Series new boy Carlos Sainz Jr. was top of the timesheets on the second day of British Formula 3 testing at Snetterton.
Sainz, the latest driver to sit in the cockpit of a Red Bull liveried F3 car for Trevor Carlin's team, waited out the worst of conditions on a day that started in the rain, setting the day's best time of 1:53.749 in the lone afternoon session of the day. The Spaniard however, still found time to caught out by the wet conditions of the day, damaging the nosecone of his new Dallara F312 chassis.
Though conditions were far from perfect during the final session – Sainz's time was some way off the 1:40 lap time set by Jazeman Jaafar on the dry first day of running – the afternoon conditions were by far the best of the day as all the top runners set their fastest laps late on.
Still recovering from a hand injury from a testing crash last year Harry Tincknell was second fastest (1:41:401) behind his new Carlin teammate. “The hand is still not quite up to full strength – it's a bit sore now – but I am happy with my pace,” said the Devon driver. “It's good to come back after a long lay-off and be in the top three pretty consistently.”
Fortec Motorsport drivers Alex Lynn and Pipo Derani ended the day third and fourth fastest respectively and Lynn was also one of the very few to brave morning rain to set a time in the first timed session. He was, however, beaten by Dutch teammate Hannes Van Asseldonk who was fastest in both of the morning sessions with laps of 2:12.322 then 1:56.334.
The best National Class time again went to experience F3 racer Hywel Lloyd, continuing as test driver for CF Racing before moving into management for the season ahead. Behind Lloyd were T-Sport 's pair of Australian drivers, Nick McBride leading Spike Goddard.
F3 testing continues next week (March 13) at Rockingham where McBride hopes to drive with the Nissan power he will use during the season for the first time – having run with a Mugen-Honda engine this week. Double R Racing are also due to join having missed the Snetterton tests.