By Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas, BF3 correspondents
- Fortec Motorsport 1-2-3 in Sprint race
- Foresti takes the victory
- Nasr remains points leader
This morning at Snetterton saw Lucas Foresti (Fortec Motorsport) head his team-mates Harry Tincknell and William Buller home in the 20-minute sprint race, while Kotaro Sakurai (Hitech Racing) was the Rookie Class winner after Bart Hylkema (T-Sport) was involved in a first lap incident that saw several drivers go off at Montreal.
Apart from that initial incident it was a less than exciting race, although at start it looked as if it might develop nicely, when Foresti made a good start, while Buller (who seemed to be having gearbox issues on the grid) was slow away and lost out to Tincknell as a result. As the field vanished into the distance for the first time though, the officials were readying the Safety Car, which seemed as if it might be needed. It certainly wiped out most of Carlin, with Jack Harvey missing, and Jazeman Jaafar into the pits for a new nose. Also limping in for a new nose was Menasheh Idafar (T-Sport), while Bart Hylkema (T-Sport) was another whose race didn’t get any further, thus handing the Rookie Class lead to Sakurai. Just for good measure Rupert Svendsen-Cook (Carlin) was also in trouble, his VW engine suffering a misfire that started in qualifying and would not go away no matter what the team tried. A new set of plugs made no difference and Rupert had no choice but to abandon ship and walk away.
Luckily for all concerned in the incident, the marshals were able to clear the mess away and the Safety Car was not needed. As a result Foresti continued to pull away from the pack while behind Tincknell was holding off Buller. Pietro Fantin (Hitech Racing) had got ahead of Hywel Lloyd (Sino Vision Racing) for 4th, while Felipe Nasr (Carlin) was able to make good progress during the first lap mayhem and was up in 6th, a gain of 3 places. Kevin Magnussen (Carlin), who had made some amazing overtaking moves to win yesterday’s race started from 10th (having drawn that position from the hat – the first time anyone has ended up that far back using the draw system) and looked as if he was going to finish there as well, at least until he managed to find his way past Yann Cunha (T-Sport) for 9th.
Meanwhile, Jaafar and Idafar both rejoined the race a lap down, which put an end to their chances of a scoring finish unless either of them could set the fastest lap of the race. However, at this point it looked as if they’d no chance there either, with Foresti setting a blinding pace as he tried to open up as big a gap as possible at the front. Pipo Derani (Double R Racing) was also looking quick, but not as quick as the leader. Further down, Adderly Fong (Sino Vision Racing) was in trouble, spinning out of contention at Agostini. He was able to get going again, but was a lot further down by then. Behind the leader the race briefly came alive when Buller got on the rear wing of Tincknell, which ended up with Fantin catching both of them before they started to concentrate again. Nasr, meanwhile, was losing pace and was now being menaced by Riki Christodoulou (Hitech Racing), which wasn’t in his plan for the day.
And that was probably the last thing of real interest to happen. It all got a bit processional with Buller easing off and leaving Tincknell in peace in 2nd, and Foresti just pulling away steadily. Otherwise there really wasn’t much going on. Everyone seemed to be taking it steadily although Magnussen was trying to catch Carlos Huertas (Carlin) for 8th. When that didn’t work, he backed off and started looking at the two extra points for fastest lap.
Buller’s challenge on Tincknell had come to an end too, after William got all crossed up at the Esses and fell back within reach of Fantin, thus allowing Tincknell to breathe easy all the way to the chequered flag. With Magnussen getting the fastest lap in the late stages of the race, that was the end of anything to keep the spectators interested.
Foresti brought it home for his second F3 victory, thus hanging onto 2nd in the championship table, though Nasr still leads by a large margin having scored points in all eight races so far this year. Tincknell scored his best result of the season so far with 2nd, and Buller was 3rd. Fantin hung on to 4th, ahead of Lloyd, Nasr, Christodoulou, Huertas, Magnussen and Cunha. Scott Pye (Double R Racing) was 11th from Derani, Fahmi Ilyas (Fortec Motorsport), Fong, Rookie Class winner Sakurai, with Jaafar and Idafar a lap down at the finish.
Change in results: Huertas has been awarded a 3 seconded penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, and thus moves from 8th to 10th, promoting Magnussen to 8th and Cunha to 9th.
Fastest laps went to Magnussen and Sakurai.
Weather: Sunny, dry, cool.