August 19, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Following his strongest qualifying performance of the year, Formula 3 racer Billy Asaro was rammed from behind and came away with nothing from a British Formula 3 Championship event at Thruxton, near Andover, England, on Sunday. After sacrificing the first race of two races in order to maximize his chances in the second, the 21-year-old Canadian was hit at the first corner.
Asaro qualified brilliantly in the second of two qualifying sessions held Saturday setting the fourth-fastest time. A mistake in the first session saw him grid fourteenth for the first race, but he came back strongly in the second session.
Following a discussion with his P1 Motorsport team, Asaro used race one as a practice session to maximize his chances in the second race. Starting from pitlane and hanging back behind the field in order to avoid any first-lap tangles that are commonplace in the series, Asaro kept clear of any danger. He even pitted during the race to make set up changes, optimizing the car for race two.
Unfortunately, all that work and planning went to waste just seconds after race two began. Arriving at the first corner cleanly in second place, Asaro was bounced off the circuit by Robert Dahlgren who slammed into the back of him. Dahlgren was finished then and there, but Asaro crawled back on to the track with his damaged car and tried to get back into the race. He was able to complete more than three-quarters of the eighteen-lap race, but had to retire with just a few laps remaining.
"Everything went extremely well for most of the weekend," Asaro reported. "We now have a good understanding of the car and had a set up that gave me the confidence to push hard. We had the pace and could have won.
"Even though this opportunity was ruined, I believe we will be a serious threat for the remainder of the season. I have a win coming soon."
Asaro has three events and six races left this season. Next on the British Formula 3 Championship calendar is a pair of races at the famous Spa Franchorchamps circuit in Belgium, September 6-7.