Bahraini racing driver Salman Al Khalifa kicked off his season with a National Class podium at the British F3 International Series opener at Oulton Park. In cold, damp conditions at the Cheshire circuit, the T-Sport driver took second place in...
Bahraini racing driver Salman Al Khalifa kicked off his season with a National Class podium at the British F3 International Series opener at Oulton Park.
In cold, damp conditions at the Cheshire circuit, the T-Sport driver took second place in race 2, his sixth career Formula 3 class podium, finishing just behind double race winner Andrew Meyrick.
Al Khalifa enjoyed an encourage qualifying session, starting third and second for the double-header, but suffered frustration in race 1 after a small mistake four laps into the race. Having leapfrogged Jay Bridger and Championship class runner John Martin early on, Al Khalifa ran strongly in the opening stages. Unfortunately an error under braking in the slippery conditions caused him to spin and end his race beached at the Shell Hairpin.
Race 2 was a far more fruitful affair for the ex-Formula BMW Asia champion. Starting second, he chased leader Meyrick throughout the opening stages and in turn pulled out a healthy gap over the rest of the National Class field. A Safety Car period with six laps to go wiped out his advantage, but Al Khalifa held off a charging Niall Quinn in the closing stages to secure second place.
Al Khalifa said: "I'm pleased to have started the year with a podium, although a little annoyed at my mistake in race 1. Sometimes after a long winter lay off you can be a little over eager when the season begins and I think that was the case. However we were strong in race 2 and the performance we showed, in difficult conditions, certainly bodes well for the rest of the season."
T-Sport Team Principal Russell Eacott added: "Nothing comes easy in F3 and to have someone like Meyrick in the field should make for a great battle with Salman. I know he was frustrated about what happened in race 1, but Salman did exactly what he needed to do in race 2 to take second place and 15 points."
-credit: al khalifa