British Formula 3

Jaz rocks to regain Formula 3 championship lead

Jazeman Jaafar followed up his Pau top score with an undisputed race victory in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Rockingham this afternoon, the Malaysian leading from start to finish to regain the championship lead.

The Malaysian 19-year-old seized control of the race on the startline, making a phenomenal getaway in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin Dallara from third on the grid to snick past pole man Jack Harvey. Jazeman was quick to put clean air between himself and his pursuers, made no errors in the ensuing 22 laps and crossed the line 2.1s ahead for the win.

“It’s incredible,” said Jazeman. “I don’t know how to sum it up in a sentence. It’s an amazing feeling to lead right from the start and stay consistent and not make any mistakes for the whole race. The start was great: there was not so much grip on my side of the track, but I was ready to go, all set, and then I saw Jack had a poor start and I went for it and dived up his inside.”

Harvey’s slow getaway from the pole was matched by Fortec man Alex Lynn in P2, and he slipped back to fifth away from the line before bravely reasserting himself into the Deene hairpin and recapturing second spot, which position he held to the flag. “It looked like me and Jack had the same problem at the start,” said Alex. “It was a bad start and I got swamped and then I just had a really good first corner – stuck my nose down the inside. it was all a bit of a mess really, and came out in second. I’m happy to finish second. Tomorrow largely depends on what the weather brings. If it’s dry we might see some more processional races, and if it’s wet, anything could happen.”

Felix Serralles was another gainer from the first-lap Deene mayhem, the Puerto Rican slipping up to third and holding on in front of his Fortec team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk for the duration of the race.

After a brush with his team-mate Pietro Fantin on the dash away from the lights, disappointed pole man Harvey established himself in fifth and led Pietro home.

Three drivers were put to the back of the grid after transgressing track limits in qualifying – erstwhile championship leader Carlos Sainz, Harry Tincknell and Pipo Derani. Tincknell made the better job of improving his lot, the Devonian finishing seventh for Carlin, ahead of Sainz, whose Dallara suffered damage in a third-lap clash with the car of Double R driver Fahmi Ilyas.

Ilyas later came together with T-Sport’s Nick McBride and retired; McBride was able to continue on to ninth, ahead of Derani, who survived a fourth-lap brush with the car of Geoff Uhrhane (Double R) which left the Australian sidelined.

Post-race, stewards docked McBride and Sainz 30-second penalties for not observing track limits, dropping Carlos to ninth and Nick to 10th among the international men.

T-Sport’s Spike Goddard led his class rival Duvashen Padayachee (Double R) home for National class honours, with Padayachee an ever-present threat in his mirrors. Less than a second separated them at the line.



Jason Plato set a qualifying lap record to grab pole position for the first of tomorrow’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.

Plato left it right until the end of a highly exciting session to post a best time of 1m26.872s in his KX Momentum Racing MG6 and pip arch rival Matt Neal to pole by just 0.077s. Neal’s time of 1m26.949s in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic was also beneath the old record.

So too were the times set by Robert Collard, third in his eBay Motors BMW and Andrew Jordan, fourth in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.

Significantly, all these times were set in less than ideal track conditions with a number of damp patches still on the circuit. Furthermore, championship leader Plato’s time was set in a car carrying the maximum 45kgs of success ballast.

The former double Champion from Oxford commented: “I put the team under a bit of pressure in that session – I ran wide at Lodge corner on my first run and on my second was off the track and through the puddles at Cascades. It all came down to that final run – Matt had just set a very good time but we thought it still might just be possible so it was all or nothing on that last lap.”

Worcestershire’s Neal, the reigning Champion, added: “I was on track at the end and I knew Jason was as well – I was sure he had something up his sleeve and suddenly the team started telling me over the radio he was setting best sector times. I was warming up a new set of tyres for what was going to be my final run but couldn’t get across the line in time to respond.”

And said Hampshire’s Collard: “I’m very happy with third. All I need now is one of my demon starts tomorrow but it’s a very narrow circuit at Oulton – I went from fifth to first at Donington Park but whether I can squeeze between Jason and Matt at the start here… I think that gap might close very quickly.”

Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden was fifth fastest while, just a few places behind, Daniel Welch qualified a career-best eighth in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona. 

