Kerr deprived of win. Robbie Kerr and Alan Docking Racing were denied their third British Formula 3 Championship race win of the season at Silverstone on Sunday after officials excluded Kerr for his part in an incident with championship ...
Kerr deprived of win.
Robbie Kerr and Alan Docking Racing were denied their third British Formula 3 Championship race win of the season at Silverstone on Sunday after officials excluded Kerr for his part in an incident with championship leader James Courtney.
Kerr led the race all the way from halfway around the first lap, but the clash with Courtney, on the fourth lap of 15, was deemed to be Robbie's fault. ADR's appeal was overturned, and a further appeal has now been lodged with British motor racing's judiciary, the Motor Sports Council.
Kerr's Dallara-Mugen Honda had qualified second for that race. He slipped to fifth on the grid in qualifying for race two in a session in which the top six were covered by just 0.149 seconds.
"That just goes to show how tight F3 is," he said. "We just had a couple of problems and I didn't get the best out of the tyres."
Courtney qualified on pole position for race one, but Kerr got the better start and the Australian was forced to sweep across to defend the inside line into Copse Corner. But Kerr had a superior exit speed and he jinked ahead into Maggotts curve.
For three laps Courtney put Kerr under massive pressure, and it all came to a head on the fourth lap. Courtney drew alongside Kerr exiting the Abbey hairpin, the two cars touched and Courtney was launched into retirement.
Kerr survived the scrape with a 1.2-second gap over Mark Taylor, which was extended so that Robbie won by more than five seconds. That was despite worries over his engine as his radiator, damaged in the collision, leaked water and sent the temperatures climbing. Kerr needed a new Mugen for race two as a result.
"I had a much better start than James and got him round the outside," said Robbie afterwards. "The car was really good and the last few laps I could afford to ease off."
But then Kerr was excluded. Talking of his decision to take the case to the MSC, team chief Alan Docking said: "The decision doesn't fit what's gone before this season. It was a racing incident. I think Robbie has been excluded for basically being on the track."
In race two, Kerr got a sluggish start from fifth on the grid and dropped to seventh. He then did well to claw his way ahead of Heikki Kovalainen to move into sixth on lap three, fending off a brief challenge from Michael Keohane before moving in to attack Bruce Jouanny by the finish. Robbie set the second fastest lap of the race, behind only race-winner Courtney.
"They held the five-second board up for ages and then the lights quickly turned to green, which caught me unawares," said Kerr. "I had my head down trying to catch Bruce but I couldn't get close enough to mount a challenge."
The battle now continues in two ways, firstly on the track in two weeks time at Castle Coombe in Wiltshire, and at the upcoming appeal hearing about this weekends incident.
1st Mark Taylor (Britain); 2nd Fabio Carbone (Brazil); 3rd Matt Gilmore (Northern Ireland); 4th Bruce Jouanny (France); 5th Michael Keohane (Ireland); 6th Ronnie Bremer (Denmark); 7th Alan van der Merwe (South Africa); 8th *Clivio Piccione (Monaco); 9th Rob Austin (Britain); 10th *Stephen Colbert (Northern Ireland); 19th Mark Mayall (Britain); 24th Tor Graves (Britain); Excluded from 1st place Robbie Kerr (Britain).
1st James Courtney (Australia); 2nd Carbone; 3rd Taylor; 4th Richard Antinucci (USA); 5th Jouanny; 6th Kerr; 7th Keohane; 8th Heikki Kovalainen (Finland); 9th Gilmore; 10th Austin; 16th Mayall; 21st Graves.
* = Scholarship Class driver; does not score points in overall championship.
1st Courtney 155; 2nd Jouanny 102; 3rd Keohane 98; 4th Kerr 90; 5th Taylor 86; 6th Kovalainen 58; 7th Carbone 54; 8th Austin 52; 9th Antinucci 44; 10th Bremer 32; 17th Mayall 4.