Sweeney Racing Snetterton race report

Carroll out of luck with Lola-Dome as Viso takes double podium. Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk played host to two gruelling F3 encounters this afternoon as the cream of Europe's young racing drivers went head-to-head for Rounds Three and Four of...

Carroll out of luck with Lola-Dome as Viso takes double podium.

Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk played host to two gruelling F3 encounters this afternoon as the cream of Europe's young racing drivers went head-to-head for Rounds Three and Four of the 2003 British Formula 3 Championship gripped by AVON Tyres.

For local team Sweeney Racing (Wymondham) it was a day of mixed emotions as its two drivers provided a heady combination of race winning action and car-breaking incidents--

The team's Lola-Dome driver, Adam Carroll (Northampton/Portadown, Co Armagh) was unable to capitalise upon two impressive qualifying performances, spinning out in the first race and then being taken out in dramatic fashion on the opening lap of race two.

And South American teenage sensation Ernesto Viso (Cambridge/Caracas, Venezuela), managed to claw his way back from a brace of disappointing grid positions to take an authoritative win in Round Three -- and an equally worthy second place in Round Four.

Championship Class -- Adam Carroll (GBR) Lola-Dome F106 Opel-Spiess
Round Three: 12th (Q 5)
Round Four: DNF (Q 7)

Round Three
Swamped at the start of the 20-lap race, Carroll got muscled down to eighth place during the opening lap. Undeterred, the gritty young Irishman was right on the tail of the leading pack and looking poised to pounce on Robert Dahlgren for seventh when he lost all rear end grip in the notorious Bombhole Corner and spun out of position. Rejoining way down the order, in 21st, Carroll set about trying to work his way back through the pack, hoping to make the most of the first of two Safety Car periods on lap eight. Having played the re-start to perfection, Carroll leapt up to 15th but no sooner had the field gone green, that the Safety Car was mobilised once again for another on-track incident. Unable to make such an impression for the second restart, Carroll kept out of trouble over the final few laps, securing 12th position at the flag.

Round Four
The unlucky Carroll lasted just two corners in the last of the afternoon's F3 clashes. Having claimed sixth place with a solid move down the inside of Ernani Judice into Sear Corner, Carroll was suddenly a passenger as Judice lunged back across the Lola-Dome, tipping Carroll sky high as his car reared up over the Brazilian's Dallara. As his car bounced back down, the unlucky Carroll was sent spearing into Ronnie Bremer and then the tyre wall. An unfortunate end to a tough weekend for Carroll.

Said Carroll:
"What can I say? After our progress in qualifying, I was hoping to secure a couple of good results today, but everything went wrong. We're now looking forward, not back, and I'm confident we shall continue moving in the right direction for Croft in two weeks time."

Scholarship Class -- Ernesto Viso (VEN) Dallara F301 Mugen-Honda
Round Three: WON (Q 5)
Round Four: 2nd (Q 4)

Round Three
An aggressive opening couple of laps from the South American teenager saw Viso up to third in class and running 14th overall at the end of lap three. Hot on the gearbox of Christian England and class leader Ivor McCullough, Viso nevertheless held a watching brief for the mid section of the race as his rivals got tangled up with Championship Class runners. And Viso's tactics played dividends when, on lap eight, McCullough went off at the Bombhole. A Safety Car period then followed as the marshals worked to recover the stricken car and, when the field went green, Viso's strategy again came to the fore as class leader England had a coming together with Championship Class runner Michael Keohane at the Esses and retired. Viso, now promoted to race leader, kept his head over the remaining few laps to take a well-deserved debut Scholarship Class victory.

Round Four
Viso made a tremendous start, launching his Dallara off the line and in immediate pursuit of his Scholarship Class rivals. Having dispatched the fast-starting Ivor McCullough into the first corner, Viso also made short shrift of Justin Sherwood on the opening lap and was up from fifth to third position in class as the Safety Car was deployed for Carroll's accident at Sear Corner. Once racing resumed, Viso had his mirrors full of McCullough, but he kept the Meritus Racing driver at bay, gradually narrowing the gap to class leaders Christian England and Steven Kane. With England falling down the order soon after, Viso was promoted to second but McCullough wasn't giving up -- and the young Venezuelan had a tough battle over the final few laps to maintain his position. But maintain it he did, taking the flag in a hard-fought and valuable second position in class, just three seconds behind class winner Kane.

Enthused Viso: "I think we've had a good result today, especially considering my grid positions, which were not great. I've scored loads more points than anyone else today and will be aiming to do the same at Croft next time out."


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About this article
Series BF3
Drivers Michael Keohane , Justin Sherwood , Ernani Judice , Ivor McCullough , Adam Carroll , Ronnie Bremer , Christian England , Robert Dahlgren , Steven Kane , Ernesto Viso