At Silverstone this afternoon Marko Asmer and Hitech Racing tightened their grip on the British F3 International Series with yet another pole position in a somewhat lacklustre session. With a 60-point lead and only 8 more races to run, the...
At Silverstone this afternoon Marko Asmer and Hitech Racing tightened their grip on the British F3 International Series with yet another pole position in a somewhat lacklustre session. With a 60-point lead and only 8 more races to run, the championship chase isn't over but as Asmer shows no sign of slowing down, it seems unlikely that anyone can stop the Estonian. Maro Engel (Carlin Motorsport) was 2nd, with the unexpected (but not unwelcome) appearance of Michael Devaney in the Ultimate Motorsport Mygale in 3rd giving the new team its best qualifying result of the year. Sergio Perez (T-Sport) once more claimed the National Class pole.
With reports of an oil slick at Bridge that went all the way to Copse a number of drivers seemed reluctant to go out at the start of this session. The Carlin Motorsport boys were definitely not about to go out and clean the track for anyone else. The exception to this was Alberto Valerio, who was testing his new "go-faster" beard ("It worked yesterday!") and was wasting no time in getting some mileage under his belt.
Among the other early starters were Marko Asmer (Hitech Racing), Jonathan Kennard (Raikkonen Robertson Racing) and Atte Mustonen, also of Double R. You had to wonder why they were so keen, given the oil, but each to their own.
Frankie Cheng (Performance Racing), meanwhile, was leading the National Class from Michael Meadows (Raikkonen Robertson Racing) at this point, but there was a lot of time left and it was anyone's guess if it would stay that way. Needless to say, it wasn't long before Asmer was on provisional pole, with Alistair Jackson (Raikkonen Robertson Racing) a slightly unexpected 2nd, while Kennard pitted after two flying laps to get new boots. Cheng then put in an improved time to go 2nd overall, just as Mustonen followed his team-mate's lead and pitted after setting two very fast sector times. Cheng was edged down a place by Valerio who then claimed 2nd, perhaps after a close shave. This must have been a relief to the Carlin team because there was something of a panic in the garage beforehand when one of the drive sensors started acting up just before the lanky Brazilian was due to go out.
By now the sky was starting to cloud over, so it looked as if the early starters had maybe made the right choice. As the temperature dropped slightly, you were looking at optimum conditions for F3 engines. Someone who managed to make the most of it was Walter Grubm