DOUBLE TOP TEN MAINTAINS ASMER'S SERIES LEAD Hitech Racing's Marko Asmer took two points scoring finishes in rounds 17 and 18 of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Thruxton today to maintain a healthy 72 point advantage...
DOUBLE TOP TEN MAINTAINS ASMER'S SERIES LEAD
Hitech Racing's Marko Asmer took two points scoring finishes in rounds 17 and 18 of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Thruxton today to maintain a healthy 72 point advantage at the head of the points standings. Despite struggling with straight-line speed in both 24-lap races, Asmer finished ninth and fifth while his rookie team-mate took 10th in race one but spun out of race two when oversteer caught him out at the Complex mid-way through.
For the Silverstone-based championship leaders, there was some consolation in that the two main series rivals didn't fare much better, Maro Engel taking third and fourth to close the gap by just 12 points, while Sam Bird failed to finish both races, putting the title out of his grasp.
Race one saw Walter start from eighth, just ahead of Marko, and at the lights a good start by both drivers saw Marko up into seventh but a collision in the pack ahead of Walter saw him drop down the field crossing the line 17th at the end of lap one.
Over the course of the race, which saw a mid-race safety car period to retrieve the crashed cars of Bird and Atte Mustonen at the Complex, Marko increasingly lost pace, slowly dropping down the order to ninth at the flag. Walter meanwhile, was on a charge, despite also struggling with straight-line speed, he managed to move through the order, passing two cars on the exit of the chicane five laps from home to move him into tenth place.
At the start of race two both Marko and Walter made good getaways, Marko up to fourth with Walter holding position until a touch from another car damaged his suspension and later sent him spinning off the track. Marko drove a steady race to hold position; to take fifth place at the finish to keep his championship hopes very much on track.
David Hayle: "We just seem to have struggled all weekend with a lack of straight-line speed, the drivers can't even stay in a tow, in the speed traps we're 17th and 20th we have checked the obvious things but at the moment we have no idea what it is. We're going to have to strip the cars completely and start all over again, change everything we feel we need to change and put it all right for Croft.
"But at the end of the day the people we're chasing the championship with have not had special weekends either so we still have a 72 point advantage and they've got to do the winning and the chasing. Going to Croft we'll still try and get two poles and two wins, our philosophy is going to be exactly the same nothing's going to change, we'll just keep fighting for wins."
Marko Asmer: "It's been a very hard weekend. I was a bit scared of this one anyway to be honest. Hitech's always been good here but this year we've been really strong on normal circuits but at those with long straights like Monza and Spa and now here, we've been struggling a bit with straight line speed. I'm not exactly sure where we're going wrong or what we're doing different to the others or what I did."
Walter Grubmuller: "In the first race I had a good start off the line but then a few cars came together and I lost a few places. Then over the course of the first two laps then I touched with another car and broke my front suspension so I had to drive with that and with blisters and managed to come home tenth. In the second race I made another good start but then after the safety car I was struggling with a lot of oversteer and lost a couple of places then I just ended up losing the car coming out of the complex and couldn't restart it so that was that."