A pole position-to-chequered flag victory for Jack Harvey moved him to within a single point of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series championship lead at Donington Park this afternoon, setting the scene for a dramatic finale at the Leicestershire circuit tomorrow. Meanwhile a strong podium finish by T-Sport's Australian, Spike Goddard (above), secured him the National Class title.
Harvey’s 3.9-second win over points leader Jazeman Jaafar was a copybook performance from the Carlin and Racing Steps Foundation driver. He led Jaafar over the line at the end of the first lap by a second and pulled comfortably clear of his Malaysian rival over the ensuing 20 laps. The only blot in his copybook was a failure to net the extra point for setting fastest lap - that went the way of Fortec’s Alex Lynn, who placed third.
“It was all pretty straightforward,” said Jack, “but as ever it wasn’t easy. I was pushing really hard for fastest lap at the end but I missed out. I did improve but it wasn’t enough. Overall, a good result and just what I needed.”
Jaafar had no answer to Harvey’s pace and instead had to concentrate on keeping Lynn at bay; Alex had leapfrogged his team-mate Felix Serralles for third away from the line and spent the race keeping Jaafar on his toes.
Serralles held fourth from start to finish, with another Fortec man, Hannes van Asseldonk, close behind throughout to net fifth spot.
The battle for sixth was a highlight, disputed by Brazilians Pipo Derani and Pietro Fantin. Fantin caught Derani out at Goddards on the 13th lap but was repassed, then managed to make the move stick two laps later at the Melbourne hairpin. Derani held off Harry Tincknell to take seventh, with Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Double R) and Nick McBride (T-Sport) completing the top 10.
The National class was led from start to finish by championship returnee Hywel Lloyd for CF Racing but all eyes were on the fight between Spike Goddard and Duvashen Padayachee to decide the National championship title.
Goddard survived a clash with his T-Sport team-mate Pedro Pablo Calbimonte on the opening lap and fought back from the tail of the field, passing Padayachee for class third on the ninth lap.
That gave Goddard sufficient points to settle the championship in his favour, and the Australian was delighted: “It’s been a long, hard season and this is a great result for me and the team. I had a disastrous first lap and I’m just relieved to have come back from that and got enough points.”
It will not be lost on Goddard that one of T-Sport’s previous British F3 National class protégés, Sergio Perez, has just been confirmed as Jenson Button’s running mate in the McLaren F1 team for 2013. Spike plans to continue his F3 apprenticeship in the British F3 International class next season.
Today’s race will be screened on Motors TV across Europe tomorrow, Sunday, 1300 UK time and 1400 CET.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 27, Donington Park Grand Prix 29/9/2012
21 laps / 52.23 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 29m 07.724s / 107.59mph
2 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +3.911s
3 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +5.044s
4 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +7.846s
5 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +9.521s
6 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +22.173s
7 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +26.799s
8 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +27.591s
9 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +38.638s
10 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +39.468s
11 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +39.903s
1 Hywel LLOYD / GBR, CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda +53.274s
2 Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +57.965s
3 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 17.753s
4 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 20 laps
Fastest lap Lynn 1m 22.600s / 108.40mph Rec
Provisional championship standings
1 Jaafar 294 points; 2 Harvey 293; 3 Serralles 286; 4 Lynn 237; 5 Carlos Sainz 224; 6 Tincknell 196; 7 Fantin 176; 8 Derani 123; 9 van Asseldonk 120; 10 McBride 81 etc
National class 1 Goddard 400; 2 Padayachee 355; 3 Adderly Fong 161; 4 Calbimonte 97; 5 Lloyd 21.
TV schedule Sun 30 Sep, 1300/1430/1930 Motors TV
Final rounds 30 Sep Donington Park
Image by Jakob Ebrey Jakob Ebrey Photography
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