Felix Serralles claimed his first British Formula 3 victory of the season at a breezy and cool Oulton Park.
The Puerto Rican drove an immaculate race to finish 2.8 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Jack Harvey. Harry Tincknell finished over nine seconds adrift in 3rd.
It all came down to the start. From the front row, Serralles jumped the sluggish Harvey off the line, ensuring the position into Old Hall corner.
From there, Serralles slowly extended his lead with each tour, ensuring a second Fortec victory of the weekend, following Pipo Derani’s earlier win.
Despite the constant presence of Harvey, Serralles drove a sublime race; never at any stage looking as if he might buckle under the pressure of his Carlin pursuer.
In this instance, Harvey had no answer, leaving Serralles to pick up his first British F3 win in only his third race.
At this point, one must point out that this race did not feature a single overtaking manoeuvre following the start, nor did it truly look like any drivers were going to lunge for position.
So in order, Harvey pulled keenly away from his Carlin teammate Tincknell, who himself had drawn a gap to Carlos Sainz Jr in 4th place.
Sainz Jr complicated his race slightly when he ran off track at Cascade, returning to the race just ahead of Jazeman Jaafar. From there, the Spanish youngster built a lead over Jaafar to secure his top four spot.
Close behind Jaafar were Fortec’s Alex Lynn and Pietro Fantin in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin – the duo neatly trailed Jaafar for the duration.
Hannes van Asseldonk was running 8th until he fell off the road at Druids on lap five, allowing Fahmi Ilyas (Double R) to slot up a place.
Nick McBride brought his T-Sport-Nissan home 9th, some 11.5 seconds up on Double R’s Geoff Uhrhane. It proved to be a solid race for Uhrhane, who finally got some racing miles into him after no testing, although the Australian seemed a little the worse for wear, following what was by far his longest race.
Richard ‘Spike’ Goddard laid on an admirable challenge for the tiring Uhrhane in the final few tours, but the National Class racer could not force a pass.
Goddard ended the race just under 20 seconds clear of Duvashen Padayachee to claim all three National Class victories over the course of the weekend.
Pipo Derani’s rear brakes locked on the starting grid, necessitating a safety car on the opening lap. After winning so brilliantly early in the afternoon, the Brazilian did not even move one foot in the final event.
With 41 points, the result gives Harvey a 6-point lead over Jaafar in the point standings, with Tincknell a further three adrift; however this is only the first of ten race meetings. It is still far too early to even think about the title race.
2012 British F3 Round of Oulton Park (Rd 1, Race 3) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 40m34.462s 2. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 2.843s 3. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 9.303s 4. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 12.522s 5. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 22.392s 6. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 23.632s 7. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW + 24.348s 8. Fahmi Ilyas Double R Dallara-Merc + 41.523s 9. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 58.214s 10. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc + 1m09.723s 11. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m10.331s 12. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen + 1m30.255s Retirements: Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc 5 laps Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 0 laps
2012 British Formula 3 Series (Rd 1, Race 3) Pos Driver Points International Class 1. Jack Harvey 41 2. Jazeman Jaafar 35 3. Harry Tincknell 32 4. Carlos Sainz Jr 30 5. Felix Serralles 29 6. Pipo Derani 23 7. Pietro Fantin 22 8. Alex Lynn 14 9. Fahmi Ilyas 9 10. Hannes van Asseldonk 4 National Class 1. Spike Goddard 63 2. Duvashen Padayachee 45