HITECH GIVES ASMER MAIDEN BRITISH F3 VICTORY AND SERIES LEAD Hitech Racing fulfilled its pre-season promise with a stirring victory in the second round of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Oulton Park yesterday,...
HITECH GIVES ASMER MAIDEN BRITISH F3 VICTORY AND SERIES LEAD
Hitech Racing fulfilled its pre-season promise with a stirring victory in the second round of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Oulton Park yesterday, taking Marko Asmer to his first British F3 victory. The 22 year-old Estonian, consistently the quickest in pre-season testing, made a storming start from fourth on the grid passing three cars to lead into the first corner and was never again headed.
Originally scheduled for 20 laps, two red flag stoppages saw the race reduced to ten laps and the final restart proved third time lucky for Asmer. At the first he made a slow getaway, his Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA on the second row immediately behind an oil slick left behind from a previous race. The second proved better, the Buckingham-based driver gaining two places to slot into second, but the third and final race start saw him fired up and in determined mood as he shot ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal alongside him and pole-sitter Jonathan Kennard before a daring move around the outside of front-row man Stephen Jelley as the pack filed into the first corner.
Thereafter despite coming under pressure from the Raikkonen Robertson Racing driver a couple of times, Asmer held his nerve and the place to hold on to an emotional victory for both driver and team.
Race one held in the morning, saw a similarly impressive performance from the youngster. Starting again from fourth on the grid, he made a stunning getaway at the lights to head into the first corner in second place and even the disruption of a safety car period did nothing to disturb him as he pushed eventual race winner Maro Engel to the flag, closing to within .4 of a second before settling for second place and a valuable 15 championship points.
Asmer's team-mate F3 rookie Walter Grubmuller also benefited from the third start in race two, as he went on to record a superb eighth place. The original start saw Walter start from tenth in his second ever British F3 race but contact with another car at the start dropped him down the order and he thought his race was over.
The first incident on the opening lap however offered the 18 year-old a lifeline and he once again took up his tenth place on the grid for the restart. With the depleted grid now ready for the off, Walter had hoped for a better start but it was not to be as he dropped four places, but another multi-car crash forced the race stoppage again.
At third start, Walter too was in determined mood and keen to give the Hitech team a good result. A superb start off the line saw him gain two places before the pack entered the first corner and throughout the course of the race he held off a determined charge from the experienced Rodolfo Gonzalez to take eighth.
His opening race faired less well, although he made up a place at the start, before a minor error on lap two dropped him down to 13th. He held his position to the finish, his first weekend in British motorsport producing a solid performance which left the former Formula Renault Eurocup driver in confident mood for the season ahead.
Asmer's first and second place earns him and the Hitech team a seven point lead in the championship with Grubmuller's eighth place earning him joint ninth place.
David Hayle: "I'm really pleased for Marko and everyone in the team, we have all worked so hard to get to this point and to finally get Marko's first F3 win in the UK is fantastic. In fact the whole team performance during this season so far has been excellent, for Walter to qualify in the top ten in both races and get his first points is the icing on the cake, however now the hard work really begins. We need to get Walter further up the grid and keep Marko in the lead of the Championship."
Marko Asmer: Car #7 "For myself it's great but I'm even more happy for my team, they've been working so hard and I know what it means to them and to start with this result is great, I'm just so proud of them. They took me on board, they had faith in me and I just hope I can pay it back. It's just very nice to give them this win. We've now managed to break the bad luck for the team and it's very nice to get this victory."
Walter Grubmuller: Car #6 "It was a bit disappointing to finish 13th in race one from starting tenth but now to finish eighth in race two is excellent. The team have been great I'd like to thank them all very much for their efforts. It's good to leave here with some points. After the first start I thought it was all over for me, as I made contact with another car, and then in the second I had a very bad start which put me back several positions so it was good that we had a third go. I had an excellent start then and made up two positions to get into eighth and was able to hold that place. I had some pressure from behind in the first few laps and then towards the end of the race. I'm very happy with how things have gone."