Toronto, Canada (June 23, 2002): Billy Asaro of Unionville, Ontario (Canada), finished second today in the Scholarship Class of a British Formula Three a race at Castle Combe Race Circuit. The second-place finish, this afternoon, marked a good ...
Toronto, Canada (June 23, 2002): Billy Asaro of Unionville, Ontario (Canada), finished second today in the Scholarship Class of a British Formula Three a race at Castle Combe Race Circuit. The second-place finish, this afternoon, marked a good rebound for Asaro who suffered a disappointing result in another race earlier in the day.
In qualifying, held yesterday on the 2.98-km (1.85-mile)-long road course east of Bristol, England, Asaro qualified fourth and third, respectively, in class and the twenty-year-old hoped to put an end to a recent run of bad luck. His misfortunes reached a zenith three weeks ago at Silverstone where, after qualifying first in class, he sat on the pitlane when the race started and missed five laps as his crew worked to stop a fluid leak in his clutch system.
In the first race at Castle Combe, Asaro quickly moved into third place, but spun off at the final corner of lap three. Admitting to following the cars ahead too closely and losing downforce, he slid off the circuit and came to rest in an adjacent cornfield.
"I was trying to stay close to the guys ahead so I could get a draft on the straight, but I got too close and it took a lot of air off the wings," Asaro recalled. "I spun and ended up in the corn. When I stopped, I couldn't even see the track!"
Somehow, Asaro found his way back to the circuit and headed for the pits to have debris removed from his car. He soon rocketed back out onto the track and set times worthy of a top finish, but the delays had put him well out of contention and he finished eighth in class.
In race two, he fared much better, finishing second, but felt he should have won. Going for second place on the opening lap, he was repeatedly run off the track as Karun Chandhok vigorously defended the position. In fact, Chandhok was so preoccupied with Asaro that he forgot there were other cars on the track and several went by. Asaro finally won the battle and dispensed with Chandhok, but had lost a lot of ground. Teammate, Adam Carroll, led the Scholarship Class and there were several Championship Class cars between them, but Asaro wanted the win. He made some excellent passes, but was unable to catch Carroll.
"I was thinking about the passes, setting them up well," he said. "Guys were blocking and I was making counter moves. It was fun, exciting and I'm very happy to have achieved a second-place finish today. Unfortunately, I was held up a lot at the beginning of the race and, if not for that, I'm sure I would have won this afternoon. Still, second place feels good and I hope this will mark the end of my dry spell. I think I have deserved more finishes like this.
"Sweeney Racing have done great job with the cars for my teammate and I all season," he continued. "I've had some bad luck, but that's going to happen and you just have to keep at it until things start going your way again. Hopefully, things have turned around for me now."
Asaro will be gunning for victory next weekend when the British Formula Three series returns to Brands Hatch where Asaro began the season by taking pole position and victory in his Formula Three debut.