Pole-sitter Kevin Magnussen held off a relentless race-long challenge from team-mate Felipe Nasr to claim victory in Round 13 of the Cooper Tyres British Formula 3 International Series. The victory is Magnussen’s 3rd of the season, and easily his most impressive. Nasr crossed the line just 0.544s behind the Danish driver, whilst Harry Tincknell rounded out of the podium.
Just as Nasr and Magnussen fought over the fastest times in Friday practice, the Carlin pair battled for the lead for the entire 15 laps, rarely separated by more than a second. The two were on identical form from lights-to-flag, as both made perfect getaways off the start line and quickly scampered away from the chasing pack. Despite the immense pressure from the championship leader, Magnussen didn’t put a foot wrong in any of the 47.98 miles they covered as he resisted the pressure and calmly led home the tenacious Brazilian.
Despite being unable to pass his team-mate, Nasr was still happy with his result, especially as his main title rival, Lucas Foresti, could only manage a 10th place finish. “Kevin was always quicker than me in the first sector,” said Nasr, “and I could only catch him up around the rest of the track. It was a good race for me, though. A few of the guys who are against me in the championship had a bad race, so that's good for us. Important pointsâ€¦”
“It was a tough race and I had a lot of pressure from Felipe.” Magnussen beamed afterwards, “He did a really good job to keep pressure on me, but I think I had just a little bit more speed and I was able to keep him behind. I start from pole again tomorrow and of course I hope to do the same again, but things can change, especially the weather.”
Arguably as impressive however, was Fortec’s Harry Tincknell who scythed his way past 5 competitors from 8th on the grid and stunningly emerged from Turn 1 in 3rd place. Tincknell didn’t have the pace to chase down Magnussen and Nasr, and was soon forced to focus his attention on the chasing Dallara of Jazeman Jaafar, whom he held at bay until the chequered flag.
Tincknell was naturally pleased with his excellent start: “The lights came on and went off really fast. I was just really well prepared and the others weren't and I went past them like they were standing stillâ€¦”. The Exeter-based driver didn’t escape Turn 1 unscathed however: “Carlos Huertas locked up and hit my right-rear wheel and sent me wide, but I recovered and from there it was just a case of getting my head down and making sure I didn't lose the place.”
William Buller held off new Fortec signing Antonio Felix Da Costa and Racing Steps’ Jack Harvey all race to claim 5th place, with Da Costa and Harvey finishing 6th and 7th respectively. The T1 incident meant Carlos Huertas was forced to retire and very nearly collected Rupert Svendsen-Cook in the process, dropping the Carlin driver from 5th to 10th. Svendsen-Cook managed to climb back to 8th place, but could manage no more. T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar came home in 9th ahead of Lucas Foresti who endured a lacklustre opening race – the Brazilian failing to find any true pace and putting a dent in his championship hopes.
Bart Hylkema took the Rookie Class honours ahead of Kotaro Sakurai despite a poor start, marking his 10th win of the 2011 season and extending his points lead.
The 2nd race of the weekend, Round 14, will see Rupert Svendsen-Cook on pole after having his car number drawn on the podium by race-winner Magnussen.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 13, NÃ¼rburgring 2/7/2011
15 laps / 47.98 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Kevin MAGNUSSEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 28m 54.673s
2 Felipe NASR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +0.544s
3 Harry TINCKNELL, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +13.072s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +13.622s
5 William BULLER, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +21.916s
6 Antonio Felix da COSTA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +22.234s
7 Jack HARVEY, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +22.379s
8 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +23.578s
9 Menasheh IDAFAR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +29.013s
10 Lucas FORESTI, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +29.747s
1 Bart HYLKEMA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +55.633s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 0.144s
Fastest lap Magnussen 1m 54.673s
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/mvDuGy
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 169 points; 2 Foresti 110; 3 Jaafar 104; 4 Carlos Huertas 95; 5 Magnussen 82; 6 Buller 71 etc
1 Hylkema 182; 2 Sakurai 134.
Race 2 – Round 14 – Begins at 09:35am on Sunday. (BST +1)