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Sainz Jr reigns supreme in wet British Formula 3 test

March 8, 2012

Carlin Motorsport’s new signing Carlos Sainz Jr topped the second day of pre-season testing for the British Formula 3 Series at a wet and miserable Snetterton yesterday.

With much of the morning rained out, the Spaniard registered only 23 laps, setting a best of 1:53.749 toward the end of his final stint.
It was not all plain sailing for the Red Bull protégé – an off in the drying conditions damaged the nosecone of the F312,

Harry Tincknell made it a Carlin 1-2, jumping to 2nd spot with his final lap of the day. The Briton’s drying weather laptimes spent much time in the company of teammate Jack Harvey and Fortec pairing Alex Lynn and Pipo Derani.
Tincknell’s last gasp effort – a 1:54.401 – jumped him ahead of Lynn (3rd) and Derani (4th), with Harvey taking a close 5th, proving beyond doubt that he was close to fully recovered from his winter hand injury.
Harvey, meanwhile, only registered seven laps in his F312 Volkswagen, preferring instead to avoid potential on track hazards.

Hannes van Asseldonk continued to bed himself in with the Fortec squad. The Dutch racer secured 7th after logging 44 laps in his Mercedes-powered Dallara, setting a best just under a second shy of the top spot.
From there, the gaps extended, with Felix Serralles (Fortec, 8th) ahead of CF Racing’s Hywel Lloyd*, who busied himself behind the wheel of the team’s Rookie Class F308.
Yesterday’s fastest pilot, Jazeman Jaafar completed only six laps, registering time good enough for 10th spot.

The intensity of the rain at the Norfolk circuit ensured few decided to run during the morning session, with only six of the assembled sixteen drivers setting a lap count in the double figures – indeed van Asseldonk proved to be one of the few who did get some running in.
As a result, the Dutch racer headed the time sheets as the test broke for lunch, although his best was several seconds off the eventual quick pace. John Bryant-Meisner and Mitchel Gilbert completed installation laps in morning, but set no times, while Harvey, Fantin, Jaafar did not venture out at all.

The next British Formula 3 test takes place at Rockingham next week from Tuesday.

* {note 1}
Although CF Racing team boss Hywel Lloyd is by no means a rookie, the British F3 veteran is taking driving the squad’s Rookie Class F308 chassis, while his team continue their search for a driver.
It is expected that CF Racing will field one of three full-time drivers to compete in this year’s Rookie Class division.

Pos Driver                Team/Car                  Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Carlos Sainz Jr       Carlin Dallara-VW         1m53.749s           23
 2. Harry Tincknell       Carlin Dallara-VW         1m54.401s  +0.652s  31
 3. Alex Lynn             Fortec Dallara-Merc       1m54.420s  +0.671s  36
 4. Pipo Derani           Fortec Dallara-Merc       1m54.466s  +0.717s  45
 5. Jack Harvey           Carlin Dallara-VW         1m54.495s  +0.746s   7
 6. Pietro Fantin         Carlin Dallara-VW         1m54.642s  +0.893s  13
 7. Hannes van Asseldonk  Fortec Dallara-Merc       1m54.725s  +0.976s  44
 8. Felix Serralles       Fortec Dallara-Merc       1m55.024s  +1.275s  23
 9. Hywel Lloyd           CF Dallara-Mugen          1m56.144s  +2.395s  30
10. Jazeman Jaafar        Carlin Dallara-VW         1m56.144s  +2.395s   6
11. Richard Bradley       Carlin Dallara-VW         1m56.811s  +3.062s  31
12. Nick McBride          T-Sport Dallara-Mugen     1m57.623s  +3.874s  37
13. Spike Goddard         T-Sport Dallara-Mugen     1m59.292s  +5.543s  34
14. John Bryant-Meisner   Performance Dallara-VW    1m59.795s  +6.046s  34
15. Yannick Mettler       Performance Dallara-VW    2m01.773s  +8.024s  48
16. Mitchell Gilbert      Performance Dallara-VW    2m09.379s +15.630s   9
Italics = National Class
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