Felix Serralles took his third Formula 3 victory of the season today at Spa-Francorchamps to close to within one point of series leader Jack Harvey.
Starting from pole position, the Puerto Rican fell behind Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin) after a shuffle off the line, but recovered to chase down the Spaniard on the following tour.
Seeing an opportunity, the Fortec racer drew to the rear of Sainz Jr, eventually taking the Carlin man at the entry to Les Combes on the third lap.
“There was more grip in the tyres than I was expecting at the start so I bogged down a bit. But I wasn’t worried too much if I stayed P2 because I knew that I could slipstream Carlos later.”
Serralles drew up to 7 seconds ahead of the next man over the remaining laps, only to drop the gap to 5.657 seconds nearer the flag.
Sainz Jr would not be able to hold the chase for long. On his tail lurked Formula 3 Euro Series challenger Daniel Juncadella.
The Prema Powerteam racer had complained of a “difficult” car in the build-up to the race; however Juncadella held just enough of an advantage over Sainz Jr to scramble up to 2nd on lap five.
Once in clear air, Juncadella found himself in something of a limbo, unable to catch the leader, but also distancing himself from Sainz Jr. It proved to be an important move for Juncadella as he faces down Sainz in the FIA European F3 Championship – to which this round also counts.
There was an ongoing battle for 4th spot, eventually won by Jack Harvey. A late move by the Englishman took him ahead of Carlin teammate Jazeman Jaafar on the final tour, after the Malaysian balked him the circulation before.
It was a superb result for Harvey – who started 10th – and allows him to keep a narrow lead over Serralles in the standings. Meanwhile Harvey and Jaafar held Alex Lynn and Michael Lewis off to the flag, with Lynn nabbing 6th on the final tour.
Pipo Derani climbed up the order during the race to close out the top eight. From the sixth row, the Brazilian fought passed Sven Muller, Pascal Wehrlein and Tom Blomqvist, while an off the road Hannes van Asseldonk gave the Brazilian another spot.
Felix Rosenqvist followed Derani home in 9th, while Blomqvist assumed 10th overall.
Duvashen Padayachee claimed the National Class victory, leading all the way from Adderly Fong, Spike Goddard and Pedro Pablo Calbimonte.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 29m45.219s 2. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc + 5.657s 3. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 10.462s 4. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW + 12.678s 5. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 14.364s 6. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 14.515s 7. Michael Lewis Prema Dallara-Merc + 16.009s 8. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 16.776s 9. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 18.081s 10. Tom Blomqvist Ma-Con Dallara-VW + 20.037s 11. Raffaello Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc + 20.283s 12. Sven Muller Prema Dallara-Merc + 26.069s 13. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 27.009s 14. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc + 28.790s 15. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc + 29.233s 16. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW + 31.052s 17. Emil Bernstorff Ma-Con Dallara-VW + 31.753s 18. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 33.004s 19. Andrea Roda Zeller Dallara-Merc + 33.486s 20. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc + 37.729s 21. Fahmi Ilyas Double R Dallara-Merc + 38.501s 22. Sandro Zeller Zeller Dallara-Merc + 40.982s 23. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 45.415s 24. Richard Bradley Carlin Dallara-VW + 45.470s 25. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen + 54.785s 26. Luis Sa Silva Angola Dallara-Merc + 56.276s 27. Adderly Fong CF Dallara-Mugen + 1m01.814s 28. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m01.912s 29. Pedro Calbimonte T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m03.490s
2012 British Formula 3 Series points standings International Class Pos driver Points 1. Jack Harvey 198 2. Felix Serralles 197 3. Jazeman Jaafar 192 4. Carlos Sainz Jr 155 5. Alex Lynn 152 6. Pietro Fantin 139 National Class Pos Driver Points 1. Spike Goddard 282 2. Duvashen Padayachee 253 3. Adderly Fong 77 4. Padro Pablo Calbimonte 10