2012 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series
Round 24-26, Silverstone Arena GP, Northamptonshire, September 8th/9th 2012
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas
Weather: Hot, sunny, dry.
At Silverstone this morning Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport) finally netted the results that were expected from him from the start of the season with two fine pole positions for Race 1 and Race 3 of the meeting. Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) and team mate Jack Harvey are 2nd and 3rd for both races. Richard “Spike” Goddard (T-Sport) claimed pole in the National Class for both races in what was a less than thrilling session.
It started bang on time but it was some while before the results started to appear, given the length of this particular configuration (3.66 miles). When they did start to come through at the end of their first flying lap, we were treated to the somewhat odd sight of Nick McBride (ThreeBond with T-Sport) on provisional pole, just ahead of the Double R Racing Dallara formerly driven by Fahmi Ilyas and now in the considerably more capable hands of returnee Rupert Svendsen-Cook, The three National Class runners were next up with Pedro Pablo Calbimonte (T-Sport) just ahead of Duvashen Padayachee (Double R Racing) and Goddard.
A lap later the situation was far more normal with Harvey slotting into pole from Jaafar and Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin), while the National Class cars had plummeted back down the order to bring up the rear. Meanwhile, Geoff Uhrhane in the third Double R Racing car was being warned about respecting the track limits and his apparent unwillingness to do so. It wasn’t exactly gaining him an advantage either as he was the last of the International Class winners at this stage.
A lap later Jaafar snatched the lead from Harvey and Sainz Jr, while Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport), who trails series leader Harvey by a mere 4 points, was back in 8th and looking unconvinced by Silverstone.
After four flying laps Harry Tincknell (Carlin) was the first to decide that his first set of tyres was not likely to offer any more speed and called in for new rubber. He was soon joined by most of the rest of the pack with Svendsen-Cook and Uhrhane and Padaychee all coming in together and then the rest until only Jaafar and Lynn remained, the latter improving to 5th on an almost empty track.
The order was now Jaafar, Harvey, Sainz Jr, Tincknell, Lynn, Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec Motorsport), Pietro Fantin (Carlin), Serralles, Svendsen-Cook and McBride. 11th was Pipo Derani (Fortec Motorsport) having one of his “off” weekends, ahead of Uhrhane, Goddard, Calbimonte and Padaychee.
The return to the track was slower than expected with only Derani, Goddard and Padaychee seemingly in any hurry to put pedal to metal. Eventually they all wandered back but it seemed as if conditions had deteriorated as the track heated up and the temperatures climbed. The improvements consequently were slow to come, if they came at all.
Tincknell went slightly faster but stayed 4th, and van Asseldonk was another to speed up but not improve his position. Sainz Jr also joined the “quicker but not moving” club and Lynn dropped a place. Uhrhane edged ahead of McBride for 11th though as he was being summoned to the clerk of the course by then it seemed likely that he would be dropped back down again afterwards.
And then the big surprise of the day – Lynn grabbed pole from Jaafar having not looked that quick up until then. And just for good measure he then did another fast lap that was enough to ensure he would head the grid for both the 30 minute and the 40 minute races.
For Race 1 the order therefore will be Lynn from Jaafar, Harvey, Sainz Jr., van Asseldonk, Tincknell, Serralles, Fantin, Svendsen-Cook and Derani. 11th was McBride from Uhrhane, Goddard on National Class pole, Calbimonte and Padayachee.
For Race 3 the starting grid will also be headed by Lynn, Jaafar, Harvey, Sainz Jr., Tincknell, van Asseldonk, Serralles, Fantin, Svendsen-Cook and Derani. In 11th will be Uhrhane (after initially being penalised by having his fastest lap disallowed and then having the time reinstated after an appeal) from McBride, Goddard, Calbimonte and Padayachee.