Asmer Does the Double Marko Asmer converted his second pole position start of the day into a further win that saw him extend his championship lead to 34 points over nearest rivals Maro Engel and Stephen Jelley. In the National Class...
Asmer Does the Double
Marko Asmer converted his second pole position start of the day into a further win that saw him extend his championship lead to 34 points over nearest rivals Maro Engel and Stephen Jelley.
In the National Class Sergio Perez and Michael Meadows swapped places on the podium from Round 3 with Perez climbing onto the top step. Frankie Cheng came through to take a closely fought 3rd, which gives him a 17 point lead in the championship over Michael Meadows.
A slight drizzle had started to fall on the Donington Park race track as the cars lined up for Round 4 but certainly not enough to cause the teams to consider switching to Avon wets for the race. At the start Marko Asmer gets a good getaway but Stephen Jelley bogs down from second on the grid and the cars behind pounce to take advantage. Niall Breen moved up from 6th on the grid, while Jonathan Kennard also made rapid progress from 8th, as did Mario Moraes from 11th. There was contact between a number of cars at the bottom of Craner Curves and mayhem ensued as drivers took avoiding action in the slightly damp conditions.
The race continued as cars were pushed out of the way at the Old Hairpin and at the end of the opening lap Asmer had opened up a three second gap to Niall Breen who was in second place and Mario Moraes in third. Maro Engel was 4th but coming under pressure from Kennard. The losers in the opening lap were Jelley, who was down in 11th and Valerio who dropped from 4th to 10th.
Lap 2 saw Kennard get past Engel and Jelley moved ahead of Valerio, while Asmer continued to pull away from Breen. Jelley made further progress as he passed Michael Devaney on lap 3 but then a spin at the Old Hairpin stopped his charge in its tracks.
Another driver on the move was Rodolfo Gonzalez, the reigning British F3 National Class Champion setting the fastest lap on lap 3, having moved up from 13th to 6th place.
In the National Class Sergio Perez was having to watch his mirrors as Michael Meadows was challenging for his second win of the day, despite his Dallara understeering due to a broken front wing. However Meadows also had a problem in the form of the Dallara of 'Frankie' Cheng who was tracking his every movement on the track and these three National Class front runners were nose to tail as they each tried to exploit any weakness in their rivals.
While Marko Asmer continued to circulate at the front Mario Moraes was trying to find a way around his Carlin teammate for 2nd place, but Niall Breen was not going to be denied his first podium in British F3. Moraes then had a problem on lap 9 as Kennard challenged the Brazilian as they came into the Chicane. Moraes spun away in a cloud of smoke and was able to rejoin in 8th place, but his Carlin Motorsport Dallara soon dropped down the order and into retirement, a bitter disappointment for the rapid young Brazilian.
This promoted Kennard in 3rd but he then had Maro Engel challenging for the position. As the race entered the second half the order at the front settled down. Further down the order the drivers who had been caught out in the opening lap chaos but had been able to keep going were making progress back up the field.
Fortec's Sebastian Hohenthal was slicing his way through the backmarkers but was a lap down on the leaders. However a lap time of 1m02.283 just before the end of the race salvaged a point for the Swedish driver. His Fortec teammate Greg Mansell was also coming back up the field, picking off a number of cars on his way 10th place and a championship point.
At the chequered flag Asmer was a comfortable 4.4 seconds ahead of Breen and took the salute of his Hitech Racing team with both arms raised out of the cockpit as he crossed the line. Niall Breen held on to finish second, 0.4 seconds ahead of Jonathan Kennard, who had the consolation of picking up the Donington Park Raymond Mays trophy for the top scoring British Formula 3 driver.
Maro Engel and Carlin teammate Alberto Valerio were 4th and 5th respectively, just ahead of Rodolfo Gonzalez, the Venezuelans best finish of the year so far. Michael Devaney was 7th in the Ultimate Motorsport Mygale, rounding off a good weekend for the new manufacturer after Esteban Guerrieri finished 6th in Round 3 earlier in the day.
Atte Mustonen, Sam Bird and Greg Mansell rounded out the top 10 in the Championship Class.
The National Class trio of Perez, Meadows and Cheng stayed in that order until the flag but only 0.8 seconds separated the three protagonists, a great display of race craft by the three rookie drivers.