Kevin Magnussen finally shirked his incessant run of bad luck with a deserved win at Spa Francorchamps. The Carlin driver finished ahead of fellow British Formula 3 team-mate, Rupert Svendsen-Cook, while F3 Euroseries contender Daniel Juncadella completed the overall podium and took the FIA International Trophy honours.
Starting from pole position, Magnussen comfortably held his lead into La Source and never looked back – his leading gap up to 1.9s by the end of the lap 1. Over the 8 lap race the gap levelled off at around 2.5s from Svendsen-Cook – who never mounted a challenge for the lead.
“Maybe my luck has turned a little bit,” said Magnussen, whose fourth win it was. “I have needed some luck for a long time now. I'm happy for the win and happy to have turned the weekend around. I have saved my good tyres for the race tomorrow, so hopefully I can go well then too.”
Svendsen-Cook had to fight for his 2nd place though, after an electrifying start from Prema Powerteam’s Daniel Juncadella saw the Spaniard jump from 8th to 2nd on the opening lap. But Svendsen-Cook quickly reclaimed the place on the next lap before settling down behind his leading team-mate.
“That's four podiums in four weekends now and I'm very happy. Qualifying was crazy: I was stuck with a car set up for the wet, on wet tyres on a dry track. To come back with fourth this morning and second this afternoon is really good. Our pace is evident.” Svendsen-Cook said afterwards.
“Everything went well,” said Juncadella. “My start was very good; I was already fourth after the first corner, and then I made it to P3 when two cars ahead hit each other, and then I passed Rupert at the final corner of the first lap. I was probably running a little more downforce than the others, so Rupert overtook me again and I had to stay behind him because I needed his slipstream on the straights.”
In 4th place was FIA International Trophy runner Hannes van Asseldonk, an impressive result considering the Dutchman started all the way from P12 on the grid. With an ordinary start, it was the Van Amersfoort driver’s aggressive race-craft that brought him to the front of the field – setting the fastest invitational class lap on his way past Marco Wittmann, Carlos Munoz and Laurens Vanthoor to claim a class podium.
The final spot on the British F3 podium went to championship leader Felipe Nasr, who struggled in Round 19 with engine troubles. “We had a problem with the engine, it was running on only three cylinders in the first race,” said Nasr. “So in this race it was important to try to get some good points.”
Jazeman Jaafar and F3 Euroseries championship leader Roberto Merhi collided on the opening lap, with the majority of the blame falling on Jaafar, who was later excluded from the overall result. Merhi recovered to finish only 15th, but starts on pole for the 3rd race of the weekend on Saturday. Fortec team-mates Harry Tincknell and Fahmi Illyas also made contact at the bus stop early in the race, putting each other both into retirement.
Kotaro Sakurai finished the race to claim the Rookie Class victory, his 8th of the season.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 20, Spa-Francorchamps BEL 29/7/2011
8 laps / 34.82 miles
Provisional results Championship & Invitation classes
1 INT Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-VW 18m 12.965s / 114.70mph
2 INT Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-VW +2.614s
3 INV Daniel JUNCADELLA / ESP, Prema Dallara-Mercedes +3.369s
4 INV Hannes van ASSELDONK / NED, Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW +4.245s
5 INV Marco WITTMANN / GER, Signature Dallara-VW +6.118s
6 INV Carlos MUNOZ / COL, Signature Dallara-VW +7.143s
7 INV Laurens VANTHOOR / BEL, Signature Dallara-VW +7.862s
8 INT Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-VW +8.485s
9 INV Daniel ABT / GER, Signature Dallara-VW +13.043s
10 INT William BULLER /GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +14.563s
11 INT Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-VW +14.866s
12 INT Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-VW +15.177s
13 INT Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +17.934s
14 INT Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-VW +18.811s
15 INV Robert MERHI / ESP, Prema Dallara-Mercedes +19.964s
EXC INT Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-VW +24.116s
16 INT Scott PYE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +26.246s
17 INV Raffaele MARCIELLO / ITA, Prema Dallara-Mercedes +28.423s
18 INT Hywel LLOYD / GBR, SVR Dallara-Mercedes +28.757s etc
1 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +50.402s
Fastest laps van Asseldonk 2m 15.525s / 115.57mph &
Svendsen-Cook 2m 15.828s / 115.33mph
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/oJQaiF
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 251 points; 2 Huertas 143; 3 Foresti 134; 4 Buller 133; 5 Magnussen 132; 6 Jaafar 130 etc
1 Sakurai 246; 2 Bart Hylkema / NED 214.
Today's Spa finale, the 40-minute feature race, is scheduled for 1240pm local time (1140am UK), and will be screened live on Motors TV.