Canada Qualifying


Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:14.442)

“We were clear about the car today and able to improve step by step in qualifying. I’m very happy

with the result and the laps at the end of qualifying, as we were able to improve each time. It puts us in

a great place, but nevertheless tomorrow is more important. We put ourselves in a good position, eight

metres ahead of Lewis and then we go from there. It’s supposed to be hotter tomorrow, so it’s important

to get a good start and see what we can do. A lot of things can happen.”


Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P4, 1:14.724)

“I’m surprised I’m in fourth – it wasn’t the smoothest session, so I’m actually quite surprised to be there. I

wasn’t super happy with the last few runs in terms of confidence in the car and that means you don’t

get the most out of yourself, so fourth is okay. It’s a long race and we’re up there. Seb did a very good

lap. The car’s good here and the weather should be good tomorrow for the race.”


CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A strong team performance today. Sebastian looked really competitive

throughout qualifying, going quickest on his first run in Q3 and improving slightly on his second run to

take pole position for tomorrow. Mark also had a strong qualifying and will line up on the second row

of the grid, we had a small issue with a tyre blanket on his last run, but nonetheless he did an excellent

job and to be starting on pole and the second row is a great for tomorrow’s grand prix.”


(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT: “What a lap from Sebastian today, it was very solid. Mark was a bit

behind, but I think he will be up there tomorrow also. It’s good how the team has reacted to the start of

the season and got the pole today. Engine-wise, we know there are many straights on this circuit so it

works the engine a lot. There is also the hairpin which is difficult as it has a low RPM; it’s not that easy

but we managed it quite well and we got this result.”

Motorsports Mondial


Kimi Räikkönen: “It was an okay day for us. We expected rain in the afternoon so we used the super soft tyres in the morning to make sure we could do some long runs, and we completed everything we needed to do today as the rain didn’t come until later. I’m not 100% happy with my setup and I think we’re missing a trick somewhere. It’s not a major issue, but I know we can go faster. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, anything can happen and hopefully it’s a little warmer as that usually seems to help.”

Romain Grosjean: “Today was my first time at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and I really enjoyed it. It’s not an easy track, and the weather wasn’t what we’re expecting for the rest of the weekend so it’s a shame not to get some running in warmer conditions. We’ve spent a lot of time learning how the car behaves here and trying a few different things with the setup. We have a good amount of data, but obviously we’ll need to work just as hard tomorrow if the temperatures are higher. The car felt good and we did a few laps on the super soft tyres as well, so overall it was quite a useful day.”

Pastor Maldonado: We completed all of the things that we had planned for the session so we have had a productive day and are in a good place heading into the weekend. We still need to work on the set-up to get the right balance, but overall the car felt good and was consistent, particularly on the long runs. We have also brought some upgrades to this race and they were performing well which is encouraging.

Bruno Senna: It was a difficult day today. I had DRS issues during the morning session and have limited experience of this circuit so today was about getting my eye in and seeing how far I can push the car. Obviously I pushed too hard towards the end of P2 and hit the wall, which is disappointing. Nevertheless we have made some improvements on the overall package and tomorrow morning I can go out and try to fine tune the set-up to get a good result on Sunday.

Paul Di Resta: “The weather was a bit of a worry today with the constant threat of rain so we had a very busy morning and probably did more laps in FP1 than we normally would. The initial baseline of the car was good and we worked on improving things further with each run. By the end of the day I was very happy with the feel of the car in terms of balance. Of course the ambient conditions are expected to change overnight and we need to see how that impacts us tomorrow, but based on today’s performance I think we can target Q3 if everything comes together.” 

Nico Hulkenberg: “I enjoyed both sessions and ended the day with a very positive feeling. The balance of the car is where we want it to be and the changes we made to during the lunch break seemed to take us in the right direction. There is still a lot of homework to do this evening and room to improve things further, but it’s been a good start to the weekend.”

Michael Schumacher: “Our work was pretty typical of a normal Friday, however we used the softer tyre this morning to make sure that we could complete our full programme in case of rain later on. This afternoon, we then concentrated more on the set-up and balance. I had a good feeling in the car but it’s too early to make any predictions for the weekend so we will have a good look at all the data this evening and go from there. I really enjoy this track so it’s nice to drive here again.”

Nico Rosberg: “We had a good day today, although the track temperatures were quite cold which should not be the same over the weekend. This made it a little more difficult to warm up the tyres, but we were able to collect some good data on our long runs and have a lot of information to look at. It’s a great track here and I’m really enjoying being in Montreal.”