British Formula Three Chamionship Rounds Three and Four, Donington Park 13-14 April 2002 Robbie Kerr led the British Formula Three championship after the opening two rounds at Brands Hatch. James Courtney was in second on equal points and Bruce...
British Formula Three Chamionship
Rounds Three and Four, Donington Park
13-14 April 2002
Robbie Kerr led the British Formula Three championship after the opening two rounds at Brands Hatch. James Courtney was in second on equal points and Bruce Jouanny third after his win in round two. Donington Park in England was the scene for rounds three and four of the championship. The race was run on the national circuit, using the final chicane instead of the Grand Prix hairpin.
Michael Keohane won his first race of the season at Donington Park on Sunday. The Irishman made strong start and gradually worked his way to the front. Brands Hatch winner Bruce Jouanny finished second, and Jaguar test driver James Courtney completed the top three.
Pole-position holder James Courtney made a good start to successfully defend his position and team-mate Michael Keohane took second place from Bruce Jouanny. However scholarship class driver Adam Carroll, who qualified tenth in his year-old chassis, moved up to sixth place by the end of the first lap. Carroll then continued his amazing weekend and overtook Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen to move up to fifth place on lap two.
Courtney started to pull out a small lead and set the fasest lap of the race on the second lap, but then experienced engine problems and his pace slowed alowing Keohane and Jouanny to close up. Over the next few laps Rob Austin, in fifth gradually, edged closer towards the leading pack and Adam Carroll was able to keep this front-runners within his sights.
James valiently held position for 14 laps but then made a mistake at the final chicane and allowed to Keohane to pull up alongside and pass along the main straight. Courtney, now unsettled and without momentum, was also overtaken by Jouanny half a lap later. Jouanny then piled the pressure on the leader but Keohane responded well and took the chequered flag with less that one second covering the first three drivers. Carroll took fourth place ahead of many championship class runners.
1 Michael Keohane (Carlin Motorsport) 21:54.517
2 Bruce Jouanny (Promatecme UK) +0.684
3 James Courtney (Carlin Motorsport) +0.827
4 Adam Carroll (Sweeney Racing) +4.048
5 Rob Austin (Menu F3 Motorsport) +4.831
6 Robbie Kerr (Alan Docking Racing) +5.146
7 Heikki Kovalainen (Fortec Motorsport) +10.771
8 Fabio Carbone (Fortec Motorsport) +12.964
9 Ronnie Bremer (Manor Motorsport) +13.760
10 Alan van der Merwe (Carlin Motorsport) +14.499
Michael Keohane, fresh from victory in the first race, went out and did it again in race two. Another strong start put him in the lead on the first lap and he maintained this position all the way through the race. James Courtney, with a new engine, pushed him all the way but was unable to make a pass and eventually took second place. Robbie Kerr took a fine third place for Alan Docking Racing.
Courtney holds a 100% pole position record so far this season but his starts have often let him down. Keohane, starting from second place, pulled alongside at the start and won the drag race down to the first corner, gaining a lead that he would not loose for the rest of the race. Courtney slotted in behind with Kerr in third, Rob Austin fourth and the flying Adam Carroll in fifth.
Keohane held the lead superbly and resisted intense pressure from Courtney, who was often no more than 0.4 seconds behind the Irishman. Unfortunately their Carlin team-mate Alan van der Merwe collided with Bruce Jouanny on lap eight as Jouanny tried to pass. Both cars spun but were able to continue.
Further down the field Carroll held fifth place, unable to keep up with Rob Austin but holding a confortable gap to Kovalainen in sixth.
Kerr was able to close quite quickly on the leading pair of Courtney and Keohane but once he caught the Carlin drivers he was unable to make a challenge. He stayed about a second behind Courtney for much of the race, making a late challenge at the end of the race which James just held off.
"This is just incredible. The team has worked really hard, and to win two races in the same day is fantastic" said Keohane.
1 Michael Keohane (Carlin Motorsport) 21:45.447
2 James Courtney (Carlin Motorsport) +2.445
3 Robbie Kerr (Alan Docking Racing) +2.578
4 Rob Austin (Menu F3 Motorsport) +7.545
5 Adam Carroll (Sweeney Racing) +10.752
6 Heikki Kovalainen (Fortec Motorsport) +13.054
7 Fabio Carbone (Fortec Motorsport) +17.167
8 Mark Taylor (Manor Motorsport) +22.757
9 Clivio Piccione (T-Sport) +25.239
10 Tom Sisley (Motaworld Racing) +26.238