Engel Finishes the Season on a High

Maro Engel finished how he started the season with a pole to chequered flag victory, confirming his runners up spot in the Championship table. Rodolfo Gonzalez took an early lead but was judged to have jumped the start promoting Engel back into the lead. Sam Bird was second after an early challenge on Engel, finishing ahead of a charging Sebastian Hohenthal, the Swede claiming his second podium of the day. Sergio Perez scored a double victory, bringing his season tally to 14 National Class wins from 22 starts.


Maro Engel didn't get the best of starts from pole position, while Rodolfo Gonzalez got a brilliant start off the line, storming through from P2 on the grid to hit the front of the field. Engel was caught by Sam Bird and they went wheel-to-wheel towards Deene for the first time with Bird slightly ahead but Engel had the better line into the corner.

Fourth placed Greg Mansell went down the inside of Sam Bird on the entrance to Deene but lost momentum when he had to turn in sharply dropping him down a few places. Mansell dropped back to Sebastian Hohenthal and the two Fortec Dallara's clashed as they went into Yentwood, dropping Mansell down the field while Hohenthal was able to keep going.

Jonathan Kennard and Marko Asmer also clashed, with the 2007 Champions Dallara being launched over Kennard, ending the Estonians race. Kennard kept going but dropped to the back of the field.

Back at the front Gonzalez crossed the line in the lead of the race, ahead of Engel, Bird and the Ultimate Mygale of Esteban Guerrieri, who had made a great start from 7th on the grid. However Gonzalez's brilliant start was judged to be too good and was given a drive through penalty for a jump start.

Gonzalez stayed out for a few more laps but had to come in promoting Engel back into the lead with the Venezuelan rejoining in 6th place behind Atte Mustonen and ahead of Alberto Valerio.

Once clear of Gonzalez, Engel started to open up a gap to Bird in second place, which was 5.9 seconds by the halfway point of the race. Hohenthal was challenging Guerreiri for the final podium position and on lap 13 swept past the Argentine driver at Deene with Mustonen also trying his luck at Gracelands on the same lap but Guerreiri wasn't going to give up another position easily.

Rodolfo Gonzalez was now coming under attack from Valerio with the two cars going side by side into the Tarzan Hairpin and banging wheels on the exit before Gonzalez regained his 6th position. However a few laps later the Venezuelan ran wide at the same corner, dropping him down to 10th.

Hohenthal now had Sam Bird in his sights and quickly caught up with the Carlin Dallara. Catching is one thing and passing is another and Bird wanted to make sure he kept his second place in the final race of the season. On the penultimate lap Hohenthal made a final attempt to pass the BP Ultimate sponsored car at Deene but Bird held on and was able to give himself some breathing space as they crossed the line to begin the final lap.

Maro Engel took the chequered flag for the third time in 2007, over 10 seconds ahead of Sam Bird, who was confirmed as the 2007 British F3 Rookie Champion. Sebastian Hohenthal was 1.1 seconds adrift of Bird at the flag but was pleased with his second podium of the day.

In the National Class Sergio Perez took his 14th win of the season and Salman Al Khalifa made it the second 1-2 for T-Sport, finishing ahead of Mihai Marinescu, the firts Romanian driver to stand in the British F3 podium.

-credit: www.britishf3international.com