Asaro hamstrung by mechanical woes. Toronto, Canada (May 13, 2002): Formula Three driver Billy Asaro toiled for results at the wheel of an ailing car in British Formula Three action at Knockhill, Scotland, May 11-12. The twenty-year-old ...
Asaro hamstrung by mechanical woes.
Toronto, Canada (May 13, 2002): Formula Three driver Billy Asaro toiled for results at the wheel of an ailing car in British Formula Three action at Knockhill, Scotland, May 11-12. The twenty-year-old Canadian, from Unionville, Ontario, was blighted by mysterious mechanical problems and was only able to achieve a sixth-place finish in a pair of races held a the short, tight circuit. The Knockhill track is only 2.018km (1.254 miles) long and passing is so difficult that the two Formula Three divisions, Championship and Scholarship, which normally race together, were split to have their own races.
Asaro and his Sweeney Racing teammate, Adam Carroll, set midpack times during practice on Friday, but were making steady progress. By the time they qualified for race one on Saturday morning, the Sweeney drivers were third and fourth, and confident that they would both be fastest in the second qualifying session. Unfortunately, while Carroll took pole with a lap time of 47.471 seconds, Asaro, six-tenths of a second slower, gridded eighth.
"That was my fault," Asaro said, "I screwed up the second session by pushing too hard. The car was good though. We kept working at it and making it better all the time."
Come race time, however, mechanical glitches came into play. Asaro chugged away from the start of race one, his car voicing pain with the sound of grinding metal. He dropped to tenth and, despite strange noises and odd behaviour from the engine as the race progressed, battled back to finish sixth.
The problem undiagnosed or repaired before race two, Asaro and his team hoped for the best as the cars gridded up for race two. The difficulty at the start recurred and Asaro was dead last as he trudged away, but he caught the tailenders by the end of the first lap and began to pick his way through. As he worked on his comeback, a car ahead of him spun and, with no chance to go around, Asaro ran into the wayward car. After hobbling to the pits for some quick repairs, he returned to the track, but was back in the pits after nine laps of the 28-lap race and retired for good. Team mechanics will disassemble the car at the Sweeney Racing home base and find out what went wrong.
"The second race was disappointing because I could have made up some ground and got some points, but the first race was exciting," Asaro said this morning. "Sixth place normally wouldn't make me very happy, but I made some really good passes. There was a pass at corner one that was amazing. It was pretty thrilling."
Next up for the British Formula Three Championship is the Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, May 25-26.