Fahmi Ilyas press release
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series racer Fahmi Ilyas embarks on his second season in the FIA Formula One World Championship feeder category this coming weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire – and the Malaysian 20-year-old is determined to make a big impression.
Driving a brand new Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 for former championship winning team Double R Racing, London-based Ilyas hasn’t been able to enjoy the pre-season preparation of the bulk of his rivals due to only securing his deal on the eve of the series Media Day a fortnight ago.
Despite the lack of test mileage under his belt going into the first event of the 2012 season though, Fahmi is happy with the progress made developing the new car during the two officially timed tests which were held at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit and Oulton Park.
Ahead of the first three rounds of the championship this Saturday, 7th April, the second year British F3 competitor knows the opening event of the season will provide a tough challenge but Double R has already delivered significant upgrades to the Dallara F312 and Fahmi is feeling rightly confident.
With his new car only delivered to the team’s workshops four days prior to the official test at Silverstone two weeks ago, the two-day outing there was very much about bedding-in the Dallara and gleaning as much information as possible to help with basic balance and set-up.
At Oulton Park’s International Circuit, the configuration which will be used in this weekend’s three races, Fahmi was happy with the improvements made which helped him to ninth fastest overall and not much more than a second away from the outright pace.
“We’ve obviously started late compared to everyone else but we have gained a lot of information on the car in the two tests we have had”, said the Kuala Lumpur native, “The times we achieved during the test at Oulton last week don’t show our true pace at all, we know there’s much more to come from the car and from me.
“The team has already made more improvements to the car since then and brought some good upgrades ahead of this weekend so I’m really looking forward to it. Oulton Park is a brilliant circuit, I love the uphill and downhill sections – it should be good!”
Alongside his maiden British F3 programme last year, Fahmi contested four races in the European F3 Open with the highlight being a maiden category pole position and victory at Brands Hatch. His first season of car racing was in 2009 in Formula BMW Pacific, finishing fourth in the standings, before moving into Formula BMW Europe the following year.
The 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will officially get underway this Friday, 6th April, at Oulton Park with practice and qualifying for the weekend’s three races. Rounds one, two and three will all be contested on Saturday, 7th April, at 09.55, 13.45 and 17.00 respectively.