HITECH ROUNDS OFF BRITISH F3 SEASON AT DONINGTON
Outgoing British Formula 3 International Series champion Hitech Racing brought its 2008 British season to a finish with the final two rounds at Donington this weekend. For the Buckingham-based team there were mixed emotions following a solid performance in qualifying on Saturday.
Austrian Walter Grubmuller saw his chances of converting his seventh place grid slot into a maiden podium finish end with a collision with Sergio Perez at the Esses on lap two. The 19 year-old had made a good start to hold position at the completion of lap one but as the pair entered the chicane for the second time, Perez ran wide onto a damp part of the track and locked up, running into the unfortunate Grubmuller and ending his race on the spot. The Mexican was quick to apologise for his mistake which forced Walter into instant retirement.
After posting the fourth quickest time in qualifying, Max Chilton was confident of a strong race despite being forced to start in 17th place after being penalised for his part in a collision in the last round and having his quickest time disallowed for improving under the yellow flags. However his chances of moving up the order were thwarted by a first lap hit from Philip Major which forced him off the track and onto the slip road at the Esses.
He rejoined the track down the order but a spirited drive from the Englishman eventually netted him 12th place at the flag.
For Walter, a sticking throttle on the formation lap of the 29-lap second race forced him off the grid before the race had started. He re-joined from the pit lane following repairs albeit two laps down and went on to finish 12th with the consolation of posting the fourth quickest lap.
A storming drive by Max from 18th on the grid was finally rewarded with eighth place at the flag, as he clawed his way through the pack. His three points in the race moved him up to tenth place overall in the points standings and second in the Mirror.co.uk British F3 Challenge Cup.