Felipe Nasr took his 3rd win of the season from only the 6th round of the 2011 British Formula 3 Season. His 3rd victory came at the Cheshire Circuit of Oulton Park ahead of fellow countryman Lucas Foresti – the pair finishing some 20 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.
Starting from the pole position Felipe gained earned on Saturday, the Brazilian made a trouble-free get-away and set about pulling away from Fortec‘s Foresti. He held a slender gap of 1.5 seconds on Lap 4, but eventually crossed the line 3.4 seconds ahead to take his 3rd win of the 2011 season and further increase his lead in the championship standings.
Nasr was delighted with the result: “These are very important points and a great win for me. My car was great again. I had to sacrifice a bit on my qualifying because of tyre issues but I had a very good set for this race and I had strong pace.”
Round 4 winner, Lucas Foresti once again set an intimidating number of fastest laps throughout the race, but could never truly challenge for the lead on the twisty narrow circuit. Foresti does move into joint 2nd in the championship overall beside Jazeman Jaafar though, and was still happy with his performance: “We are pushing every weekend to get better and better. The team is really good, Mercedes, my sponsors, everything is perfect. We maybe just did not quite get the set-up right for the temperature of the tyres in this race. But I am very happy.” Foresti was also awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award for his fast and consistent performances throughout the Easter weekend.
Menasheh Idafar finally enjoyed a trouble-free race in Round 6, taking a podium place in the process, underlining his quick pace that frustratingly never came to fruition. 2 DNFs in a row earlier in the weekend – including one whilst in 2nd place – had put a sever dampener of Idafar’s weekend. But a solid drive in Round 6 finally made amends to his weekend and his championship campaign. “It's fantastic to be on the podium, I'm really happy and it's a great result for the team too. The guys all worked so hard to get the car repaired after Saturday, they did an amazing job, and although the first race today wasn't so good, being on the podium makes up for that.” he said. His lack of running due to his accidents also left him with a far-from perfect car in the final race. “We had lots of high-speed oversteer so that made things really difficult but as we couldn't get any data from the first race today, that's not a surprise!”, he said, “It was hard work and a few laps from the end Rupert (Svendsen-Cook) nearly got me. I held on though so I'm really pleased.”
Few overtaking opportunities at Oulton Park meant a fairly inactive race for the rest of the Top 10. Unable to catch pair of Brazilians up front, the tussle for the remaining points places became a matter of minimising mistakes. Rupert Svendsen-Cook finished 4th for Carlin, ahead of William Buller, Jazeman Jaafar and Harry Tincknell – the quartet all finishing within 3 seconds of one another.
Australia’s Scott Pye came home in 8th place, the youngster rounding off a strong weekend. Pietro Fantin held off Carlos Huertas for 9th place as the pair crossed the line separated by 0.5 of a second.
In the rookie class, Bart Hylkema suffered a very poor start, dropping him behind rookie rival Kotaru Sakurai for a number of laps before the Dutchman swept his way past to take this 5th rookie class win of the season.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 6, Oulton Park 25/4/2011
26 laps / 69.66 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Felipe NASR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 39m 09.433s / 107.24mph
2 Lucas FORESTI, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +3.394s
3 Menasheh IDAFAR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +22.570s
4 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +23.124s
5 William BULLER, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +23.931s
6 Jazeman JAAFAR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +24.537s
7 Harry TINCKNELL, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +25.225s
8 Scott PYE, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +26.319s
9 Pietro FANTIN, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +30.052s
10 Carlos HUERTAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +30.517s etc
Provisional results Rookie class
1 Bart HYLKEMA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 22.290s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 25 laps
Fastest lap Fantin 1m 29.467s / 108.32mph
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/fwgptU
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 92 points; 2 Foresti 58; 3 Jaafar 58; 4 Huertas 43; 5 Svendsen-Cook 35; 6 Buller 32; 7 Fantin 31; 8 Riki Christodoulou (GBR) 27; 9 Tincknell 18; 10 Idafar 16 etc
1 Hylkema 88; 2 Sakurai 30.
The 2011 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series continues on 14-16 May at the newly re-designed Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk, England.