Fortec’s Pipo Derani secured his first British Formula 3 in a manic second race this afternoon, ahead of Pietro Fantin and Jazeman Jaafar.
Starting 4th, the Brazilian easily drew passed poleman Duvashen Padayachee, before forcing an error from T-Sport’s Nick McBride to assume 2nd on the following lap.
Four laps behind then leader Spike Goddard bottled the field up, with the top twelve within four seconds of the front for the opening third of the race.
Come the end of lap five, Goddard finally cracked, dropping to 6th before the end of that tour. Now clear ahead, Derani pulled a two-second lead over Fantin, only for it to be wiped when the safety car emerged on lap eight to remove Alex Lynn’s stricken Fortec.
Restarting with only one lap remaining, Derani held a gap over Fantin, eventually taking the win by eight tenths.
“The result back home was really good for the team, it was our first win. [McBride] has a really bad exit [in the second last corner] and it was the only opportunity that I saw could try something; it was quite risky, but in the end I managed to do it. I was nervous when I saw the safety car board, but just managed to do a good restart and that was it. These Carlin guys are not easy and there was only one lap and I made no mistakes.”
For Fantin, a frustrating feeling of “what if” lingered after the race. The Carlin racer began to reel in Derani before the safety car period, but the Brazilian ran out of time to make a move for the lead.
“It was a crazy race, because we had the Rookie Class cars in front, but I knew as soon as I got passed them, it would be fine. Without the safety car, it could have been possible to close the gap and maybe pass [for the lead]. It’s good to be on the podium already, because it boosts my confidence for Monza.”
Behind Fantin, Jaafar pressed forward to take an incredible 3rd after starting on the sixth row. The Malaysian got a wonderful start, jumping to 8th by the end of the opening lap. He took two more spots when Fortec duo Felix Serralles and Alex Lynn placed wheels on Oulton Park’s gripless grass run-off areas.
A lap four pass on Harry Tincknell (Carlin) made that 4th, before inheriting 3rd from a spinning McBride. Jaafar attempted to force the issue with Fantin on the final lap in Old Hall corner; however the Brazilian held a comfortable advantage over the course of Oulton Park’s 2.6-miles.
Nonetheless, Jaafar was delighted with the performance:
“Nothing is impossible obviously, but 11th to 3rd is all right. We collected good points, but it was a crazy race. It was good, because you learn more racecraft [in a compressed pack] and it keeps you thinking, but it can be a bit dangerous sometimes at some circuits, so there is good and bad in it.”
Tincknell ended the afternoon 4th, a mere three-tenths up on Carlos Sainz Jr, while race one winner Jack Harvey closed out the top six.
Serralles kept his car on the road following his early off to assume 7th. The Puerto Rican kept teammate Hannes van Asseldonk at bay late on, despite a stellar effort that saw the Dutchman finish 8th after starting a distant 13th.
Goddard fell down the order in the second half of the race, although the Rookie Class racer will remember this for holding the front of the pack for four laps in the older generation Dallara.
Geoff Uhrhane rounded out the top 10 with a drive from 13th on the grid. The ex-Formula Ford GB racer climbed steadily up the order with a pass on Padayachee on lap seven and gained a further two spots when Lynn and Fahmi Ilyas fell off late on.
It was a tale of what could have been for McBride. After falling behind Fantin on lap two, the Australian suffered a second off-track excursion at Druids on lap six, tumbling to 13th. McBride made that 12th when he passed Padayachee on lap seven, before a retiring Ilyas promoted McBride to 11th.
After garnering a strange pole position, Padayachee plummeted down the order, eventually finishing 12th and last; however the Australian was setting some reasonable laptimes come the chequered flag.
Ilyas stalled on the dummy grid, demoting himself to last position. The Malaysian had climbed to 10th by the safety car period, only to disappear on the final tour.
Lynn held 7th spot in the early running, but retired when he slid off and hit the tyre barrier at Hislop’s chicane, bringing out the safety car.
“I made a mistake taking too much kerb and obviously that cost me so I’m really disappointed with that but it’s a long season and I’ll pick myself up. It was a really crazy race, though – everyone was so close in the midfield it was unbelievable but that’s what a reversed grid can do for you.”
2012 British F3 Round of Oulton Park (Rd 1, Race 2, 12 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 20m31.214s 2. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW + 0.850s 3. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 1.491s 4. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 2.693s 5. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.079s 6. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.511s 7. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 3.594s 8. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 3.952s 9. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 6.705s 10. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc + 7.911s 11. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 8.823s 12. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen + 9.633s Retirements: Fahmi Ilyas Double R Dallara-Merc 11 laps Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc 6 laps
2012 British Formula 3 Series (Rd 1, Race 2) Pos Driver Points International Class 1. Jazeman Jaafar 27 2. Jack Harvey 26 3. Pipo Derani 23 4. Carlos Sainz Jr 20 5. Harry Tincknell 20 6. Pietro Fantin 18 7. Alex Lynn 8 8. Felix Serralles 8 9. Fahmi Ilyas 6 10. Hannes van Asseldonk 4 Rookie Class 1. Spike Goddard 42 2. Duvashen Padayachee 30