Kevin Magnussen this afternoon underlined his Nürburgring superiority, leading the 13th round of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series from pole position to chequered flag despite intense, race-long pressure from his Carlin team-mate and championship leader Felipe Nasr.
Magnussen and Nasr both made excellent starts from the front row of the grid and left the rest far behind as they pursued the win in Germany. But having seized the initiative from the outset, only a mistake from Magnussen would give Nasr any hope of a pass. None came and Nasr had to settle for second: not a big disappointment given that the best Felipe’s chief title rival, Lucas Foresti, could manage was 10th.
“Kevin was always quicker than me in the first sector,” said Nasr, “and I could only catch him up around the rest of the track. It was a good race for me, though. A few of the guys who are against me in the championship had a bad race, so that’s good for us. Important points.”
A beaming Magnussen, for whom today’s win was his third of the year, paid tribute to his rival: “It was a tough race and I had a lot of pressure from Felipe. He did a really good job to keep pressure on me, but I think I had just a little bit more speed and I was able to keep him behind. I start from pole again tomorrow and of course I hope to do the same again, but things can change, especially the weather.”
Fortec’s young Brit Harry Tincknell made the start of his life from eighth on the grid to seize third place on the opening lap. “The lights came on and went off really fast. I was just really well prepared and the others weren’t and I went past them like they were standing still.” There was drama for the Exeter man at turn one, however: “Carlos Huertas locked up and hit my right-rear wheel and sent me wide, but I recovered and from there it was just a case of getting my head down and making sure I didn’t lose the place.”
Tincknell did not have the pace to catch the leaders but was able to hold off several challenges from Carlin’s Malaysian racer Jazeman Jaafar to secure his first ‘main race’ podium. Fortec’s Will Buller held new Hitech Racing signing Antonio Felix da Costa at bay for the whole race to collect fifth with Jack Harvey right behind them all the way for seventh in the Racing Steps car.
Rupert Svendsen-Cook was caught up in the first-corner melee which accounted for the car of Huertas and slipped from his start slot of fifth to 10th on the opening lap; he clawed back two places on lap two, however, and held eighth to the line, ahead of T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar and Foresti.
Bart Hylkema admitted to a poor start but stayed well clear of his Rookie class rival Kotaro Sakurai to claim another class win for the T-Sport team.
Tomorrow’s reverse-grid race, Round 14, will see Svendsen-Cook starting from the pole after his finishing number, eight, was drawn on the victory podium by Magnussen.
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
Round 13, Nürburgring 2/7/2011
15 laps / 47.98 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 28m 54.673s
2 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +0.544s
3 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +13.072s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +13.622s
5 William BULLER /GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +21.916s
6 Antonio Felix da COSTA / POR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +22.234s
7 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +22.379s
8 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +23.578s
9 Menasheh IDAFAR / GBR, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +29.013s
10 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +29.747s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +55.633s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 0.144s
Fastest lap Magnussen 1m 54.673s / 99.85mph
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/mvDuGy
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 169 points; 2 Foresti 110; 3 Jaafar 104; 4 Carlos Huertas 95; 5 Magnussen 82; 6 Buller 71 etc
1 Hylkema 182; 2 Sakurai 134.
TV schedule Channel 4: 0700 9 July; Motors TV UK 1649 9 July + repeats
Next rounds Nürburgring 3/7/2011