RED FLAG HAMPERS HITECH'S MASTERS QUALIFYING Hitech Racing fell foul of the red flag situation in today's vital qualifying for the prestigious Zandvoort Masters of Formula 3 at Zolder, which wrecked Marko Asmer's flying lap in the dying...
RED FLAG HAMPERS HITECH'S MASTERS QUALIFYING
Hitech Racing fell foul of the red flag situation in today's vital qualifying for the prestigious Zandvoort Masters of Formula 3 at Zolder, which wrecked Marko Asmer's flying lap in the dying minutes of the session. The current leaders of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series looked set for a top six finish when the Estonian had posted the fastest times in the first two sectors.
However as the 23 year-old prepared to knuckle down to what looked like being a sixth quickest time, the red flag was displayed, ending his chances and on the restart his Kumho tyres were past their best, his time unable to be improved upon. The youngster will start tomorrow's 28-lap race from the eighth row, a disappointing result, after being consistently quick in the free practice and pre-qualifying sessions.
Marko's young team-mate Austrian Walter Grubmuller, competes for the first time against the cream of the European F3 drivers, and his first time on the Kumho tyres favoured by the Euroseries runners. These factors combined prevented the 18 year-old from progressing into the top 20 pre-qualifiers and he will line-up tomorrow on row 16.
The top 12 places on the grid are occupied by Euroseries drivers more used to the Kumho rubber used in that championship compared to the British runners who favour Avon tyres. Marko is the third quickest of the British series drivers, and will be hoping for a repeat of the storming drive he had last time at Spa, where he progressed from 30th to sixth.
"We took new tyres early and on the third lap on new tyres we set the fastest first and second sector but the red flag came out before we were able to complete the lap," said team principal David Hayle. "We would have done a time good enough for the top six but obviously it didn't stand because of the red flag. When we went back out the time wasn't in the tyres any more and we were not able to go any quicker, therefore we dropped down the board as other people took on new tyres. With Walter it's his first time on the international F3 stage and his first time on Kumho tyres, too many firsts and not enough experience so it really is a preparation year for the next season.
"We can see that we have a good car on old tyres but I think it will be hard for Marko to pass 15 cars on the opening lap like he did in Spa. But if we can get into the top six I think we've done a good job and Walter needs to look towards finishing as high as possible, and take the experience from this weekend forward to next year."