Harry Tincknell's Carlin. Image Jakob Ebrey Photography

Harry Tincknell today became the fourth different driver to top a Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series test session, the Westcountryman eclipsing his Carlin team-mates and rivals from other teams by a slender margin at Rockingham.

Exeter-based Tincknell’s Volkswagen-powered Dallara F312 lapped the 2.05-mile ‘long’ International Sportscar track layout in 1m 16.810s – two-tenths up on the best achieved yesterday at Rockingham by Lincolnshire racer Jack Harvey.

Harvey went quicker today, too, improving to 1m 16.856s in the first session of the day to go top and to establish a target for Tincknell to aim at. Harry was quickest in two of the three subsequent sessions with Jazeman Jaafar on top in the other.

Less than a second covered the top seven today, which bodes well for a close and competitive season to come. Quickest of the Mercedes-powered Fortec men was – for the fourth consecutive test – Essex-based youngster Alex Lynn, sixth overall and just 0.8s off Tincknell’s pace.

“It’s always good to be the fastest in your team,” said F3 rookie Lynn, “and it was a good two days of testing overall. We are very close to the front-runners’ pace. We are not out to try to break lap records at the moment – we are working hard to get a good understanding of the new car before we try that. The Carlin drivers are clearly five quick guys who are pushing each other on, but I’m confident that come the first round we will be quicker than them.”

Nick McBride continued to show strong promise for the T-Sport team and its new Tomei-tuned Nissan power unit; the Australian rookie was seventh fastest, a tenth behind Lynn. The T-Sport team’s second Aussie, Spike Goddard, led the way in the National class.

Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Official test day 4 / Rockingham, Northants / 14 March 2012

Leading International class runners am / pm (quickest time in bold)
1  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1:16.810 / 1:16.837
2  Jack HARVEY / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1:16.856 / 1:17.310
3  Carlos SAINZ / ESP,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1:16.980 / 1:16.904
4  Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1:17.134 / 1:16.918
5  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  1:17.553 / 1:17.368
6  Alex LYNN / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1:17.753 / 1:17.613
7  Nick McBRIDE / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Nissan  1:18.528 / 1:17.727
8  Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1:17.915 / 1:18.570
9  Felix SERRALLES / PUR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1:18.241 / 1:18.107
10  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  1:18.442 / 18.590

National class
1  Spike GODDARD / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  1:19.361 / 1:20.534
2  Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS,  Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda  1:20.423 / 1:20.834

Full TSL timesheets bit.ly/f3times