Jakob Ebrey Photography

Championship leader Felipe Nasr and his Volkswagen-powered Carlin team-mate Rupert Svendsen-Cook were the class of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series field at the new Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk today (Friday) in testing ahead of the weekend’s trio of races.

Brazilian Nasr and his Ipswich-based running mate were the only men in the 20-strong pack to break the 100-second barrier; Nasr did it in the morning test session to top the timesheets and repeated his feat in the afternoon to lower the best time of the day to 1m 39.542s. Local hero Svendsen-Cook was 0.348s slower.

“I was pleased with my time,” said Rupert, “and hopefully we can continue this practice pace into qualifying and the races. The weather may play a part, though: local instinct tells me there may be rain on the way.”

There were three Mercedes-powered cars in the top five, with Fortec man Will Buller posting third-best time ahead of the Double R Dallara of Pipo Derani. Sino Vision Racing’s Hywel Lloyd was an excellent fifth best overall.

T-Sport’s Bart Hylkema was the leading Rookie class runner. His class rival Kotaro Sakurai brought the afternoon session to a premature halt with a crash at Riches. The Japanese driver was unhurt but his Hitech chassis was damaged.

A gearbox issue prevented Malaysia’s Jazeman Jaafar from completing much running in the morning; problem solved for the afternoon, he set 16th best time.

Official qualifying takes place Saturday morning at Snetterton ahead of Round 7 in the afternoon and two further races on Sunday.

British Formula 3 enjoys the headlining support of Cooper Tires and is additionally backed by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.

Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Official testing,  Snetterton / 13/5/2011

Leading times am / pm
Championship class

1  Felipe NASR / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1m 39.737s / 1m 39.542s
2  Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-VW  1m 40.075s / 1m 39.890s
3  William BULLER /GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1m 40.602s / 1m 40.043s
4  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  1m 40.284s / 1m 40.096s
5  Hywel LLOYD / GBR,  Sino Vision Dallara-Mercedes  1m 40.703s / 1m 40.110s
6  Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1m 40.149s / 1m 40.460s
7  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen  1m 40.166s / 1m 40.508s
8  Carlos HUERTAS / COL,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1m 40.340s / 1m 40.202s
9  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1m 40.295s / 1m 40.252s
10  Scott PYE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mercedes  1m 40.393s / 1m 40.254s etc

Rookie class
1  Bart HYLKEMA / NED,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  1m 43.221s / 1m 42.468s
2  Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN,  Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda  1m 44.856s / 1m 44.141s

Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/kQQAEX