SEASON HIGH FOR AUSTRALIAN ROOKIE Rounds 11 & 12 of the 2008 British Formula 3 Championship saw Australian rookie Sam Abay claim a season high 4th place, at the ultra fast Thruxton circuit. The Oxia Carlin driver qualified a solid 7th for...
SEASON HIGH FOR AUSTRALIAN ROOKIE
Rounds 11 & 12 of the 2008 British Formula 3 Championship saw Australian rookie Sam Abay claim a season high 4th place, at the ultra fast Thruxton circuit.
The Oxia Carlin driver qualified a solid 7th for race one before a disappointing second qualifying session would leave him down in 11th place on the grid for race 2.
"The first qualifying session was reasonable, but I'm extremely annoyed having been held up by a few other drivers on my quick laps in the second session, who were either doing it deliberately, or at best weren't paying much attention to what was going on around them." added Abay.
The field of 26 cars took the start in race one under cloudy skies. From 7th on the grid Abay made a strong getaway to pass Mexican Sergio Perez on lap 1 moving to 6th position then set his sights on closing the gap to battle between Raikkonen Robertson driver John Martin and team mate Jaime Alguesuari. Abay was soon swarming over the back of his compatriot's car, with a mistake by Martin allowing the youngster through into 5th, he continued his charge after championship leader Jaime Alguesuari, passing the Spaniard one lap later for 4th. By half race distance with Abay was now closing on Carlin team mate Oliver Turvey, a maiden Formula 3 podium looking a distinct possibility. However despite reducing the gap to the Brit from 3.1 to 1.6 seconds in the last 5 laps, the Australian would have to be content with a season high 4th place.
"It's good to have secured my best result for the season. We've been up the pointy end a few times this year, but haven't converted this to results. I've learnt a lot in the first half of the season, we now need to take the next step forward." said the Australian rookie.
Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, "Sam did a fantastic job today. We always see lots of overtaking at Thruxton, it's a circuit which allows the real racers to shine through and Sam did a great job to move up to fourth. I think his first podium position in British F3 is just around the corner."
Starting back in 11th, race two would be less eventful for the youngster who managed to gain 2 positions and would eventually take home 2 more valuable championship points finishing 9th.
The next round of the 2008 British Formula 3 Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on July 11-13.