At Croft this weekend, the British F3 International boys were back in action at Croft in North Yorkshire for the penultimate meeting of the 2007 series. After two new winners at Thruxton, it seemed to be business as usual at Croft, with...
At Croft this weekend, the British F3 International boys were back in action at Croft in North Yorkshire for the penultimate meeting of the 2007 series. After two new winners at Thruxton, it seemed to be business as usual at Croft, with Marko Asmer (Hitech Racing) claiming yet another pole position, ahead of the only man with a mathematical chance of stopping the Estonian from waltzing off with the title. Maro Engel, however, is 77 points adrift of the leader, and there are a maximum of 84 points available. It's unlikely that the German can do anything to avoid being runner-up, though stranger things have been known to happen in F3.
It was a somewhat pedestrian session actually, with an almost inevitable rush for the track on the part of the Raikkonen Robertson Racing drivers, led by Stephen Jelley. Carlin Motorsport weren't far behind, either, with Sam Bird and Mario Moraes joining the fray early on. Rodolfo Gonzalez (T-Sport) was also among the early starters, though this time it didn't really seem to help the Venezuelan in the long run. Bird was the first to stage a bid for pole, with youngster Max Chilton (Arena International Motorsport) in 2nd, a lot further forward than he is used to. However it was only the first real flying lap. Jonathan Kennard (Raikkonen Robertson Racing) was briefly quicker a lap later, but Bird fought back, and then Maro Engel (Carlin Motorsport) went even faster. They were soon joined by their team-mate Niall Breen, who shot up the order to 3rd.
Ernesto Otero (Raikkonen Robertson Racing) was currently fastest in the National Class for older Honda-powered cars, but that seemed unlikely to last. This was despite the fact that on Friday in testing he'd made something of a mess of the car. The team had rebuilt it and the Brazilian was doing his best to repay their efforts. However, it couldn't last and duly didn't when Sergio Perez (T-Sport) woke up and got a move on. Meanwhile Sebastian Hohenthal (Fortec Motorsport) was on the move to snatch 4th, while Asmer put in a claim for yet another pole position.
Bird wasn't taking that. He responded by going even faster, but Engel did the same and then Jelley claimed 2nd. Breen displaced him, and they all gradually came out to play, with greater or lesser enthusiasm it seemed. The order now was Engel, from Breen, Asmer, Jelley, Bird, Kennard, Sebastian Hohenthal (Fortec Motorsport), Alberto Valerio (Carlin Motorsport), Moraes and Chilton, who got edged out a place when John Martin (Alan Docking Racing) edged his way into the top 10.
Shortly after all that excitement, Asmer reclaimed the pole that he seems to think is his by right now, while his team-mate Walter Grubm