British F3

Snetterton wins for Tincknell and rainmaster Sainz…

Harry Tincknell and Carlos Sainz claimed the race wins at Snetterton today to give the Carlin team a clean sweep of victories in the Snetterton weekend of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. Saturday victor Jack Harvey meanwhile took a fourth and third place today to maintain the championship lead he regained yesterday.

In the National class, Adderly Fong triumphed twice more to give the CF Racing team a hat-trick of Snetterton class wins.

Round 22
Harry Tincknell racked up his third sprint-race win of the season this morning, the Carlin driver leading from pole position to chequered flag to score a three-second victory over his team-mate Jazeman Jaafar.

After a dire first Snetterton race yesterday, in which he finished 12th after a puncture, Tincknell was handed a lifeline in the reverse-grid draw and exploited the opportunity to the full with an impeccable start ahead of the National class cars of Duvashen Padayachee and Spike Goddard.

Jaafar, who started sixth, made short work of the National runners to move into second place on the second lap. But by this stage Tincknell was 3.6s ahead and only a mistake from Harry would offer any opportunity to his Malaysian pursuer. None came.

“I knew I had to get a really good start; I did that, and once I was out in front it was fairly straightforward to be honest,” said Exeter-based Tincknell. “I drove really consistently but I didn’t really have to push too hard. It was all just about being consistent and bringing it home.”

Title bidder Jaafar was eager for points after a disappointing first-race run. In addition to those he scored for second place, he took the extra point for fastest race lap. “I didn’t want Harry to get away too much, but he did,” said Jazeman. “That didn’t stop me from pushing, getting fastest laps. Each point is very important to me because I lost a lot yesterday.”

Third place was held by four different drivers, with T-Sport man Goddard holding on to it for four laps after being passed by Jaafar. But Spike was called to the pits for a drive-through penalty for an out-of-position start and Adderly Fong took up the running in his National class CF Racing machine.

Behind the Chinese driver there was a gaggle of impatient International class men, headed by T-Sport driver Nick McBride. The stopper came out of the bottle two laps from the end, Fong slipping from third to eighth in the space of a single lap.

McBride’s podium was his first in British F3 and the first for the Nissan-Tomei power unit. “I got stuck behind Adderly and was amazed by the amount of understeer you get when you are that close behind,” said the Australian. “I was getting quite worried because there was a big hungry pack behind. I was just trying to keep my head and not do anything stupid.”

A 12th-place grid slot gave Saturday winner and championship leader Jack Harvey a big task, but the Lincolnshire lad rose to it, climbing to seventh on the opening lap. He picked off three more by the end to secure fourth at the line. “That’s all right,” said Jack. “I had a bit of problem at the start with the handbrake system, so it was a good result I think.”

Fortec’s Alex Lynn followed Harvey home for fifth, ahead of his team-mates Felix Serralles and Pipo Derani. Fortec’s fourth man, Hannes van Asseldonk, was delayed by a puncture after contact on the opening lap.

Pietro Fantin was eighth for Carlin and Fong ninth overall to claim another convincing National class win, ahead of Double R’s Geoff Uhrhane and Carlos Sainz, who had started from the back after his Saturday race retirement.

T-Sport’s Pedro Pablo Calbimonte headed home Duvashen Padayachee and Goddard for second in the National class.

Round 23
Just as at Spa-Francorchamps a week ago, a wet track provided the ideal platform for Carlos Sainz to shine at Snetterton this afternoon, the 17-year-old Spanish driver collecting his fifth win of the season.

Sainz, who started from second on the grid behind pole man Harvey, took control of the race at the start, leading into Riches after making a better getaway than the championship leader. By the end of the opening lap Red Bull Junior Team driver Sainz was 1.4s clear of his closest rival and that was as close as anyone would get to the Carlin man for the duration.

Harvey slipped to third behind his chief title rival, Fortec’s Felix Serralles, on the opening lap and a frustrated Jack was unable to live with the leaders’ pace, even though he did salvage a point for fastest lap on the penultimate lap. Harvey holds on to the championship lead he regained from Serralles with his Saturday Snetterton victory, but it’s a slender advantage of just four points with six races remaining.

“It’s been a good weekend,” said Jack. “But I’m a bit disappointed by the result of the final race. Our pace was not as good as it should have been and I’m not really sure what went wrong; the damage was done pretty much after five laps. I just couldn’t keep up with the guys in front despite giving it everything. To be positive, I’m back leading the championship, which is what it’s all about.”

Serralles admitted his race target was to get ahead of Harvey: “I wasn’t really pushing because I was ahead of Harvey,” said the Puerto Rican. “That was the main thing: to keep him behind me and gain as many points as I could.”

Sainz was delighted by his 12.4-second victory: “I’m very pleased to be back on top of the podium again. I really like these conditions, and I had a really good car for them.

Alex Lynn lost out to his team-mate Serralles on the opening lap to fall back to fourth from P3 on the grid; Alex held on to that spot to the end, ahead of Jazeman Jaafar. The Malaysian came under pressure initially from Hannes van Asseldonk, until a mid-race spin dropped the Dutchman back; he nonetheless finished sixth.

Morning race victor Harry Tincknell was another to drop back on lap one; he fought back from eighth past his team-mate Pietro Fantin to secure seventh despite a puncture, with Fantin slipping behind his Brazilian countryman Pipo Derani to finish ninth. Double R’s Fahmi Ilyas collected the final point in 10th.

The conditions again suited Adderly Fong down to a tee, and CF Racing’s Chinese driver took his third National class win of the Snetterton weekend, well clear of T-Sport’s Pedro Pablo Calbimonte.