By Lynne Waite and Stella-Marie Thomas, BF3 Correspondents: Jack Harvey stormed to a win in the Brands Hatch opener
At Brands Hatch this afternoon Jack Harvey (Carlin) was a dominant winner taking a lights-to-flag victory over teammate Jazeman Jaafar. Third place went to Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport) after a brief early tussle with Jaafar, while the National Class winner was Adderly Fong (CF Racing) who came home ahead of Richard “Spike” Goddard (T-Sport).
At the start Harvey powered away into the lead while Lynn got the drop on Jaafar, but it didn’t last long. As they reached Druids though Jaafar made his move and jinked to the outside of Lynn. They were side-by-side all the way to the bottom of Graham Hill bend, but in the end it was Lynn that blinked first. Jaafar went through for second and that was the only overtaking to occur all the way from there to the checkered flag in what was a standard Brands Hatch procession of the sort that must make the casual spectator feel that watching paint dry would be more interesting.
There was interest to be had as the field opened out and bunched up but it didn’t look as if it would ever lead to any place changes despite Jaafar catching Harvey and harrying him all the way home. That left Lynn to rue what might have been while fending of Carlos Sainz Jr. (Carlin) but the young Spaniard was struggling to find anywhere that would afford him an overtaking opportunity. No matter what he tried, Lynn had the answer and he had to settle for what he considered a very disappointing result.
What was interesting was that Nick McBride (Three Bond with T-Sport) took his best result of the season, the car and the engine seeming to be working in tandem with the driver for the first time since March. He was thus seventh having been one spot better for most of the race. However, he’d reckoned without Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport), the Puerto Rican charging up to claim the place from McBride in the closing stages of the race.
The remaining places went to Pietro Fantin (Carlin) in eighth while Pipo Derani (Fortec Motorsport) was ninth after a disappointing qualifying effort. Double R Racing meanwhile were having another of those weekends that must make Anthony Hieatt, team principal, wonder why he bothers, with Geoff Uhrhane finishing tenth and Fahmi Ilyas in 11th (the only plus point was that as a result of Harvey pulling 11 from the hat after the race, Ilyas would start on pole for Race 2 and Uhrhane would be alongside him in second. Their chances of staying there were slight of course, but you have to take the positives where you can).
Mind you Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec Motorsport) was having an even worse time, the Dutchman ending the race where he’d ended the qualifying session – in the gravel and out of contention. This is not what was expected of him when he joined the series, and he won’t be happy with his own efforts. He wasn’t the only one to crash out. While Fong came home a good 10 seconds ahead of Goddard for the National Class victory, they were the only ones to finish. Padayachee managed to get it all wrong on the last corner of the last lap and failed to finish.
The fastest laps of the race were set by Fong and Jaafar.