Asaro battles to third at Brands Hatch. Toronto, Canada (June 30, 2002): For the second weekend in a row, Canadian racer, Billy Asaro, has driven to a podium finish in the British Formula Three Championship. Driving in the Scholarship Class of...
Asaro battles to third at Brands Hatch.
Toronto, Canada (June 30, 2002): For the second weekend in a row, Canadian racer, Billy Asaro, has driven to a podium finish in the British Formula Three Championship. Driving in the Scholarship Class of the renown British series, Asaro finished third today on the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch.
Two races were held at the circuit in Kent, England, but twenty-year-old Asaro, from Unionville, Ontario, did not compete in the second race of the day because electronic problems restricted his qualifying effort to just four relatively slow laps. In qualifying for the first race, he ranked seventh in class.
"The first qualifying session didn't bring the result I was hoping for, but when I looked at the data afterwards, I could clearly see my mistake," said Asaro. "I was loosing time in one braking zone, but everywhere else I was good. I was confident of doing much better in the second session, but the motor was misfiring and I just couldn't do any laps at speed. It's ironic because when we were at this track at the start of the season, I got pole for the first race, but didn't qualify for the second race because my gearbox broke."
From his seventh place start, Asaro quickly leapt to fourth where he spent much of the 22-lap race trying to find a way around Gavin Smith. Passing is very difficult on the 1.973-km (1.226-mile) track, but Asaro tried repeatedly and Smith defended successfully time after time. Finally, on lap nineteen, Smith lost the battle.
"There's no where on this track where you can get beside someone and try to outbrake them, you have to muscle past," Asaro said. "I was looking for an opening, trying to force a mistake, but there was no way through. Finally, I just decided, that's it, I'm going for it. He blocked an we banged wheels, but I got by."
With a clear track ahead of him, Asaro stepped up the pace. Robert Dahlgren and Clivio Piccione, running first and second, were more than eight seconds ahead, but when the race ended three laps later, Asaro was just 6.5 seconds behind Piccione and three seconds ahead of his Sweeney Racing teammate, Adam Carroll, who overtook Smith on the last lap.
"If I wasn't held up in fourth for so long, I'm sure I would have been fighting for the win," Asaro said, "But Gavin (Smith) fought hard for the position and I really had to work for it. It was a big challenge, eighteen laps of cat and mouse. I was disappointed not to be in the second race, but my teammate won so it was a good finish for Sweeney Racing."
Asaro will now head home to Canada to take in the Molson Indy Toronto next weekend and spend some time with family and friends. The next event on the British Formula Three Calendar is July 20-21 at Rockingham.
Billy Asaro's official website can be found at www.billyasaro.com.