Asaro Takes Top-Fives at Brands Hatch
September 28, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Billy Asaro took two top-five finishes today as the British Formula 3 Championship wrapped up its 2003 season at Brands Hatch in Kent, England. The 21-year-old Canadian from Unionville, Ontario, finished fourth and fifth in a pair of races held this afternoon.
"I'm very happy with the results," Asaro said. "I was hoping for podium finishes, but I did my best and I feel good about what I got."
Asaro set the stage for today's results with two exceptional qualifying efforts yesterday. In a morning session setting the grid for the first of today's races, he was sixth and followed up with the third-fastest lap in an afternoon session for the second race.
In race one, Asaro was unable to pull off one of his customary rocket starts and fell back to seventh. On the move quickly, however, he was back up to sixth by the end of the first lap. One lap later, he was fifth thanks to a spectacular around-the-outside pass at more than 200 km/h. By the end of the fourth lap, he had gained another place.
Once in fourth, however, Asaro was unable to make anymore progress. He could not could not catch the car ahead and was safe from the car behind. Much of the field appeared to be in a similar predicament as there were no position changes among the top nineteen cars from lap five through to the end of the fifteen-lap race.
In the second race of the day, and final race of the season, Asaro started third and felt sure of a podium finish. That, unfortunately, went out the window as soon as the green flag dropped. Several drivers jumped the start and, again, Asaro found himself seventh as the pack raced toward the first corner. By the end of the first lap, he had made his way back to fifth, but was in the midst of another stalemate.
"The start was messed up and I think it's under review," Asaro reported. "But I doubt the results will be revised. I got back a couple of places while the field was bunched up, but after a few laps, I couldn't do anything about the guy in front of me and the guy behind couldn't do anything about me. Everyone was doing the same lap times, so the start really cost me."
Finishing the season with two excellent results gave Asaro and his P1 Motorsport team a sense of accomplishment and something to smile about following a season-long battle against the odds. A new team with a limited budget, they slowly clawed their way forward to mount a serious challenge by season's end.
"We finished the season well, it just took us a long time to get here," said Asaro as he looked back. "It was difficult and challenging, but in the end we showed what we can do.
"I would like to thank everyone at P1 Motorsport for never giving up and for working so hard throughout the season. Thanks to Belleville-Rodair, Icynene, Therm-O-Comfort, Sparco and Bell for their continued support. Thanks to my dad and godfather for always being there. And, thanks to my manager, Craig Hillock, and publicist, Mark Jackson."