Kevin Magnussen picked up his sixth British Formula 3 victory of the year in a chaotic feature race at Donington Park.
The Dane fitted rain tyres to his Volkswagen-powered Carlin just as the skies opened. Magnussen was joined in this strategy by the rest of the front three rows.
From 7th onward, the field banked on the sky clearing; however as the race aged, the rain thickened.
With the correct tyres on board, Magnussen jumped from 5th to 4th off the line, becoming 3rd when the Dane collided with Felipe Nasr half way around the first tour.
An off by Rupert Svendsen-Cook on the fourth lap gifted Magnussen 2nd spot behind race leader Jack Harvey. Luck soon came Magnussen’s way, with Harvey losing out to the Dane in the Esses eight laps in.
Harvey, however, would soon succumb with a failed battery four laps from the flag. The lead assured, Magnussen stretched his lead to 4.8 seconds come the end of the twenty-four-lap distance.
“It was very tricky and took a lot of concentration. It was all about not making any mistakes and I am very pleased to have brought the car home. Obviously I need to get the best out of the rest of the season to try to get second in the championship.”
Pipo Derani was next up in his Double R Racing Mercedes. The Brazilian started alongside Magnussen, rising to 3rd as others met problems.
Displaying strong pace, Derani pushed Harvey for several circulations, until the latter’s eventual retirement, giving the Double R man his first British F3 podium.
It would be enough to earn Derani the award for Sunoco Driver of the Weekend.
“I am really happy. I can’t explain this feeling. We have been working hard towards this result all year, and now it is here. Now I will keep working; there are three more races at Silverstone and I want to be on top.”
Rupert Svendsen-Cook secured his second podium of the weekend with a sterling drive to 3rd spot. The Englishman was the first to make the move to wets pre-race, although his early advantage was lost thanks to his excursion at Melbourne Hairpin.
The Carlin pilot did climb to the rear of Derani, but was unable to force the issue in the closing laps.
“I had a feeling and think I was he first guy to go to wets, then everyone else did. I chose really, really scrubbed wets – they were the oldest wets we had, but they would have been better in the dry. When it got really wet, I went off at the last corner and nearly hit the wall, came back on behind them all and had to make no more mistakes.”
As reward for his efforts, Svendsen-Cook also collected the prestigious Raymond Mays Challenge Trophy, as determined by the Donington Park Racing association.
“I knew about it, but wasn’t aware it was going to happen for this race and it’s quite a prestigious award.”
Carlos Huertas drove a rather lonely race to 4th position come the flag, coming home ahead of Sino Vision’s Adderly Fong on the road.
Unfortunately for Fong, the Canadian-Chinese racer was docked ten seconds for changing tyres on the grid beyond the accepted time. This would drop the Sino Vision pilot to 7th on the results sheet. It would move Scott Pye (Double R) and Pietro Fantin (Hitech Racing) up to 5th and 6th respectively.
The result was quite a coup for Pye – after starting 10th, a spin on the fourth lap dropped the Australian three spots, but a forceful drive to the flag (taking Lucas Foresti along the way) brought Pye to the rear of Fantin.
The dual would be settled on the final tour, with Pye taking Fantin with only a few corners remaining.
Harry Tincknell would have taken solid points for 8th position; however the Exeter man also took a ten second penalty for contravening the start-line rules, dropping him to 14th.
Foresti took advantage of others’ misfortune to garner points, but the Fortec man nearly lost out himself. An early slide left the Brazilian 16th at the end of the first lap, yet Foresti persevered to come home 1.112 seconds clear of Felipe Nasr.
A good start for Nasr was not enough to clear Magnussen and the Nasr fell to 10th following their coming together. The newly crowned Champion suffered two further spins before the day was out, rounding out a difficult weekend.
With others also falling off track, Nasr claimed 9th and two points.
Jazeman Jaafar completed the points finishers, although he will rue a seventeenth lap mistake that left him scrambling around in 12th as the conclusion approached.
With Harvey’s retirement and Tincknell’s penalty, Jaafar claimed a single score, but it could have been much more.
A number of drivers in the field dived into the pits for wet tyres at the end of the warm-up – except for William Buller and Valtteri Bottas.
The pair hung out on the wet track for two laps, before deciding to finally change; however by that stage, they were so far behind, there was little chance of significant progress.
Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec), Max Snegirev (Hitech) and Kotaro Sakurai all fell foul of the wet conditions; all of who spun off, none of whom recovered.
2011 British F3 Rnd of Donington (Rd 9, Race 3) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW 40m30.222s 2. Pipo Derani Double R Dallara-Merc + 4.806s 3. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-VW + 7.477s 4. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW + 19.373s 5. Scott Pye Double R Dallara-Merc + 26.252s 6. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW + 26.588s 7. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 35.271s 8. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc + 37.897s 9. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW + 39.009s 10. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 39.587s 11. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-VW + 41.245s 12. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc + 45.661s 13. Valtteri Bottas Double R Dallara-Merc + 45.935s 14. Harry Tincknell Fortec Dallara-Merc + 47.610s 15. Yann Cunha T-Sport Dallara-VW + 1m13.884s 16. Will Buller Carlin Dallara-Merc + 1m19.705s 17. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Dallara-VW + 1m23.043s Retirements: Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW 20 laps Fahmi Ilyas Fortec Dallara-Merc 19 laps Maxim Snegirev Hitech Dallara-VW 9 laps Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen 4 laps 2011 British F3 Championship Standings (Rd 9, Race 3) Pos Driver Points International Class 1. Felipe Nasr 302 2. Carlos Huertas 196 3. Kevin Magnussen 195 4. William Buller 183 5. Rupert Svendsen-Cook 179 6. Jazeman Jaafar 175 7. Lucas Foresti 147 8. Pietro Fantin 106 9. Jack Harvey 106 10. Harry Tincknell 78 11. Scott Pye 66 12. Riki Christodoulou 51 Rookie Class 1. Kotaro Sakurai 324 2. Bart Hylkema 214 3. Luca Orlandi 45