Hartley Blitzes Thruxton to Take Second Win of 2008 Brendon Hartley took his second win of the 2008 British F3 International Series season with a mature drive that saw the New Zealander lose out at the start only to work his way back up to the...
Hartley Blitzes Thruxton to Take Second Win of 2008
Brendon Hartley took his second win of the 2008 British F3 International Series season with a mature drive that saw the New Zealander lose out at the start only to work his way back up to the front to control the race to the flag. Marcus Ericsson recorded his third podium finish of the year and took the fastest lap of the race, finishing ahead of top British driver Oliver Turvey. In the National Class the battle between Andy Meyrick and Jay Bridger went to the chequered flag with the two separated by less than a car length in one of the best races this year.
The start saw the three Carlin cars of Jaime Alguersuari, Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey get a good getaway and they were all side-by-side as they headed into Allard for the first time. Everyon eheld their breath but Brendon Hartley elected to back off to avoid his teammates and this allowed Oliver Turvey to take the lead, ahead of Alguersuari and Hartley, who had the Dallara of John Martin right on his rear wing as they headed down to Club Chicane. Martin went around the outside of the New Zealander to take 3rd place as they crossed the line, but it didn't last long and Hartley had regained the place by the end of lap 2.
Turvey was holding the lead despite some heavy pressure from Alguersuari, who was now being caught by the recovering Hartley. The #3 Red Bull Dallara swet past the Spaniard on lap 3. Further back Marcus Ericsson was on the move in the Fortec Motorsport Dallara regaining the place he lost to Martin on the opening lap and then on lap 5 moved ahead of the Alguersuari, who was clearly struggling with the hadling of his car.
Brendon Hartley was now on the tail of the leader and it was only a matter of time before Turvey would have to give way. On lap 7 Hartley was close enough as they approached the final Chicane to dive down the inside of the Racing Steps Foundation backed car to sweep into the lead of the race. Turvey then had to defend had from the charging Ericsson, allowing the new leader to open up a small gap at the front of the field. Ericsson made his move on Turvey at the Chicane on lap 9 to move into 2nd place and the young Swede set off after Hartley.
In the National Class Andy Meyrick was able to hold his lead as the International Class cars moved ahead but this allowed Jay Bridger to close up on the leader and by the halfway point of the 24 lap race the two cars were nose to tail, with Steven Guerrero closing up to join in a three way battle for class honours.
Meanwhile back at the front Hartley was able to maintain a 1.5 second lead over Ericsson, who held a similar gap to third placed Turvey. Jaime Alguersuari lost another place as Sam Abay, who was enjoying his best race of the year so far, moved into 4th place with an inside move at the Chicane. The Spaniard clearly had a problem as he was caught and passed by Sebatian Hohenthal and then Sergio Perez and Atte Mustonen. The reason became clear on the next lap as he came into the pits with a puncture to his front left tyre, Alguersuari climbing out of the cockpit to retire.
Mustonen and Perez were having their own battle for 6th, with the Finn moving ahead a few laps from home. Meyrick and Bridger were still at it for the lead of the National Class and on lap 22 Bridger made a challenge at the Complex but Meyrick held his nerve and his place. Bridger never gave up and tried again on the last lap at the Club Chicane but once again it wasn't to be.
Brendon Hartley saw the chequered flag and saluted his Carlin teammates who lined the pitwall. Hartley finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Marcus Ericsson and a further four second in front of Oliver Turvey. Australian Sam Abay brought his Carlin Dallara home in 4th to record his best finish in British F3.