Californian Star Paul Edwards made a strong impression at the opening round of the 2001 British Formula 3 Championship. The excitement rang from the track announcer as the American Paul Edwards had taken the lead in his first ever Formula 3 race, and the excitement continued from lap to lap.
Edwards had rocketed off his 4th place starting spot veering between those in front of him. At the first turn he made a spectacular pass on the outside of pole sitter Jamie Spence. They continued to battle to Beckett's Corner, banging wheel to wheel at the famed Silverstone International Race Circuit until Edwards gained the advantage.
"As I rounded the corner, I could see I had pulled away. It felt so good - I was actually leading the first race."
Edwards continued to pull away over a 2 second lead and even caught up to the back of the pack and lapped one of the 38 drivers. The rear tires had overheated and the car developed a severe lack of front-end grip. He found it harder to get the car turned into the corners. This allowed several drivers to squeeze by Edwards.
At the end of the race, the Alan Docking Racing's Doug Mockett & Co. Dallara-Mugen/Honda of Paul Edwards finished in the fourth spot. "It would have been nice to claim a podium position, however in this opening round, this was a very satisfying championship points position. I know I am going to be a real championship contender this season."
For the second race of the day, Edwards would start 12th on the grid due to handling problems during qualifying. He had made some changes to his car and felt very confident. Again, he made a good start and was battling for 10th position when there was contact with Manor Motorsport driver Mark Taylor at Abey hairpin. This unfortunately took Edwards out of contention for another points finish.
"I am disappointed with the outcome of the second race. The car felt very good and I know it would have been possible to get another top 6 finish. I went to overtake down the inside and he turned into me bending the front tracking and damaging the wing."
Edwards finished the day claiming 10 championship points to put him 6th in the standings. The next race meeting will be held in 2 weeks at the Snetterton Circuit. "I am looking forward to getting to Snetterton because we have gone very quick there in pre-season tests."