Engel so close to first win Aldershot (UK) 28 July 2006. The notorious Spa weather played a part in the outcome of today's F3 encounter when a thunderstorm closed in on the circuit as the British championship runners lined up for the first of ...
Engel so close to first win
Aldershot (UK) 28 July 2006. The notorious Spa weather played a part in the outcome of today's F3 encounter when a thunderstorm closed in on the circuit as the British championship runners lined up for the first of two races on the classic Belgian track. The canny Carlin team elected to start pole-sitter Maro Engel and sixth placed starter Oliver Jarvis on dry tyres whilst bringing Christian Bakkerud ( 7th ) in to the pits for wet tyres resulting in a pit lane start and a tricky drive through the field.
In difficult conditions, Maro Engel led the race throughout in great style, but the German succumbed to a last corner pass from Dutchman Yelmer Buurman when Maro, defending his lead, made a mistake at the Bus Stop Chicane and Buurman took the chequered flag by a whisker from the bitterly disappointed Engel.
Maro Engel Race 1 - P2
"Well I must first of all say, this has been a mega weekend for me so far. Two pole positions and one second place is fantastic considering that I am a rookie in the British F3 Championship and I have never been to Spa before. My team of mechanics and my engineer Matt have done a super job and the car has been great all weekend. With regards to today's race, I'm definitely very disappointed to have lost out on a maiden victory but Yelmer was clearly quicker at the end of the race and I made a small mistake which gave him the chance to pass. Fortunately I have another chance tomorrow to do better and I intend to give my best and fingers crossed I can pull it off this time. "
Oliver Jarvis Race 1 - P 5
"Today's race was a tricky one. Many drivers and teams decided to go for wets but we decided on slicks, the same as my team mate Maro as I was starting 6th. I was second until Yelmer managed to overtake and I kept my third until the rain started to fall heavily and the cars on wet tyres benefited. I think in the end most of the cars on wet tyres were almost 10 seconds a lap quicker than those of us on slicks. Considering that I started 6th and finished 5th it isn't too bad but I most certainly need to keep the pace up tomorrow as Conway managed to pull away slightly today in the points table and Senna is now only 2 points behind me. "
Christian Bakkerud Race 1 - P7
"I'm reasonably happy with today's race. There was rain in the air when we lined up on the grid and some teams put wets on their cars but not until I came around on the green flag lap did I realise the extent of the rain and Mark, my engineer, and I decided to put wets on and start from the pit lane. Starting last and finishing in 7th position isn't too bad and I finally got some points that I think I deserve. "
Keiko Ihara Race 1 - P 12
"We made the right choice putting wet tyres on whilst on the grid which I think was the optimal decision. It's a shame I didn't get a point in today's race which is disappointing but in the first part of the race before it started to rain heavily, I was quite slow as I got used to the track conditions. I hope tomorrow will bring another point or two and I'm looking forward to building on today's performance."
Team Principal Trevor Carlin
"My heart goes out to Maro. He drove a super race in very difficult conditions and didn't put a foot wrong until that last corner. Tomorrow, Maro has a good chance, starting from pole position, to atone for today's error and I'm very confident that he will do so. Oliver was a bit unlucky too because he was defending well but succumbed to some serious pressure on the last lap. I thought that Christian did well to come through the field and take seventh, he deserves some points after a lot of misery in recent races. Keiko kept it all together and drove very sensibly and she will be disappointed that she has not been rewarded with a point.
We gave a debut to a young Brazilian today, Mario Moraes who has taken over our National Class car and with minimal testing and no previous experience of note finished second in class. We started him on slicks because of his grid position but at the end the wets were much quicker and he had no chance to defend his lead. A most impressive debut though and I'm looking forward to seeing how he gets on tomorrow in his second race. "