Flying Finn Rocks to Top Spot Atte Mustonen won his first race of the 2008 British F3 season with a dominant drive from the front row of the grid to the chequered flag in tricky driving conditions, 2.9 seconds ahead of Marcus Ericsson and ...
Flying Finn Rocks to Top Spot
Atte Mustonen won his first race of the 2008 British F3 season with a dominant drive from the front row of the grid to the chequered flag in tricky driving conditions, 2.9 seconds ahead of Marcus Ericsson and 6 seconds ahead of Jaime Alguersuari. Andy Meyrick took his 5th win from seven starts in the National Class ahead of Salman Al Khalifa and Stefan Wilson.
As the cars left the pitlane to file onto the grid spots of rain were seen on the windows of the main building, but not enough to warrant starting the race on Avon wets. Alistair Jackson became the first casualty of the race when his Ultimate Mygale ground to a halt on the green flag lap after smoke was ssen coming from the rear of the car.
The remaining 26 cars lined up on the grid, with pole position holder Max Chilton at the head of the field but as the lights went out it was Atte Mustonen who got the better start to move into the lead at the first corner. Third placed Jaime Alguersuari also saw an opportunity to move ahead of Chilton and at the second corner the Red Bull Dallara dived down the inside to move up a place and demote Chilton to 3rd. While Chilton was going backwards, his Hitech teammate Walter Grubmuller was moving up, moving ahead of Sam Abay for 4th at the Tarzan Hairpin but Abay fought back and regained the place at Deene on the next lap.
At the front Mustonen held a one second lead over Alguersuari, with Chilton another two seconds up the road. In the National Class Andy Meyrick was running in 10th overall while Jay Bridger had slipped back on the opening lap behind Salman Al Khalifa and Steven Guerrero.
While Mustonen set about securing his lead Marcus Ericsson was on the move up the field passing Grubmuller and Abay on successive laps before getting on terms with Chilton for the final podium spot, which he duly took with a move down the inside of the Hitech Dallara at Deene at the halfway point of the race.
Another driver moving up the field was championship leader Sergio Perez, the T Sport driver finishing the 13th lap in 7th place after starting the race in 11th and was soon challenging Oliver Turvey for 6th.
Mustonen continued to pull away from Alguersuari as the Spaniard increasingly had to watch his mirrors as Ericsson zoned in on the Red Bull car. For two laps the Fortec driver looked for a way past but on lap 21 the inevitable as the pair headed nose to tail into Deene, with Ericsson diving to the inside to take second place. With just three laps remaining Ericsson struggled to get on terms with Mustonen for the lead and at the flag it was Mustonen who celebrated his first win of the season crossing the line 2.9 seconds ahead of Ericsson, with Jaime Alguersuari in third ahead of pole man Max Chilton.
Andy Meyrick returned to his winning ways in the National Class finishing 9 seconds ahead of Salman Al Khalifa, with Stefan Wilson taking advantage of a spin by his Fluid Motorsport teammate Jay Bridger to take third.