BF3

Van der Merwe Thruxton race report

Alan van der Merwe still on top from Thruxton shake up Carlin Motorsport's Alan van der Merwe retains his lead at the top of the British Formula Three Championship after a thrilling double-header at Thruxton last weekend. The South African ...

Alan van der Merwe still on top from Thruxton shake up

Carlin Motorsport's Alan van der Merwe retains his lead at the top of the British Formula Three Championship after a thrilling double-header at Thruxton last weekend. The South African battled hard to finish a brilliant second in the first race, but was unfortunately involved in a racing incident in the second recording his first retirement of the 18 races held so far this year.

"That first race was good fun," said Alan, "I made a few places early on and was having a really good battle with Danny Watts (Hitech)." Alan made another of his electrifying starts and from fifth on the grid he was second at the end of the first lap, chasing race leader Danny Watts. Unfortunately Robert Dahlgren (Fortec) managed to squeeze past the pair of them just before the safety car was deployed to clear a few cars deemed to be in a dangerous position.

"At the restart I really went for it," said Alan, who was now chasing Watts hard for second place. On the 14th lap there was contact and Alan took second place when Watts ran wide. "Danny kept jinking from one side of the track to the other. I didn't know where to go, because he was weaving so much. Then he braked really early into the chicane and I couldn't avoid him," said the South African. By this stage he was too far behind to catch Dahlgren, but he gained another 15 points on his march towards the British F3 title.

In the second race Alan's Carlin Motorsport Dallara Mugen-Honda was again in second place, battling for the lead. Towards the end of the race Alan saw a chance gap at the chicane as the race leader ran wide and dived for the inside. The lead driver closed the door and took both drivers out finishing both their chances of a podium prize. It was Alan's first DNF of the year. "I was past him under braking on the inside, but he squeezed the throttle to stay on the road and there was no room for us both."

Alan was taken to the medical centre with a sore left hand and as a precautionary check-up travelled to the local hospital for an x-ray. Despite his injury Alan is fully expected to race at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on 31 August in defense of his title lead.

-sutton-

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Series BF3