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Dramatic sprint race sets up F3 finale thriller

 30th Sep 2012


The twists and turns of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series title fight took a possibly decisive swerve at Donington Park this morning, with two of the contenders ­ Felix Serralles and Jack Harvey ­ scoring well in the reverse-grid sprint race and the third, erstwhile leader Jazeman Jaafar, losing out big time.

Jaafar was involved in a clash with Alex Lynn at the Old Hairpin on the opening lap which left both men sidelined, and the Malaysian slips to third in the standings as a result, five points behind new frontrunner Harvey.

The race belonged to Harry Tincknell from the outset, the Devon driver romping from pole position to chequered flag to win by 1.7s and record his fourth such victory of the year. The Carlin man made a perfect start and was unfazed by a three-lap safety car period which ensued from the Jaafar/Lynn accident.

It was a great bounce-back for Harry from feeling under the weather for several days. “I haven’t been feeling 100 per cent this last week and we had a tough time in testing but I’ve been steadily working as hard as I can to get on the pace,” he said. “I made a really good start, which has been a strong point for me this year, and after that it was all totally straightforward. It’s great to get another win…” Harry additionally collected the coveted Raymond Mays Trophy, awarded by the Donington Park Racing Association Club, for his efforts.

Fortec’s Pipo Derani, who started second on the grid, shadowed Tincknell throughout and was pleased with his fifth podium of the year: “This is good for me. I’ve had a lot of races this year which I could have finished well but didn’t, and it’s been disappointing. Apart from that it has been a good year ­ lots of learning and some good results as well. Now it’s all about preparation to see if I can get back next year and try to do better.”

Third place went the way of Brazil’s Pietro Fantin, who snatched it away from Serralles on lap eight at Coppice. “He made a mistake, had oversteer,” said Carlin man Fantin. “I almost didn’t make it ­ I had two wheels on the grass there on the inside ­ but I knew that Felix was fighting for the championship so I didn’t think that he would come back at me.”

Serralles did not fight back: he had a job on his hands preserving fourth place from the attentions of his Fortec team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk. The Puerto Rican kept him at bay for the duration.

The first-lap clash between Jaafar and Lynn started with a brave move from Jaafar through the Craner Curves, Jazeman pulling alongside Alex to run side-by-side with the Fortec man as they approached the Old Hairpin. Lynn then locked up and slithered wide and into Jaafar; a deflating rear tyre on Lynn’s car was blamed for the incident.

Jaafar’s demise played nicely into the hands of Jack Harvey, who had started one place behind the Malaysian on the grid. Jack, who will start the finale from pole, claimed sixth spot, ahead of Double R’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook. Nick McBride (T-Sport) and Geoff Uhrhane (Double R) completed the international field in eighth and ninth.

The National class went the way of Hywel Lloyd and CF Racing for the second race in succession, the Welshman finishing ahead of new National champion Spike Goddard by four-tenths of a second.


Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series

Round 28, Donington Park Grand Prix 30/9/2012

13 laps / 32.33 miles

Provisional results International class

1  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  20m 12.362s / 96.01mph

2  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +1.718s

3  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +3.344s

4  Felix SERRALLES / PUR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +4.064s

5  Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  +5.786s

6  Jack HARVEY / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  +6.852s

7  Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +9.248s

8  Nick McBRIDE / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Nissan  +11.218s

9  Geoff UHRHANE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  +11.624s

National class

1  Hywel LLOYD / GBR,  CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda  +18.504s

2  Spike GODDARD / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +18.928s

3  Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  +23.582s

4  Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda  +32.346s

Did not finish

Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  0 laps

Alex LYNN / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  0 laps

Fastest lap Fantin 1m 23.248s / 107.56mph

Provisional championship standings

1 Harvey 299 points; 2 Serralles 296; 3 Jaafar 294; 4 Lynn 237; 5 Carlos Sainz 224; 6 Tincknell 216 etc

National class 1 Goddard 416; 2 Padayachee 365; 3 Adderly Fong 161; 4 Calbimonte 109; 5 Lloyd 41.

Image by Jakob Ebrey  Jakob Ebrey Photography

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