Hartley Doubles Up and Leads Home a Carlin 1-2-3 Brendon Hartley added a second win at Thruxton in Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series with a lights to flag victory from pole position. The New Zealander finished just ahead of...
Hartley Doubles Up and Leads Home a Carlin 1-2-3
Brendon Hartley added a second win at Thruxton in Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series with a lights to flag victory from pole position. The New Zealander finished just ahead of Carlin teammate Oliver Turvey, the Racing Steps Foundation backed driver keeping the leader honest for the entire 24-lap race. Jaime Alguersuari finished a great day for the Carlin team in third place. Steven Guerrero took his first National Class win with a fighting drive to the flag against Jay Bridger and it marks the first win in British F3 for a Columbian since Juan Pablo Montoya.
At the start it was almost a rerun of the first race with Oliver Turvey attacking his pole sitting teammate Brendon Hartley into the Complex for the first time, but the difference this time was the New Zealander held the advantage and covered the racing line. Beind them Nick Tandy passed Marcus Ericsson for third but unfortunately the two clashed at the Chicane, breaking the front wishbone on the Swedes Dallara and forcing both cars into retirement.
While at the front of the field Hartley was able to maintain a 0.5 second gap to Turvey other drivers were on the move. Sebastian Hohenthal passed John Martin on lap 3, with Henry Arundel and Philip Major moving up a place on the next lap.
In the National Class pole position holder Jay Bridger had a bad first lap, dropping behind Steven Guerrero but setting the scene for a titanic struggle for the Class lead. Andy Meyrick, who had started on the back row of the grid after a disaster in qualifying, was soon on the move and by lap 3 was tagged onto the back of the Guerrero / Bridger battle. For the next 10 laps this three way dog fight continued with none of the drivers making the mistake that would allow their rival an advantage.
Michael Devaney and Sergio Perez were also nose to tail for 4th place, with the Mexican snatching the place with an inside move at the Chicane on lap 9. At the front Hartley started to open up a small gap to Turvey, which had grown to 1.5 seconds by lap 13.
Sebastian Hohenthal was coming under pressure from John Martin and Atte Mustonen, the Australian overtaking the Swede on lap 12 and the Finn attempted the same move at the Chicane on the next lap. However the two cars collided and Mustonen was left stranded on the outside of the Chicane, bringing out the Safety Car and bunching the field back up.
The Safety Car stayed out until lap 17 when racing resumed with Hartley pulling away from Turvey and Alguersuari. Hohenthal also used the restart to retake 6th from Martin. With the chequered flag approaching the cars at the head of the field settled into rhythm. In the National Class the contrast couldn't be greater. Bridger had managed to find a way around the Columbian but Guerrero wasn't going to be denied his first win. The T Sport Dallara retook the lead on lap 20 and held it to the flag despite many attempts from the Englishman.
Brendon Hartley scored his second win of the day and his third British F3 win, ahead of Carlin teammates Oliver Turvey and Jamie Alguersuari. Sergio Perez finished 4th to leave Thruxton with a 1-point lead in the Championship over Alguersuari.
Channel 4 and Motors TV will be showing highlights from the two races at Thruxton in the coming weeks.