Nick McBride - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Nick McBride on track in T-Sport's Nissan-powered car - Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Jack Harvey finished three tenths ahead of anyone else on the first day of an official two-day Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series test at Rockingham. The day also saw the track debut of the Nissan-engined T-Sport car.

Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver Harvey is entering his second year in British F3 with Carlin, and recorded a best time of 1m17.022s during the day's final session.

“It was a very productive day,” said the 18-year-old from Lincolinshire. “The car felt good all day, we made a few tweaks, put some new tyres on towards the end and it all came together. However, we will have to keep working hard tomorrow to try to create an even bigger gap.”

His teammate Harry Tincknell came closest, a mere three thousandths of a second ahead of another Carlin driver, Carlos Sainz Jr. Tincknell topped two of the day's other three sessions, with yet another Carlin pilot Jazeman Jaafar finishing the other fastest.

It was a Carlin lockout of the top five, with Jaafar and Pietro Fantin ending up fourth and fifth best for the day. Alex Lynn was the best of the Mercedes contingent in sixth for Fortec ahead of his teammates Felix Serralles, Hannes van Asseldonk and Pipo Derani.

T-Sport gave its ThreeBond/Nissan-powered car a shakedown, with Nick McBride posting a best time in the morning not far over a second shy of the fastest time set by Harvey. It also showed promisingly  well in the speed traps throughout the day.

“The morning session was good and we learned heaps, but in the afternoon I didn't get out on my second set of rubber,” said McBride.

T-Sport boss Russell Eacott added: “The car ran faultlessly and we are happy. Nick did a good job on his first day in the dry in an International class F3 car to end the day only 1.5s off the front, and there is plenty more time to come.”

After missing the action at Snetterton last week, Double R returned to the track today running new signing Duvashen Padayachee in its National class Mugen-Honda-powered car. Fellow Australian Spike Goddard set the pace in the National class.

Leading International class runners am / pm (quickest time in bold)
1 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:17.407 / 1:17.022
2 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:17.990 / 1:17.319
3 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:17.489 / 1:17.322
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:17.347 / 1:17.367
5 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:18.225 / 1:17.423
6 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:17.998 / 1:17.559
7 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:18.470 / 1:18.122
8 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:18.251 / 1:18.322
9 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:19.945 / 1:18.341
10 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1:18.560 / 1:19.211

National class
1 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 1:20.185 / 1:20.084
2 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 1:21.932 / 1:21.507