After winning in his British Formula Three Scholarship Championship debut yesterday, Billy Asaro was a spectator for race two today at Brands Hatch. The twenty-year-old Canadian from Unionville, Ontario, did not make the grid for today's race...
After winning in his British Formula Three Scholarship Championship debut yesterday, Billy Asaro was a spectator for race two today at Brands Hatch. The twenty-year-old Canadian from Unionville, Ontario, did not make the grid for today's race after his gearbox broke in Saturday's qualifying session and he was unable to set a competitive time.
Having performed very well throughout the event, many felt it was unjust for Asaro to sit out because of an unfortunate mechanical failure. There were hopes that he would be able to start, but the Formula Three grids are limited to 30 cars and Billy had not made the cut.
"Rules are rules," Asaro said, "And if you start making exceptions, where do you draw the line? I wanted to race, of course, but I fully understand why I can't."
Until last night, Asaro was still in with a hope as he would be first up if any other car failed to make the start. However, that hope was dashed when his team found a crack in his chassis yesterday evening. After taking the win on Sunday afternoon, Asaro informed his crew that his car felt strange and a thorough examination revealed that the carbon fibre chassis was cracked. It would be dangerous to race, grid space or not. To add insult to injury, a grid space became available following a start line crash that resulted in a restart. Asaro could only shake his head in disappointment as he watched the race from the sidelines.
"It was a tough day," he commented. "I went to watch the race and had already accepted that I would not be out there, but it was harder to take knowing that there was a spot available and I had to give it up. It was like getting kicked in the gut.
"There's a weak spot in the chassis right under the driver," he said of the damaged machine. "The crack ran right underneath me from one side of the tub (driver compartment) to the other and it weakened the whole car. It had been repaired by Jaguar, who ran the car last year, but it just gave out again. This is the kind of thing that can bite anyone. Sweeney Racing is one of the most prepared and professional teams here and this problem crept up and bit us.
Today's non-start, however, has done nothing to dull the excitement surrounding Billy. He has quickly made a name for himself in Britain with both the knowledgeable motorsport media and the incredibly enthusiastic fans.
With 20 points, Asaro lies third in the Scholarship Class Championship behind Jesper Carlsen of Denmark (25 points) and Adam Carroll of Britain (21 points).
Next up on the British Formula Three calendar is a pair of races at Donnington Park, April 13-14.