Harry Tinckell claimed his maiden Cooper Tyres British Formula 3 International Series victory on Sunday morning, keeping calm and safely ahead of an accident-prone field on the Brands Hatch circuit. Tincknell’s victory was also the 2nd in 2 races for the Fortec team this weekend after Foresti took victory in race 1.
Tincknell, a newcomer to the series, started on pole position for Round 11, and made a quick getaway to keep the lead – Menasheh Idafar also made a very quick start but couldn’t find away past the Exeter-based Tincknell. Kevin Magnussen suffered a misfiring engine on the way to grid, forcing him into the pits before rejoining in 17th and last.
The scrap at the front was short-lived however, as a start-line crash between HiTech’s Max Snegirev and Fortec’s Fahmi Illyas – with SinoVision’s Hywel Loyd as the helpless victim of the aftermath – brought out the safety car. That controlled the race for 5 laps as the debris was swept away – all three drivers escaped unharmed. The five lap stint effectively halved the race distance, leaving only 10 minutes of action remaining until the chequered flag fell on the 13th lap.
Tincknell superbly judged the restart as the safety car returned to the pits, bolting away from Idafar and earning himself a small lead by the first few corners. “I went through the restart in my head before had, before the race just in case the safety car came out,” Tincknell said. “So I wasn't really focussed on going too slow it just made sure that when I could get full throttle through the last corner I did. As long as I could do that I knew the guy behind wouldn't be able to as he'd be right behind me and as long as I went into the first corner in the lead I didn't really mind because I knew I could get my head down and pull away.”
Idafar, driving for the T-Sport team admitted afterwards that he had to resign himself to 2nd place after Tincknell’s excellent restart: “Around this track it's quite hard to pass and it had to be done at the restart. Harry made a good one and I couldn't take himâ€¦”
Carlos Huertas was the only Carlin car on the podium – the Columbian making an excellent start to jump from 6th to 3rd in the opening lap. Scott Pye chased him hard all the way to flag, but had to settle for 4th, but still scored his best result of his British F3 career. Jazeman Jaafar took 5th place away from Felipe Nasr at the restart – who himself had impressively worked his way up the field after starting from 9th on the grid. The championship leader came home ahead of Rupert Svendsen-Cook, Race 1 winner Lucas Foresti, Pietro Fantin and Adderly Fong. Magnussen fought his way back to an impressive 11th place after his misfiring engine was quickly fixed by his Carlin mechanics.
The Rookie Class saw a surprisingly even scrap that endured for the entirety of the race, with Kotaro Sakruai narrowly leading rookie rival Bart Hylkema all the way until the final lap, where a last-gasp move from Hylkema tipped both cars into a spin and off the track, forcing the pair to limp to the flag in their damaged Dallaras. Initially slow recovering Sakurai was able to get past his Dutch rival, who limped over the line with suspension damage, to record his second National class win of the weekend.
“It was a big shame for both drivers actually,” explained Sakurai of the incident. “It was the last lap so anything could happen, also Brands Hatch is really, really difficult to overtake on. In the regulations a driver can only make one direction change and that's what I did before turn four but he was just, it's only a small space on the inside but he was pushing into it. Locked wheels and he hit me . I think it was a racing accident.”
The day belonged to Tincknell however, who held his nerve against a stiff challenge from Idafar all the way to the end.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 11, Brands Hatch 19/6/2011
13 laps / 31.63 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Harry TINCKNELL, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 20m 02.952s / 94.66mph
2 Menasheh IDAFAR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +0.609s
3 Carlos HUERTAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +2.371s
4 Scott PYE, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +2.828s
5 Jazeman JAAFAR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +3.166s
6 Felipe NASR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +4.704s
7 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +5.319s
8 Lucas FORESTI, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +5.884s
9 Pietro FANTIN, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +6.728s
10 Adderly FONG, Sino Vision Dallara-Mercedes +9.094s etc
1 Kotaro SAKURAI, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 10.366s
2 Bart HYLKEMA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 27.471s
Fastest lap Buller 1m 18.103s
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/m2SV8Q
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 134 points; 2 Foresti 94; 3 Huertas 87; 4 Jaafar 84; 5 Svendsen-Cook 61; 6 Kevin Magnussen 60 etc
1 Hylkema 141; 2 Sakurai 103.