Jack Harvey and championship leader Felipe Nasr emerged on top today in Germany, young British talent Harvey securing his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series victory in the first of today’s German rounds, and points leader Nasr winning his fifth of the season in the afternoon, very much at the expense of his team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who led most of the 40-minute feature race.
With the championship now at the half-way stage, Nasr’s points lead is stretched to 75, but the Brazilian promises there will be no let-up in his campaign: “We have to still be looking for victories and the team and I will just keep pushing.”
Championship new boy Harvey notched up his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race victory this morning at the Nurburgring, dominating after assuming control of the race into the first corner.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver made a blinding start from second on the grid to overhaul his pole-sitting Carlin team-mate Rupert Svendsen-Cook as the lights flashed off and thereafter the 18-year-old from Lincolnshire drove an inch-perfect race.
Svendsen-Cook believed he had made an excellent getaway also: “I had a great start, so Jack must have made an amazing one. After the safety car I nearly had Jack at the restart, but I couldn’t get past him and then, all credit to him, he drove a really good race and made no mistakes.”
Said a jubilant Harvey: “I made a pretty good start and had a good first lap, establishing a bit of a gap between me and Rupert, and then the safety car came out, which made things a bit more interesting. After the restart I just got my head down and pushed as hard as I could and strung together some consistent laps.”
The safety car period was the result of a first-lap clash between Fahmi Ilyas and Pietro Fantin at the Ford curve, which saw both men’s cars beached in the gravel and requiring a tow to safety. There was further drama on lap four when the race restarted when third-placed Fortec man Will Buller was involved in a collision with the pursuing Hitech machine of Antonio Felix da Costa. Buller retired to the pits.
This promoted da Costa’s team-mate, visiting Brazilian Pedro Nunes, to third, which place he held to the line despite pressure from the championship leader, Felipe Nasr. Nunes was another to make a great start and to pick up several opening-lap places, from 10th on the grid to fifth.
Jazeman Jaafar pursued Nasr home for fifth, ahead of Saturday race victor Kevin Magnussen. Da Costa recovered from his clash with Buller to cross the line seventh, with the Mercedes-powered machines of Fortec’s Harry Tincknell and Double R men Pipo Derani and Scott Pye completing the top 10.
Bart Hylkema enjoyed a strong run in his Rookie class T-Sport Dallara, leading comfortably all the way to the final corner, where he was hit from behind by his pursuing class rival Kotaro Sakurai. Hylkema lost his rear wing in the clash but continued to the line to claim his 10th class win of the year. “I made a mistake on the last lap,” said Bart, “and he got a tow on me on the back straight. But I didn’t think he was close enough to make an attempt to pass, so I held my line and all of a sudden had a big hit in the back.”
Nasr sealed another successful weekend with a win – his fifth of the year – in the final Nï¿½rburgring race.
What made it all the more pleasing for the Brazilian was that the win was something of a gift: pole position man Kevin Magnussen had the legs of him throughout, only for an engine misfire to set in and hobble his pace within three laps of the chequered flag. Magnussen, who won on Saturday, watched helplessly as his Carlin team-mate Nasr swept past. The Dane’s post-race fury was clear.
Nasr, however, was all smiles after the victory podium: “I don’t know what happened to Kevin, he just slowed suddenly in the middle sector. Sometimes wins just come unexpectedly. We were pretty strong all weekend. This is a bit of pay-back because at Snetterton I was unlucky because I started from pole twice and didn’t get any wins.”
Another Carlin man, Colombian Carlos Huertas, made a strong start to the race despite being handed a three-place grid penalty following a collision in this morning’s race. Undeterred, Carlos blasted through to third on the opening lap and was promoted to second by Magnussen’s dramas.
However, an opportunistic and contact-free last-lap pass by Hitech’s Portuguese signing Antonio Felix da Costa denied Huertas second. “He made an aggressive move on me,” said an unhappy Huertas. “It was the last lap of the race and I wanted to avoid contact, particularly after being penalised before the start.” Ironically, da Costa was another to be handed a grid penalty: he was also moved back three slots after his race-two clash with Will Buller.
Magnussen coaxed his car home fifth, just behind the Fortec machine of Lucas Foresti, which was the leading Mercedes-powered finisher.
Rupert Svendsen-Cook placed sixth for Carlin, ahead of Fortec’s Buller, Hitech man Pietro Fantin, Harry Tincknell for Fortec and Pedro Nunes in another Hitech car. There were several scrapes and incidents up and down the field, the most dramatic of which was a major excursion into the gravel at Ford curve for T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar. Retrieval of his car necessitated a two-lap safety car period.
Bart Hylkema led Kotaro Sakurai throughout to claim yet another Rookie class victory for T-Sport. If the result was ever in doubt, it was settled by a late-race drive-through penalty for the Japanese for not respecting track limits. Dutch driver Hylkema’s efforts were further rewarded by the presentation of the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award.
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 14, Nï¿½rburgring 3/7/2011
10 laps / 31.99 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 21m 18.954s
2 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +2.800s
3 Pedro NUNES / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +6.910s
4 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.319s
5 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +10.021s
6 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +10.820s
7 Antonio Felix da COSTA / POR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +11.443s
8 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +14.181s
9 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +16.009s
10 Scott PYE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +16.439s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +30.812s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +39.872s
Fastest lap Harvey 1m 54.831s / 90.04mph
20 laps / 63.98 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 40m 45.907s
2 Antonio Felix da COSTA / POR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +6.964s
3 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.576s
4 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +9.974s
5 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +16.152s
6 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +16.779s
7 William BULLER /GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +17.867s
8 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +18.772s
9 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +20.939s
10 Pedro NUNES / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +21.387s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +37.684s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 09.544s
Fastest lap Magnussen 1m 55.818s / 93.54mph
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/mvDuGy
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 196 points; 2 Foresti 121; 3 Jazeman Jaafar 110; 4 Huertas 107; 5 Magnussen 96; 6 Svendsen-Cook 79; 7 Buller 75; 8 Tincknell 63; 9 Fantin 58; 10 Riki Christodoulou 51 etc
1 Hylkema 214; 2 Sakurai 159.
TV schedule Channel 4: 0700 9 July; Motors TV UK 1649 9 July + repeats
Next rounds Paul Ricard 15-17/7/2011