Serralles on top after Silverstone British F3 win
Felix Serralles regained the lead of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone this morning, the Puerto Rican claiming a narrow victory his fifth of the season for Fortec in a fraught reverse-grid sprint race.
Serralles was gifted the lead on the opening lap when pole position man Pipo Derani and Jack Harvey, who started P2, clashed at Brooklands. Serralles picked his way through the incident, pursued by his team-mate Alex Lynn, as Harvey slipped to third. Derani was forced to retire to the pits with suspension damage.
“I was past him on the outside going into Brooklands,” said Harvey, “and he hit me in the sidepod and pushed me off. I was half a car length in front.” Alas for Jack, race stewards took a different view having studied video of the incident: they handed Harvey a 30-second penalty. The also penalised him with a five-place grid drop for this afternoon’s race for weaving to block Derani in a separate incident. Harvey’s team, Carlin, has appealed the time penalty and the results remain provisional.
After the first-lap incident there followed a superb three-car battle for victory as Serralles, his car clearly not handling as well as those of his pursuers, battled to maintain an advantage. Lynn was trying to fight for the lead at the same time as defending second from a determined Harvey, but was more than equal to the task.
Alas it all went wrong for Alex on the penultimate lap at Aintree corner, when Serralles put two wheels on the dirt and almost lost control. Lynn had no choice but to spin in avoidance, rejoining sixth.
Serralles explained on the podium: “It was a tough race. Alex had a better car; I was struggling a bit with mine. I didn’t spin, I was just struggling with the car and there was nothing I could do at that point.”
Added Harvey: “I saw Alex spinning back across the track and thought ‘Oh dear, I might collect him’ but I was able to avoid him.” Harvey finished a close second on the road but dropped to 10th following his penalty.
Saturday winner Jazeman Jaafar made a superb start from ninth on the grid to slot into the top six on the opening lap, then passed Pietro Fantin for fifth next time around and was promoted to fourth by Derani’s demise. Lynn’s spin boosted the Malaysian to third on the road and he was delighted: “The podium was my target; it was a hard fight on the same tyres I used yesterday but I got it and it’s important for the championship.” Harvey’s penalty promoted Jaafar to second post-race.
Fantin posted fastest lap of the race on his way to what became third ahead of Double R’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook, Lynn, Carlos Sainz and Hannes van Asseldonk, with Australians Geoff Uhrhane and Nick McBride completing the top nine. Harry Tincknell fell to the back after serving a drive-through penalty: the Carlin man had suffered a problem on the green flag lap and should have started from the back, but didn’t.
T-Sport’s Pedro Pablo Calbimonte lifted the National class lead from Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee on the second lap but threw it off on lap five to give Padayachee a clear run to the flag ahead of Spike Goddard, who was slow off the startline.
“I was putting pressure on Pedro and he made a mistake, ran on to the dirt out of Maggotts and spun. Compared to yesterday this was a much better race for me,” said Padayachee.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 25, Silverstone Grand Prix 9/9/2012
10 laps / 36.60 miles
Provisional results International class
1 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 19m 33.909s / 112.25mph
2 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +3.062s
3 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +3.479s
4 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +3.921s
5 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +10.939s
6 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +16.011s
7 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +18.888s
8 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +19.006s
9 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan +19.544s
10 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +30.396s inc penalty
11 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +32.224s
1 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda +20.787s
2 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +22.690s
Did not finish
Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 4 laps
Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 3 laps
Fastest lap Fantin 1m 56.007s / 113.59mph
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/OP0jFX
Provisional championship standings
1 Serralles 272 points; 2 Jaafar 267; 2 Harvey 256; 4 Sainz 218; 5 Lynn 205; 6 Tincknell 181 etc
National class 1 Goddard 367; 2 Padayachee 330; 3 Adderly Fong 161; 4 Calbimonte 70.
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