Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas, BF3 Correspondents
Snetterton this morning provided Harry Tincknell (Carlin) with his third victory of the year after Race 1 winner promoted him to pole position by drawing 12th to reverse the main of the field for Race 2. Second place went to Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) and third was Nick McBride (ThreeBond with T-Sport), the Australian on the podium for the first time in British Formula 3. The National Class was won by Adderly Fong (C F Racing), from Pedro Pablo Calbimonte (T-Sport), and Duvashen Padayachee (Double R Racing).
At the start, Tincknell got away cleanly, leaving the rest of the pack to try and battle past the National Class runners, and as Padayachee tried to keep out of the way it was Richard “Spike” Goddard (T-Sport) who took advantage and nipped into 2nd and the National Class lead from Fong, while the rest of the International Class bunched up and there was some sort of incident that saw Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec Motorsport) pick up a puncture and have to pit for a new front left hand tyre.
Meanwhile, Jaafar was on the move, as was Harvey, who wanted a good result and was going to have to work for it starting from 12th. Jaafar was right behind Goddard and Fong before the race was much older, and was soon past both of them for second. The trouble was that Tincknell was already quite a long way down the road by the time the Malaysian found a way round the slower cars. Harvey, on the other hand, was passing International Class runners and had fought his way to 7th within a couple of laps.
Meanwhile Padayachee had gone off at Oggies and dropped himself to almost last, while Goddard was under investigation for an out of position start, having not quite managed to locate his grid slot after the formation lap, so all Fong needed to do was stay where he was and wait to be handed the National Class lead.
As Jaafar continued to chase the rapidly vanishing Tincknell, Goddard was still 2nd ahead of Fong, while most of the rest of the pack were bottled up behind them running in a high-speed train that include McBride, Geoff Uhrhane (Double R Racing), Harvey, Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport), Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport), Fahmi Ilyas (Double R Racing), Pipo Derani (Fortec Motorsport), Pietro Fantin (Carlin) and Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin), the latter likely to look back on this weekend as the one on which his championship hopes vanished altogether.
While Tincknell was busy setting a fastest lap, Goddard’s fate became clear and he was awarded a drive through for his start. It was merely a question of when. He didn’t wait long and a lap later he was in and Fong now had the class lead and 3rd place overall. In the train behind the Chinese driver it was all change though as Ilyas went off at the Bomb Hole and Goddard rejoined towards the back of the field in close proximity to Calbimonte and Padayachee.
The high-speed train split slightly as a result as Derani briefly dropped back a little, giving Serralles some breathing space. It might just have been a result of Ilyas’ exit however. Whatever the case, they didn’t separate out very far. At the front Jaafar was pushing hard in his attempts to close on Tincknell but it was beginning to look as if there was too much still to do with only three laps left to run. Certainly the time he lost behind Fong and Goddard was now costing him and despite setting a new fastest lap the Malaysian looked as if he would have to settle for 2nd.
At least he didn’t need to defend his own back, not with Fong still holding up the rest of them as he calmly motored to what looked certain to be a fresh National Class victory. Tincknell soon fought back with a new fastest lap of his own while Harvey was soon up to 5th, passing Uhrhane without too much difficulty and dragging Lynn with him. That was the signal Serralles needed, and he too went through to claim 7th.
Tincknell continued to push on, opening the gap up again, but couldn’t quite stop Jaafar getting the last word in the shape of the final fastest lap of the race on lap 8, while in the pack the battle continued. McBride finally found a way past Fong with a couple of laps left, while shortly afterwards Harvey also got the drop on the National Class leader. And then suddenly Fong started to fall back, losing places to Derani and finally Fantin, while Uhrhane also plummeted down the order, ending up 10th behind Fong after failing to find a way past the yellow and red Dallara.
At the end, Tincknell won by just over three seconds, from Jaafar, while McBride headed home Harvey (again leading the championship though only by 6 points), Lynn, Serralles, Derani, Fantin, Fong and Uhrhane. Sainz Jr finished only 11th (10th in class and thus with just one extra point to his name after two races), ahead of Calbimonte, Padayachee, Goddard (who was closing on Padayachee in the closing stages but ran out of time) and but it was really too late in such a short race. Dead last and almost 20 seconds adrift after a dreadful morning was van Asseldonk.
The fastest laps of the race were set by Jaafar and Fong.
Weather: Fine, dry, sunny.