Carlos Sainz Jr claimed his second win of the weekend in yet another wet British Formula 3 race at Monza.
As with the opening race the previous day, the 17-year-old led every lap, garnering a 17-second lead ahead of Fortec rival Felix Serralles come the chequered flag.
And just like the morning’s Sprint Race, the afternoon Feature started behind safety car, but for only a single tour.
As soon as the race was green, Sainz Jr was gone into the distance. By the end of the first racing lap, the Spaniard drew a clear 2.3 seconds ahead of Serralles, extending that advantage to 9 seconds by the tenth tour. In complete command, Sainz Jr erected a lead that would not be punctured.
“The car was perfect today, so a big thank you to the team. The conditions were very tricky today, but I just focused on my own race and not making any mistakes this afternoon and pulled out a gap bit by bit. It’s been a fantastic weekend, and to take two races wins at such an important circuit as Monza in such challenging conditions means a lot.”
Much of Serralles time loss was down to a faltering gearbox, but the Puerto Rican held on magnificently to record another podium finish, garnering the “Mobil Service Centre Master of the Weekend” award.
Well behind the leading pair, Alex Lynn enjoyed a quiet run to 3rd for his first Formula 3 podium of the season.
Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar was far busier – the Malaysian spent the race holding Hannes van Asseldonk at bay for 4th and 5th respectively, with Jaafar pipping the Fortec combatant by one second come the flag.
Harry Tincknell won a tough battle for 6th spot, as the Englishman made the most of his Volkswagen-powered Dallara in the final two laps.
Precious late moves on Jack Harvey (Carlin, lap 18) and Pipo Derani (Fortec, lap 19) garnered vital positions for Tincknell, bringing him joint-6th with Pietro Fantin in the points standings.
Tincknell’s move on Derani – at the Roggia chicane – provided a disappointing end to the weekend for the Brazilian Derani, who had gallantly held 6th spot to that point. Harvey, though, was the biggest loser, after having spent much of the race pressing against Derani’s rear wing.
For his part, Fantin lay within the four-way battle for the top six in the early running, but fell out after seven tours with an electrical failure.
Behind Harvey, Nick McBride (T-Sport) assumed 9th place, well ahead of Double R runner Fahmi Ilyas, who was subjected to a drive-through penalty after he removed teammate Geoff Uhrhane from the action.
Spike Goddard claimed his fifth National Class win of the season, although it is becoming apparent that sole class rival Duvashen Padayachee is closing in on pace with every event.
The second round gives Sainz Jr an eight-point championship lead over of Serralles, with Jaafar and Harvey in close quarters.
After that short burst of races, the next round is not for another month, where the series moves to the south of France for the iconic Grand Prix de Pau – an event that also makes up a round of the reborn FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
2012 British Formula 3 Round of Monza (Rd 2, Race 3, 19 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW 2. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 16.711s 3. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 27.424s 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 32.083s 5. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 33.891s 6. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 38.530s 7. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 41.236s 8. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 41.749s 9. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 49.826s 10. Fahmi Ilyas Double R Dallara-Merc + 1m30.064s 11. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* + 1m44.938s 12. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen* + 1m52.702s Retirements: Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW 7 laps Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc 6 laps Italics = National Class ^Notes compiled from updates and team releases.
2012 British Formula 3 Series (Round 2) International Class Pos Driver Points 1. Carlos Sainz Jr 74 2. Felix Serralles 66 3. Jazamen Jaafar 65 4. Jack Harvey 63 5. Pipo Derani 48 6. Pietro Fantin 40 7. Harry Tincknell 40 8. Alex Lynn 39 9. Hannes van Asseldonk 22 10. Nick McBride 19 National Class Pos Driver Points 1. Spike Goddard 104 2. Duvashen Padayachee 82