DRAMATIC END TO THE WEEKEND FOR ABAY The second round of the 2008 British Formula 3 Championship proved dramatic for Oxia Carlin driver Sam Abay. After recording the 4th fastest time in free practice on Friday morning, then comfortably topping...
DRAMATIC END TO THE WEEKEND FOR ABAY
The second round of the 2008 British Formula 3 Championship proved dramatic for Oxia Carlin driver Sam Abay.
After recording the 4th fastest time in free practice on Friday morning, then comfortably topping the wet afternoon practice session, Abay went on to qualify 9th for Race 1 and 5th for Race 2.
"Unfortunately I didn't find myself a clear lap in traffic in the first qualifying session when my tyres were at their peak. We had the same problem in the second session, but I managed to set a far better banker lap at the start and, although we couldn't improve when the tyres were at their best, fortunately my initial lap was still good enough for 5th." said Abay.
Rain greeted the 29 drivers on Sunday morning for Race 1. Starting from 9th on the grid, Abay gained two positions at the first turn when Brendon Hartley and Ricardo Teixeira collided in front of him. Those gains were short lived as the youngster ran wide exiting the first chicane, dropping from 7th to 11th and rejoining behind Raikkonen Robertson driver Ali Jackson. The Australian hounded the Irishman, but was unable to find a way past in the tricky conditions. With the track drying, Abay was left to battle rapidly deteriorating wet tyres and greeted the chequered flag in 10th place.
The afternoon saw a dry track for the second race of the weekend. A quick start from 5th on the grid saw the Australian pass team-mate Oliver Turvey for 4th place, before latching onto the back of Marcus Ericsson.
As the front runners exited the Jim Clark Esses, Sergio Perez and Ericsson made contact, sending the Swede into a spin. Abay took to the grass in avoidance, but with his slick tyres soaked from the excursion, spun back across the track into the path of Henry Arundel who couldn't avoid the Aussie's car, t-boning him at 200kph.
Further mayhem ensued behind, with Esteban Guerrieri, Oliver Oakes and Niall Quinn all colliding at high speed, bringing out the red flag. All drivers involved escaped injury, but a marshal was treated trackside for a broken leg before being transported to the trackside medical centre.
Commenting on the weekend Abay stated, "Firstly our thoughts are with the marshal who was injured and we wish him a speedy recovery. It was obviously frustrating to have Race 2 end as it did, as I had a good start and was confident we would have secured a strong result. However I think we've taken another step forward in pace and I'm looking forward to Monza."
Carlin team director Martin Stone added "The entire team is relieved that Sam was unhurt in what was a big accident, and it's a shame that he wasn't able to demonstrate what he was capable of this weekend."
The next round of the British Formula 3 Championship takes place at Monza, Italy on May 18th.