Asmer Attacks at Brands! Marko Asmer scored his 7th win of the year, taking a dominant lights-to-flag victory. Behind the Estonian things weren't so clear cut early on as drivers stalled and others jumped the start. However Stephen Jelley came...
Asmer Attacks at Brands!
Marko Asmer scored his 7th win of the year, taking a dominant lights-to-flag victory. Behind the Estonian things weren't so clear cut early on as drivers stalled and others jumped the start. However Stephen Jelley came out on top, leading Double R team mate Jonathan Kennard to the flag. Rodolfo Gonzalez had his best race of the year, fighting his way back from 12th on the first lap to finish 4th.
'Frankie' Cheng closed the gap in the National Class title battle after securing the win and fastest lap, but Sergio Perez was a lot closer to the Chinese driver than the qualifying positions would've suggested. Viktor Jensen took his 5th podium finish of the year after starting 24th on the grid and 4th in class after a long battle for position with Mike Meadows.
At the start Asmer leapt away as Atte Mustonen stalled on the front row causing the drivers behind to take avoiding action to miss the stranded Finn. Sam Bird went into 2nd from 4th on the grid as the cars dropped down Paddock Hill for the first time.
Sebastian Hohenthal got a good start to head into Druid's in 4th place ahead of Kennard and Stephen Jelley. However Hohenthal's start was too good and the Swede was given a drive through penalty as a result. Behind them Rodolfo Gonzalez had a terrible start, dropping back to 12th on the opening lap but this set the stage for a fantastic come back drive.
Sam Bird's great start came to naught as the Carlin Motorsport Dallara was seen cruising through Hawthorn's with a clutch problem, his race run.
At the front Asmer started to pull away from Jelley, with Kennard in 3rd, having dispatched Hohenthal out of view, tracking his every move. The first four laps saw the top 8 stay in position, with Gonzalez making progress up to 9th. Hohenthal still had to serve his drive through penalty but on lap 5 he came in just as the Safety Car was deployed.
Alberto Valerio's Dallara was a sorry mess after a collision with John Martin at Druid's launched the Brazilian's car into a series of barrel rolls. Valerio was OK but Martin's car was stranded close to the track and had to be removed by the marshal's, which they did before the end of the Safety Car lap. The Ford Mondeo dived into the pitlane and the race resumed with the loss of only 1 lap.
At the restart Michael Devaney put his Mygale alongside his teammate Esteban Guerrieri as they dived into Paddock Hill. The Argentine held the place but Devaney then fell into the clutches of Gonzalez, who moved ahead of the Irishman at Druid's.
At the front Asmer moved ahead of Jelley and Kennard, with Maro Engel holding off Niall Breen. Gonzalez started to reel in Breen and caught him on lap 12 and went around the outside of the Irish driver at Hawthorn's in a great move to finish lap 13 in 5th place.
Another driver on the move was Mario Moraes moving into the points by passing Greg Mansell on lap 12 and then moved up a further place when Guerrieri had to pit with a slipping clutch. Atte Mustonen, who had rejoined at the back of the field after stalling on the grid was coming back through the National Class field and on lap 17 was challenging Grubmuller for the final championship point.
By now Gonzalez was now on terms with Engel and challenging the German for 4th place. The two cars crossed the line side by side, with the Venezuelan driving around the outside of Engel at Paddock Hill to move ahead.
In the National Class Cheng had Perez breathing down his neck for most the race but on the notoriously difficult Brands Hatch circuit Perez couldn't find a way to overtake his rival. Viktor Jensen had made a great start to move ahead of Mike Meadows and after a long battle he scored his 5th podium of the 2007 season.
Lap 20 saw Mustonen attack Grubmuller out of Druid's and into Graham Hill but the Austrian held on, with the Finn over cooking it on the last lap, dropping four places at the chequered flag.
Marko Asmer took the chequered flag, posting a new British F3 lap record for the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in the process. Stephen Jelley and Jonathan Kennard were happy to return to the podium after the trials of Monza. Rodolfo Gonzalez was pleased with his best finish of the season so far in 4th and the 2006 British F3 National Champion was hopeful that the pace shown could be translated into a podium finish in Round 12.