Alvaro Parente led from lights-to-flag in round fifteen of the British F3 International Series. The Carlin Motorsport driver started in pole position and pulled out a significant advantage over the opening laps to comfortably take his eighth win...
Alvaro Parente led from lights-to-flag in round fifteen of the British F3 International Series. The Carlin Motorsport driver started in pole position and pulled out a significant advantage over the opening laps to comfortably take his eighth win of the season. Charlie Kimball, also of Carlin Motorsport, finished in second place with Fortec Motorsport driver Mike Conway completing the podium in third.
"The start was good, but not very good, but I had a good first corner and I managed to pull away a bit during the first corner," said Parente. "Then I was able to pull away during the first few laps."
Parente made a great start from pole position while Asmer, alongside him, got away slowly and was passed by the fast-starting Kimball. Dan Clarke also made a good getaway from seventh place in his Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara but he clipped the Promatecme F3 Lola of Steven Kane who was alongside him and this pitched Kane and also Clarke's team-mate Bruno Senna into the pitwall, putting Kane and Senna out of the race and bringing out the Safety Car.
Parente was leading with Kimball, Conway, Marko Asmer, Clarke, Danilo Dirani, James Walker, Christian Bakkerud, Ryan Lewis and Tim Bridgman lining up behind.
The race restarted on lap four and Parente, Kimball and Conway entered the first corner all nose-to-tail but Parente edged away over the course of the lap. Dirani pushed Clarke hard around Stowe and Club and took several unusual lines in an attempt to pass and this allowed Walker to close up too. Clarke then pulled out a small gap leaving Dirani and Walker to battle for fifth place, and Bakkerud closed up on the pair and moved by Walker on lap five.
Conway maintained the pressure on Kimball and the pair lapped closely with Conway faster in the slower sections of the circuit and Kimball responding in the faster sections of the circuit. The battle allowed Asmer to close up too and he followed Conway closely as Parente pulled away at the front setting fastest laps of the race. Kimball edged away slightly and this forced Conway on to the defensive as he set personal fastest laps to maintain the gap ahead of Asmer.
There were several battles further down the field as well with Bakkerud following Walker closely for seventh place and, immediately behind them, Lewis and Bridgman fighting for ninth place. Inevitably the two battles closed-up and became one long queue of cars all fighting for seventh place.
Walker made a mistake and dropped to the back of the group in tenth place and Bridgman also got past Lewis to move up to seventh. Dirani gradually closed the gap to Clarke and on the final lap the pair were less than a second apart put Clarke was just able to hold on to finish in fifth place.
Ronayne O'Mahony was forced to pit early in the race and dropped to the back of the field although he put in a strong performance in an attempt to achieve the fastest race lap. Karl Reindler, the 2004 Australian Formula Three champion who was making his debut in the British series, retired from the race with clutch failure.
Parente, Kimball and Conway were first, second and third respectively in the championship going into the race so the gaps between each driver increased. Parente now leads the championship with 213 points, ahead of Kimball with 155 points and Conway third with 126 points.