British Formula 3


A Fortec Motorsport 1-2 and a Carlin 1-2-3 were the highlights of the day’s Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series action at Brands Hatch, Pipo Derani leading home his Fortec team-mate Felix Serralles in round 13 and Jack Harvey winning round 14 ahead of his colleagues Jazeman Jaafar and Harry Tincknell.

Harvey was the big winner of the weekend, with his Saturday victory and today’s success helping him to within seven points of championship leader Jaafar at the mid-point of the season.

In the National class, Adderly Fong and CF Racing won twice today to complete a Brands Hatch clean sweep.

Round 13
Brazilian Derani beat Puerto Rico’s Serralles to the line by just 0.122s in a thrilling 13th round. Key to the Fortec men’s success were excellent starts – Derani slipped past Double R’s Geoff Uhrhane off the line to move up from third on the grid to second, with birthday boy Serralles – 20 today – pulling a blinder from P6 to slot into third by the opening lap’s end, behind Derani.

One obstacle lay ahead of them: Double R’s pole man Fahmi Ilyas, who jinked left and then right off the line to maintain his advantage into Paddock Hill Bend. The Malaysian drove impeccably to hold the lead for four laps, but the mounting pressure from the Fortec twins eventually told at Paddock on the fifth lap, where he ran wide and through the gravel, losing four places.

Serralles piled the pressure on Derani for the duration, on lap 11 pulling alongside the leader through Paddock and on the run up to the Druids hairpin. Pipo repelled the advance however, and did not put a wheel wrong all the way to the chequered flag.

It was Derani’s second win of the year, and the 18-year-old from Sao Paulo was delighted: “It’s really good to be back on top. British Formula 3 gives you the opportunity to improve during the weekend; I didn’t have much experience of this track so I suffered a little bit in qualifying. But here we are, we are 1-2, Fortec on top and I think it’s a good result. We try always to do our best, and today, this is our best. Felix was putting pressure on me all the time and I had to think hard about not making any mistakes; he did an amazing job.”

“I think I had the fastest car I’ve had all year,” said Serralles. “It’s just impossible to pass here – I could have taken the win if there was a longer straight, but it is what it is. It was unfortunate I couldn’t qualify where I wanted because I had a puncture, so it’s really fantastic to be on the podium for a Fortec 1-2 and also it’s my birthday.”

Third place was battled over throughout by Pietro Fantin and Carlos Sainz, the latter settling for fourth towards the end. Fantin’s podium placing was investigated post-race by stewards after reports that the Brazilian had exceeded track limits, but no action was taken.

Championship leader Jazeman Jaafar was another fast-starter, the Malaysian gaining four places on the opening lap and going on to finish sixth, behind his countryman Ilyas. Nick McBride placed seventh for T-Sport, ahead of Fortec’s Alex Lynn and Saturday Brands Hatch winner Jack Harvey, who had to fend off Hannes van Asseldonk’s attentions for much of the race.

Uhrhane slipped to ninth on the opening lap and 11th behind the end. The final international class finisher was Harry Tincknell, who had to pit after suffering wing damage on lap five when Ilyas’s return to the track set off a late-braking chain-reaction through the field. Carlin’s men fitted new Coopers to Harry’s car and he was able to salvage a point by setting fastest lap.

In the National class, Adderly Fong repeated his Saturday success for CF Racing to lead home Spike Goddard by 10.6s, with Duvashen Padayachee third.

Round 14
Harvey put clear air between himself and Jaafar this afternoon at Brands Hatch to win round 14, and to narrow the points gap between himself and the championship leader to just seven.

It was Harvey’s second win of the weekend and his fourth victory of the season. Just like Saturday’s triumph, it was a pole position to chequered flag affair, but rather than the half-second margin he had over Jaafar in round 12, this time his advantage was 9.5s.

“It’s been a good weekend,” said the Lincolnshire 19-year-old. “Two poles and two wins! I’ve had two poles before this season and not made the most of them, so it’s good to do as well as we thought we could. The team have done a great job for me.

“I don’t feel as if anything has ‘clicked’ as such – I have always felt that results like this were possible. It’s just a combination of working hard to get the best from our car and driving well. This weekend we maybe had the edge over Jazeman a bit, and we need to maintain that.”

Jaafar was pleased with his result also: “Jack and I both made good starts. That was my only real opportunity to get ahead and I lost that battle. Jack drove brilliantly and his race pace was really good, and that’s something we need to look at and work on. But all in all it was not a bad race, I scored good points and I am quite pleased.”

There was drama on the opening lap as the cars of Carlos Sainz and Pipo Derani touched wheels into Paddock Hill Bend; both ended their races in the gravel trap, with Felix Serralles managing just to avoid the drama with a quick skitter through the gravel. The incident brought the safety car on track for two laps.

Thereafter there were no major moves inside the top 10, although Harry Tincknell was pleased to see the chequered flag and collect third place. “My throttle was sticking,” said the Devonian. “It made it all a bit too exciting.” Fortec’s Alex Lynn closed to within half a second of Tincknell by the end but had to settle for fourth.

Pietro Fantin brought his Carlin car home for fifth ahead of Nick McBride, sixth the Australian’s best feature race result of the season for the T-Sport team. Hannes van Asseldonk claimed seventh ahead of Geoff Uhrhane, with Serralles, who lost time with a pit call after his lap one off, snatching ninth from Fahmi Ilyas right on the line. Ilyas had been comfortably ahead of the Puerto Rican until a penultimate lap error at Clearways.

Adderly Fong completed a hat-trick of National class victories for the returning CF Racing team, leading the class throughout. He came under pressure from T-Sport’s Spike Goddard at mid-distance, but the Australian went off at Westfield eight laps from home, handing class second to Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee.

“We expected to be up there,” said Chinese driver Fong, who last raced an F3 car in 2011. “It took a little time to get back used to the car but we’ve been improving it all weekend and everything has gone according to plan.” Fong intends to do further rounds of the championship later in the season.