Toronto, Canada (August 18, 2002): Twenty-year-old Canadian, Billy Asaro, took a second-place finish from a pair of British Formula Three races held today at Oulton Park. The races, rounds nineteen and twenty in the 26-race championship series,...
Toronto, Canada (August 18, 2002): Twenty-year-old Canadian, Billy Asaro, took a second-place finish from a pair of British Formula Three races held today at Oulton Park. The races, rounds nineteen and twenty in the 26-race championship series, were run on a 4.456-km (2.769-mile), twelve-turn road course in Cheshire, England.
Qualifying sessions, held yesterday, provided a solid start to the weekend as Asaro gridded fourth in class for race one and third for race two. Amazingly, the top qualifiers in the Scholarship Class, including Asaro, managed to place their cars in amongst the best of the lighter, more powerful and faster Championship Class cars.
Race one, saw Asaro start well. He had climbed to third in class when the pace car came out on lap two while a disabled car was cleared from the track. As the field followed the pace car, the skies opened up and, when the race restarted on lap six, the track was soaked. Cars flew off the track in every direction and officials quickly decided to stop the race.
"I was leading the Scholarship Class when the race was stopped," said Asaro. "But they took the scoring back one lap and, at that time, Clivio Piccione was leading and I was second. It was a crap shoot when the rain came. I think everybody spun at least once, so it was a good idea to stop the race before somebody got hurt."
Asaro had not hit anything, but several drivers kept their fingers crossed, hoping their cars would be repaired in time for race two just a few hours later. Happily, a full field made it to the grid.
Asaro got a great start and thought he'd pass two or three cars on the run to turn one, but he was squeezed up against a wall, causing him to fall back. He settled into the train of cars, but soon found himself shoved off the track. He scrambled back on to the asphalt only to find a spinning car blocking the track ahead of him. He managed to avoid a collision, but ended up beached in a gravel trap and out of the race.
"Someone just pushed me off the track," said Asaro after the race. "Then, the same guy hit another car which spun and ended up right in front of me. I had a choice of crashing or going off, so I went off, but I got stuck in the gravel and that was it for me.
"I wish I'd had a few more laps here," he continued. "The first race was called early, and I didn't last long in the second race, so I didn't do a lot of racing which is too bad because I like this track. It's tricky and you have to be very precise with your braking. There's lots to gain, or lose, under braking here. The Sweeney-Racing crew was very helpful, as usual, getting me up to speed on a track that's new to me, so I owe another big thank-you to them."
There are now just three doubleheader events left in the British Formula Three Championship. The next outing is at Snetterton, August 31 to September 1.
For additional information, please contact Mark Jackson (tel: 416-402-9368 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Billy Asaro's official website can be found at www.billyasaro.com.