Fahmi Ilyas press release
Ilyas Matches Career-Best F3 Finish During 2012 Season Opener
Malaysian racing driver Fahmi Ilyas made a consistently strong start to the first weekend of the 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Saturday, 7th April, with the highlight being a career-best equaling top six finish in round one of the new season.
Concluding the first event of the 10 weekend championship ninth in the driver standings, the Double R Racing driver also managed to score points in round three to already accrue a bigger total than he achieved in the whole of his debut Formula 3 season last year.
Hopes of a top six qualifying performance on Friday, 6th April, were dashed just under 10 minutes into the half-hour session when Fahmi had an unfortunate moment at the first corner, Old Hall, and made contact with the barriers on the outside. Even so, his best lap time to that point – 1m29.316 seconds (108.50mph) – was still good enough to secure 10th on the grid for race one.
On a damp track, Fahmi steered his Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 into seventh place on the first lap and remained there untroubled until the final tour when Hannes van Asseldonk crashed out, elevating the Kuala Lumpur driver into the top six.
Due to line-up in seventh place for the ‘reverse grid’ second round, disappointment struck Fahmi and the Double R team prior to the beginning when a hydraulic problem with the car’s clutch meant hurried repairs and a pitlane start.
Climbing through the order into 10th place by lap seven, Fahmi was well on course for another points finish to add to his earlier tally. Unfortunately, a tangle on the last lap while attempting to wrest ninth place from National Class runner Spike Goddard at Island Bend led to a non-finish.
Confident of hitting back in the third and final race of the weekend, the second year British F3 racer immediately moved up from 10th into ninth position past the stalled car of Pipo Derani and after a subsequent Safety Car period he maintained the placing. Moving into eighth on lap seven, Fahmi spent the remainder of round three untroubled on his way to his second points score of the day.
“It’s good to start the season by straight away matching my best result from last year”, said the London based 20-year-old, “It was disappointing to have the hydraulic problem before the start of race two but the team did a good job to get me out there from the pitlane and we could have had some more points there.
“Race three was ok, we moved forward and I was able to score again so I’m quite happy with how the first weekend of the season has gone. I know I need to gain more confidence quicker though, I need to work on getting my best lap times sooner on the tyres – I need to have the confidence to push sooner than I have been.”
Fahmi’s non-stop start to the 2012 racing season shows no sign of relenting any time soon with the second event of the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 international Series, rounds four, five and six, set to take place this coming weekend, 14th/15th April at Monza in Italy.
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd3):
9th Fahmi Ilyas, 9pts