Atte Mustonen makes his debut in British F3 Problems on the grid spoil a promising race meeting Raikkonen Robertson Racing (RR) F3 driver Atte Mustonen finished the first of the Easter Monday's races in eigth place, and the second in 14th ...
Atte Mustonen makes his debut in British F3
Problems on the grid spoil a promising race meeting
Raikkonen Robertson Racing (RR) F3 driver Atte Mustonen finished the first of the Easter Monday's races in eigth place, and the second in 14th place. Oulton Park was the venue for this opening round of the British F3 International Championship, which is this year being contested by 22 drivers. The series consists of 22 rounds, held at 11 race meetings.
Atte got his first ever taste of the Oulton Park track during untimed practice on Friday. Both qualifying sessions were held back to back on Saturday, resulting in the following start positions for Monday morning's race: Carlin Motorsport's Maro Engel on pole, RR's Stephen Jelley second on the grid and Fortec Motorsport's Sebastian Hohenthal third. Atte was aiming to qualify in sixth position, but had to settle for a respectable seventh for his first ever F3 race. However Mustonen went one better in the second qualifying session, claiming sixth position on the grid for the afternoon's race. Pole position was taken by Atte's team-mate Jonathan Kennard, with another RR driver, Stephen Jelley claiming second and Fortec's Sebastian Hohenthal third.
The first race was held on Monday morning in dry conditions. Atte was planning on moving up the order from his start position of seventh on the grid. However things didn't go according to plan, and Mustonen dropped 3 places as the cars left the grid. He later fought his way back up the order to finish eight. The race was won by pole position man Maro Engel, with Marko Asmer a credible second from fourth on the grid, and Stephen Jelley third.
The day's second race was held on a drizzly afternoon, and got off to a dramatic start due to a 3 car crash. This set the tone for the whole race, which had to be re-started twice. The last re-start put paid to Atte's chances of a strong finish, his car's clutch overheating on the grid allowing the other racers to pass him. Atte eventually managed to get up to speed, and finished 14th. The drama filled race was won by Marko Asmer, with Stephen Jelley second and Sebastian Hohenthal third.
"Qualifying went relatively smoothly -- I could have gone quicker, but we went out with a larger fuel load, which dropped speeds somewhat. As for the actual races, I lost any chance of a good result at the starts; we haven't practised starts at all. It's a shame, because otherwise I was fast enough to finish higher up the order," said Atte after his first ever F3 race meeting.
The next race will be held at Donington on 22.4.