Bakkerud takes control and scores his maiden F3 win
Aldershot (UK) 17 September 2006. Christian Bakkerud finally made the breakthrough to score his maiden F3 victory at the Italian Mugello circuit on Saturday afternoon. Bakkerud qualified on the front row, dominated the race and set fastest lap after he missed out on race incidents at the start which saw his team mates Oliver Jarvis and Maro Engel retire.
Although he started from pole position in both races, Oliver Jarvis did not manage to secure a win but instead took a strong second place in the second race consolidating his runner-up position in the championship tally behind Mike Conway (Double R Racing). Carlin stable-mate Maro Engel struggled with poor visibility in the wet conditions and initially fell behind but picked up pace after some laps to finish fourth with team mate Bakkerud taking sixth in the second event having inexplicably started only ninth. Japanese female racer Keiko Ihara narrowly missed out on points in both races finishing 11th in race one and 12th in race two.
Car no 1. Christian Bakkerud
Race 1 - P1 Race 2 - P6
"I'm absolutely over the moon but those sixteen laps took a very long time! The first corner was a bit hairy from where I was sitting, I thought I was going to get a poor start because we were on the wet side of the track, but Oliver (Jarvis) didn't have a too good a start and it held up Mike Conway a little bit. I knew I was going to be able to brake later at the end of the straight and into the first corner because the inside was wet. When I looked in the mirrors coming out of the corner and I was several seconds ahead I realised that this was my chance. I didn't want to push too hard and make any stupid mistakes, so I kept my head cool and just pounded round until the chequered flag and as I also took fastest race lap no one can say I was fortunate.. In the second race today I started from ninth and came in sixth so I was able to add some more good points to our tally"
"Yesterday was the biggest day of my career so far, and I have really enjoyed it. My hands were a bit sore afterwards - but that's only because I so excited that I was banging the steering wheel on the victory lap! It's really such a fantastic feeling. I'd really like to thank all my sponsors, the Carlin Motorsport team, my family and especially Bo Nielsen from D.A.S.U (the governing body of motor sport in Denmark) for all their help. I'll be doing my very best to deliver more of the same at Silverstone next weekend."
Car no 2. Oliver Jarvis
Race 1 - DNF Race 2 - P2
"It's been a bit of a disappointing weekend considering the pace we had. This weekend was all about consolidating second place in the championship and with Bruno (Senna) struggling so much in the dry it looked like there was a chance to pull away and build quite a comfortable gap to him. However, things haven't quite gone our way even though I started from pole position in both races and Bruno has actually closed in on me. It's going to be a close battle to second place over the last four races."
"In the first race I did not finish but it's a case of picking yourself up and move on and as I was starting on pole in the second race as well, I had every chance of taking the lead. I felt I comfortably had the first corner, unfortunately I didn't realise the grip Bruno got and it allowed him to drive right around the outside of me, which caught me by surprise. After that I concentrated on trying to keep Mike (Conway) behind me, which allowed Bruno to pull out a bit of a gap. Then I finally got a bit of rhythm, which allowed me to close up on him, but it always looked like he had a little bit spare in case he needed to push at anytime. I'm looking forward to the last two rounds, we've got two good tracks coming up, Silverstone and Thruxton and we have made some big steps forward since the tests there and I know I'm going to finish the year strongly. Bruno's got a fight on his hand if he wants that second place!"
Car no 12 Maro Engel
Race 1 - DNF Race 2 - P4
"This weekend could have been better. I got a really good start in the first race but coming into the first corner we were four abreast, Oliver, Christian, Mike and myself and it got too tight. I locked wheels with Oliver and unfortunately he got a puncture as a result. However, I managed to get unlocked and continue. I braked really late coming into the corner, the same as Christian but he was on the dry line and I was on the wet part of the track which sent me off. Although I'm disappointed with my own results in this race, I'm very pleased for my team mate Christian - he really deserved this win."
"On my first seven laps of the second race, my main problem was that I couldn't see anything! My visor kept fogging up and I had to keep opening it and wiping off the condensation. It was so bad that on the long straight I had to try and look to my right and follow the white line as I felt completely blind. Once this problem was cleared up, I was too far behind to challenge for a podium finish although I was quickest at times and ended up with the second fastest lap after Bruno (Senna). Second and third places in the championship are still up for grabs and I know that both Oliver and I are going to do our best to try and take as many points as possible in the last four races of the season beginning at Silverstone next weekend."
Team Principal Trevor Carlin
"We are absolutely delighted with Christian's result in the first race. We have all waited a long time and his win this weekend was a well deserved one. Christian drove superbly and although we were really disappointed to see his team mates Oliver and Maro not finishing, it was good to be able to finally celebrate a victory with our young Dane who has now been with us for three years both in Formula BMW and in F3. I hope this is going to be a break-through for him and that we will see some more good results before the end of the season."
"As for his team mates Oliver and Maro, the weekend could have ended better although they picked up points in the second race and they were both on the pace all weekend, especially Oliver who showed himself to be a strong contender by taking both pole positions. We would have liked to have seen Oliver win the second race after his first race non finish but it didn't happen. Oliver is still second in the championship which we hope is a position he will hold on to although I'm sure it's going to be a tough fight until the end between Oliver (in second), Bruno (in third) and Maro (in fourth)."
-credit: Carlin Motorsport