Sensation Kerr takes series lead. With four rounds to go, Alan Docking Racing driver Robbie Kerr is leading the British Formula 3 Championship standings by nine points after taking his seventh win of the season in the latest round at Rockingham...
Sensation Kerr takes series lead.
With four rounds to go, Alan Docking Racing driver Robbie Kerr is leading the British Formula 3 Championship standings by nine points after taking his seventh win of the season in the latest round at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
Kerr drove an absolustely stunning race in his ADR Dallara-Mugen Honda to take advantage of the absence of title rival James Courtney, who was forced to miss Rockingham while he recovers from injuries sustained testing a Formula 1 car.
Robbie qualified a disappointing 10th for race one, but went much better in the second session to end up second.
The first session was held on a damp, but drying, track, meaning it was crucial to set a good time on the final lap. But Kerr was one of the unlucky ones to be first past the chequered flag, while others who crossed the line later set quicker times. Later on Robbie went second to Derek Hayes, the driver chosen by Courtney's team to replace the Australian and to try and take points from Kerr.
A poor start and a scrappy first couple of laps to race one left Kerr in 11th. He moved up to 10th when Stefan Hodgetts rolled, an incident which brought out the safety car.
On the restart Kerr made a brilliant move to dive inside both Adam Carroll and Ronnie Bremer into the hairpin to snatch eighth. One lap later he passed Alan van der Merwe at the chicane and moved into seventh. He then hunted down Matt Gilmore, and passed him on the last lap for a hard-won sixth.
"I didn't get a good start, and then I missed the chicane so I had to slow to let some people by," said Kerr. "I was really quick all weekend in the chicane and I could slow up and take it flat through there to go straight past people on the exit. But I have to complain about van der Merwe - he jerked suddenly at me about three times and it's a bit off."
In the second race, Kerr beat Hayes into the hairpin after the start, but both men were trailing in the wake of Heikki Kovalainen, who towed the two front-row cars to emerge in the lead.
Kerr gradually chipped away at Kovalainen's lead, and was showing great speed in the chicane. That told on the ninth lap: Robbie got a great run on Kovalainen, but the Finn defended into the hairpin. Undaunted, Kerr went for the outside and managed to scoot right around and into the lead.
From then on he spurted away to win by more than four seconds after a sensational performance.
"We worked away and the car was getting stronger and stronger. Heikki blocked and held the inside line, but I just had enough grip to go round the outside of him. I've just got to win the championship now!"
1st Shinya Hosokawa (Japan); 2nd Heikki Kovalainen (Finland); 3rd Derek Hayes (Northern Ireland); 4th Bruce Jouanny (France); 5th Fabio Carbone (Brazil); 6th Robbie Kerr (Britain); 7th Matt Gilmore (Northern Ireland); 8th Adam Carroll (Northern Ireland); 9th Mark Taylor (Britain); 10th Ronnie Bremer (Denmark).
1st Kerr; 2nd Kovalainen; 3rd Hayes; 4th Bremer; 5th Carroll; 6th Michael Keohane (Ireland); 7th Alan van der Merwe (South Africa); 8th Carbone; 9th Taylor; 10th Richard Antinucci (USA).
1st Kerr 200; 2nd James Courtney (Australia) 191; 3rd Jouanny 152; 4th Keohane 142; 5th= Taylor & Kovalainen 106; 7th van der Merwe 80; 8th Rob Austin (Britain) 77; 9th Carbone 72; 10th Antinucci 53; 18th= Mayall 9.