuit.
It was an important result for Huertas – with both Kevin Magnussen and William Buller having disappointing races, the podium brought Huertas back up to 2nd in the Championship.

“It was a great start, but I have to keep improving for tomorrow. The first and second sectors were quite good, compared to [Harvey], but I struggled with understeer in the chicane, so I had to watch my mirrors – apart from that it was good.”

Harvey, too, was watching his mirrors, although initially from Magnussen, until a third lap clash with newly crowned champion Felipe Nasr took both out of contention. For the rookie Harvey, his race hung on a sluggish start – something he is looking to amend tomorrow.

“Our car is definitely a lot quicker than finishing 3rd. I made a little mistake at the start and nearly stalled – I got punished for that and could never recover that position.
I felt comfortable with Carlos [Huertas] in front of me and knew I could go quicker than that, but just couldn’t find a way passed. You get close enough, but lose downforce up the front.”

The pair touched as Nasr was drawing alongside at the Old Hairpin, leaving the pair with deflated Cooper Tyres. Nasr pitted at the end of lap three for a new set of tyres, with Magnussen stopping a lap later, although Nasr would soon retire from the event.
Magnussen continued on to set the fastest race lap, before he too discontinued his race at the end of the thirteenth lap.

Reigning Formula Ford champion Scott Pye (Double R) picked up the reigns in 4th place. The Australia drew to the rear of Harvey, but as with many others, found overtaking far too difficult on the fast, flowing track.
Pye chased Harvey to flag, with Jazeman Jaafar (5th, Carlin) and guest pilot Valtteri Bottas (6th, Double R) in close pursuit.

A stunning start from T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar speared the Anglo-Bahraini from 16th on the grid to 11th by the end of the opening lap.
Idafar took advantage of the misfortune of others to climb to 8th by lap nine; however the T-Sport pilot clashed with Pipo Derani at Melbourne Hairpin with four laps remaining. With Derani sent into a half spin, Idafar claimed 7th place – a position he held to the flag, whereas Derani fell to 11th. The incident remains under investigation at the time of writing.

Harry Tincknell also quietly climbed the order. Having started 14th, the Fortec man was up to 10th by lap nine, until a slight off by teammate Will Buller gave Tincknell another spot.
The Idafar / Derani incident promoted Tincknell to 8th; he beat the recovering Buller to the finish line by a mere 0.616s. A disappointed Buller assumed 9th place, but remained thankful that he garnered some points at least to bring slightly closer to Magnussen.
Rounding out the top ten was a quiet Max Snegirev. The Russian guest-pilot avoided trouble to pick up several spots after dropping to 14th at the start, including a forceful pass on Hitech’s Pietro Fantin on the eighth lap.

There were several other incidents during the race, including offs from Lucas Foresti (lap 1) and Hywel Lloyd (lap 2). Fahmi Ilyas was slapped with a drive through penalty at the halfway point for exceeding the track limits.

Kotaro Sakurai took the Rookie Class win and the Rookie Championship, finishing 19th overall.

2011 British F3 Rnd of Donington (Rd 9, Race 1, Sept 24th)
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
 1.  Rupert Svendsen-Cook  Carlin Dallara-VW          29m29.797s
 2.  Carlos Huertas        Carlin Dallara-VW            + 3.196s
 3.  Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW            + 3.646s
 4.  Scott Pye             Double R Dallara-Merc        + 4.027s
 5.  Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW            + 4.717s
 6.  Valtteri Bottas       Double R Dallara-Merc        + 5.200s
 7.  Menasheh Idafar       T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 15.160s
 8.  Harry Tincknell       Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 16.220s
 9.  Will Buller           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 16.836s
10.  Maxim Snegirev        Hitech Dallara-VW           + 18.050s
11.  Pipo Derani           Double R Dallara-Merc       + 18.614s
12.  Pietro Fantin         Hitech Dallara-VW           + 19.224s
13.  Yann Cunha            T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 23.309s
14.  Bart Hylkema          T-Sport Dallara-VW          + 27.360s
15.  Hywel Lloyd           Sino Vision Dallara-Merc    + 28.107s
16.  Adderly Fong          Sino Vision Dallara-Merc    + 32.653s
17.  Lucas Foresti         Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 33.854s
18.  Fahmi Ilyas           Fortec Dallara-Merc         + 59.390s
19.  Kotaro Sakurai        Hitech Dallara-Mugen      + 1m07.015s
Retirements:
     Kevin Magnussen       Carlin Dallara-VW             13 laps
     Felipe Nasr           Carlin Dallara-VW              5 laps

2011 British F3 Championship Standings (Rd 9, Race 1)
Pos Driver Points
International Class
 1. Felipe Nasr          297
 2. Carlo Huertas        181
 3. Kevin Magnussen      175
 4. William Buller       173
 5. Jazeman Jaafar       167
 6. Rupert Svendsen-Cook 164
 7. Lucas Foresti        140
 8. Jack Harvey          104
 9. Pietro Fantin        100
10. Harry Tincknell       71
11. Scott Pye             58
12. Riki Christodoulou    51
Rookie Class
 1. Kotaro Sakurai       321
 2. Bart Hylkema         214
 3. Luca Orlandi          45
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