DONINGTON CLOSES THE CURTAIN ON ABAY'S ROOKIE F3 SEASON Expectations were high after a strong showing by Sam Abay in Thursday's practice sessions, ahead of the final round of the Lloyds TSB 2008 British Formula 3 Championship at Donington ...
DONINGTON CLOSES THE CURTAIN ON ABAY'S ROOKIE F3 SEASON
Expectations were high after a strong showing by Sam Abay in Thursday's practice sessions, ahead of the final round of the Lloyds TSB 2008 British Formula 3 Championship at Donington Park.
Saturday saw the Oxia Carlin pilot qualify 6th for race one and back in an uncharacteristic 9th for race two, after intermittent rain during the second qualifying session produced an unusual grid.
Dry but overcast conditions greeted the 24 drivers for race one on Sunday morning. A solid start saw Abay maintain his fifth place off the line, tucking in behind Nick Tandy at turn one. By lap 2 the Australian had past the Englishman for 5th and quickly set about applying pressure to the back of Dean Smith's Fortec entry. The Australian rookie stayed glued to the back of Smith's car for the remaining 27 laps and would greet the chequered flag in 5th, 4/10ths of a second adrift of his rival.
An aggressive start from 9th on grid in race two saw Abay move past Steven Guerrero and Jay Bridger and up into 7th by the end of lap one, latching onto the back of Marcus Ericsson. By lap 6 the Australian was past the Swede and having inherited another position when Brendon Hartley was forced to pit, Abay set his sights on passing pole sitter Oliver Oakes for 5th.
Two laps later the Oxia Carlin driver was past Oakes and closing on Sergio Perez. A fierce and riveting battle developed between the Australian youngster and the Mexican for the final spot on the podium, until, with 3 laps remaining a braking error into turn one, allowed Dean Smith past. Abay ending the season with his second 5th place of the weekend.
"I would have loved that final spot on the podium today, but enjoyed a great battle with Sergio (Perez). I've learnt a huge amount this year, in what has been a very exiting season and I'd like to sincerely thank my backers and team for their tremendous support." said Abay.