Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas, F3 Correspondents
At Donington Park this morning Felipe Nasr, the 2011 British F3 International Series champion, added to his haul of prizes when his pole position for tomorrow’s feature race proved enough to also net him the 2012 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge which earns him a free ride in the Rolex 24 at Daytona event next year.
Sunoco teamed up with Grand-Am Road Racing for the contest, now in its third year, to award the driver with the most points in Sunoco-fuelled European events the chance to race a Daytona Prototype with one of the top teams in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series at Daytona International Speedway.
Since the challenge started three years ago, F3 drivers have come close to winning, especially in the case of Jean-Eric Vergne last year, but have always been beaten at the finish. Not this time. The all-conquering Nasr was not to be denied.
Anders Hildebrand, MD of Anglo American Oil Company commented: “From the start of the Sunoco Daytona Challenge the feeling amongst F3 drivers has been that they will not be able to win due to the fierce competition, within the class, resulting in that F3 drivers are ‘stealing’ points from each other. However, Daniel Ricciardo in 2009 and Jean-Eric Vergne in 2010 came very close to winning the most wanted race seat but lost out at their last race.
“Now it’s third time lucky and we are delighted that we will have the current British F3 Champion, Felipe Nasr, racing in the 50th anniversary of the famous endurance race against stars such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Jimmie Johnson.....what an experience!”, he added.
As Nasr settled in to complete his race weekend, Mark Raffauf, GRAND-AM Road Racing Managing Director of Competition had this to say, “GRAND-AM would like to congratulate Felipe on winning the British Formula 3 championship and the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge. Our first two winners of the Challenge came from the Radical series, and did an excellent job. Now, having a driver with an outstanding resume from an open-wheel series is going to add additional excitement at the historic 50th Rolex 24 At Daytona.”