WEATHER: Cloudy TRACK: Dry MAXIMUM POINTS FOR TURVEY Oliver Turvey completed the double at Silverstone, taking a lights to flag victory to leave the Home of British Motor Racing with a nine point championship lead and confirmed as top British...
MAXIMUM POINTS FOR TURVEY
Oliver Turvey completed the double at Silverstone, taking a lights to flag victory to leave the Home of British Motor Racing with a nine point championship lead and confirmed as top British driver by securing the inaugural Mirror.co.uk British F3 Challenge Cup. Marcus Ericsson kept Turvey honest for the 24 lap race while Nick Tandy took his second British F3 podium on the final lap. Hywel Lloyd took a surprise National Class win after Stefan Wilson and Salman Al Khalifa collided fighting for the lead two laps from home.
The roles were reversed on the front row of the grid with Brendon Hartley lining up on pole ahead of Round 17 winner Oliver Turvey. In the earlier race it was Hartley who got ahead of pole sitter Turvey and in Round 18 history repeated itself in reverse order as Hartley's Dallara seemed to bog down and Turvey shot off the line to lead into the first corner from Marcus Ericsson, the Swede also getting a demon start from 4th on the grid. Another driver to move up on the opening lap was Sam Abay, the Australian crossing the line for the first time in 3rd place after starting 6th.
Meanwhile Hartley was furiously trying to make up ground after dropping back to 11th from pole position but overtaking at Silverstone is always tricky but he managed to pick off Max Chilton on lap 4 to move into a points scoring position. At the front Turvey and Ericsson were moving away from Abay in third as the Australian came under pressure from Nick Tandy and Sergio Perez.
As the race reached the half way stage Turvey was less than a second ahead of Ericsson, the Swede following the leaders every move. The leading pair were five seconds ahead of Abay who was doing a great job of keeping Tandy's JTR Mygale at bay who in turn had opened up a two second gap to championship leader Perez.
In the National Class Stefan Wilson was being challenged by T Sport's Salman Al Khalifa after second placed Jay Bridger got a poor start dropping to 4th behind Hywel Lloyd by the end of the opening lap. Wilson, like Turvey, was able to hold onto his lead as long as he wasn't pressurised into a mistake by the following car. Oliver Oakes was moving up through the National Class field which did break up some of the battles for a while but once Oakes had moved up they soon recommenced.
On lap 22 Al Khalifa saw an opportunity to take his first ever National Class win, putting the nose of his Dallara down the inside of Wilson's at Brooklands only for the two cars to collide, putting the Englishman's car into a spin and leaving it stranded on the track while Al Khalifa got going again but now down in third behind Lloyd and Bridger, which was how it stayed until the chequered flag came out two laps later.
In the final few laps Turvey had pulled away slightly from Ericsson while Abay was having to defend his podium place at every turn. On the final lap Tandy got ahead of Abay into Becketts but the Australian was determined to regain the place before the end of the lap and at Luffield the two cars touched with Abay coming off worse as his race ended in the gravel trap while Tandy was able to continue to the flag to claim his second podium finish in British F3.
Victory and fastest lap in both races gave Oliver Turvey a maximum haul of 42 points from the weekend and propelled the English driver into the championship lead by nine points ahead of Sergio Perez. Next up is Rounds 19 & 20 on the streets of Bucharest in Romania next weekend, with the final two races of the season at Donington Park in October.
The Silverstone races can be seen on Motors TV across Europe and also on Channel 4 in the UK. For the TV schedule and the latest championship information visit www.britishf3international.com