Scott Speed advances learning curve
CROFTS AT TEE, England (May 4) -- American Formula 3 driver Scott Speed enhances his racing education every time he gets behind the wheel of his Alan Docking Racing Red Bull Dallara Mugen Honda. On Sunday at the 2.127-mile Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, his learning curve advanced a couple more steps after completing his second of the two 30-minute timed (approximately 20 laps) events.
From Speed's 12th place start on the grid in the first race, he sprinted into the eighth position within four laps when his F3 racer developed a strong over steering snag forcing him to accept the handling problems relegating him into the 13th finishing position.
"We realize that we have some problems with our chassis," said the 20-year old Speed. "For the second race, we made all kinds of suspension changes. It was much different than our previous setup. Our teammate, Will Davison was on the pole for the first race and on the front row for the second, so we copied his ADR setup, but it didn't work for us. I went from 21st to ninth in four laps again. For some reason our Red Bull car slowed dramatically because the rear tires were worn out. Something is mechanically wrong in the rear end. After three laps the rear tires got so hot they became greasy and then it just went downhill from there. We held our position as best as we could and finished 16th.
"In the first race we went forward to eighth, but fell back again. I gained a whole row on both starts. The first laps are really good as far as the dogfight that goes on in the racing and then it evens out. Then the car's handling went away and I was a sitting duck".
Speed and team engineer, Paul Antony will be investigating and evaluating the handling circumstances in further detail on Tuesday and later in the afternoon Speed will be touring the famed Silverstone Circuit in a passenger car getting the layout of the track for future reference.
"We're going to look at the car on Tuesday and try to figure out what's wrong with it," said Speed. "At least we got to the point that we know it's something in the chassis. It'll be mostly Paul and I trying to figure out what's going on. It's hard because I've had such little experience and I missed all that testing in the beginning of the year with my hand injury. Now it's very evident there is something wrong with the car."
Speed is currently in the No. 16 position in the Formula 3 point standings.
The next Formula 3 event will be at the 1.3- mile Knockhill Racing Circuit in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland on May 10-11. It is best known on the F3 trail as the "Scottish Grand Prix" with one of the tightest hairpin turns on the tour.
Event: Croft Circuit 2.172-Mile Road Course
1st Race -- Started -- 12th; Finished -- 13th
2nd Race -- Started -- 21st; Finished -- 16th