The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will welcome the return of the CF Racing team and Adderly Fong next weekend (23/24 June) at Brands Hatch. The Canadian-born Chinese driver, who starred in the wet at Brands in 2010, will revisit the scene of his podium triumph as part of a three-meeting deal with CF to contest the championship’s National Class.
Twenty-two-year-old Fong, a frontrunner in this year’s Audi R8 LMS Cup in China, is slated to compete at Brands, Spa and Snetterton, says CF driver-turned-team-chief Hywel Lloyd. “Adderly had a gap in his schedule and wanted to get some more Formula 3 miles under his belt, and we are delighted to be able to offer him the chance.
“Although it’s been a while since he was in an F3 car, he will be racing the same chassis he used last year, so he should feel at home in it pretty quickly. We as a team will be very pleased to get back to racing; we have missed competing and we plan to do a professional job for him and help Adderly to get some good results. Hopefully that will lead to more for the team in the future.”
Fong will join in battle at Brands with National class regulars Spike Goddard (T-Sport) and Duvashen Padayachee (Double R).
With six different race winners from five different countries and a championship top four covered by just 36 points, the championship reaches its mid-point next weekend at Brands Hatch with a finely balanced three-way battle for the title, intriguingly enough between three Carlin drivers: Jazeman Jaafar, Jack Harvey and Carlos Sainz Jnr.
Lincolnshire-based Harvey kicked off his season with two poles and a win at Oulton Park. Podium finishes followed at Monza and Pau, but it was not until Rockingham last weekend that he rediscovered his winning ways. Harvey was on mighty form at the Speedway, bagging two more poles and a dominant win in round 11 by the largest margin of the year so far, 22 seconds.
Sainz took up the baton at Monza, claiming two impressive wet wins at the Italian Grand Prix track. The son of the double World Rally Champion was on top again in the Pau Grand Prix, but endured a miserable time at Rockingham, with only one third-place finish to show for his efforts.
Jaafar meanwhile has been on the podium no fewer than six times: a second and a third at Oulton; a third at Monza; a win and a second at Pau; and a win last time out, at Rockingham.
There are plenty more drivers – three of them race winners already – ready to join the title fight. In the Fortec camp, the year’s leading rookie, Puerto Rican Felix Serralles, is looking to add to the wins he scored at Oulton and Monza, while his team-mate Pipo Derani, who won his first race in the reverse-grid event at Oulton, will be hoping to put behind him a trying Rockingham weekend.
Carlin’s Harry Tincknell claimed his first win of the year in the Rockingham reverse-grid race and is keen for more at Brands, the scene of his maiden British F3 win in 2011.
“Getting my first win is a bit of a weight off my shoulders,” said Harry. “My pre-season went well but the first few rounds could have been a little bit better – I didn’t maximise my potential – so to make a good start in the second Rockingham race, take the lead and control the race has given me a big boost to my confidence.
“Hopefully we can build on that win and really start to get the momentum going again. Brands was where I scored my first win in British F3 and I have really good memories of that; I hope I can repeat that success.”
Alex Lynn is still awaiting his maiden British F3 victory, and his rampant testing pace hints that the Fortec rookie will not be a bridesmaid for much longer. Brands Hatch, home track for the Essex youngster, might provide the ideal opportunity. Like his team-mate Lynn, Dutch driver Hannes van Asseldonk is edging closer to his first win.
The only Carlin driver yet to win a race is Brazilian hot-shot Pietro Fantin, who was second at Oulton and again at Rockingham in the reverse-grid races.
In addition to National class man Padayachee, Double R will field Mercedes-powered chassis in the International class for Malaysian Fahmi Ilyas and Australia’s Geoff Uhrhane; the latter was a podium finisher at Brands in Formula Ford last year and is rapidly gaining confidence and skill as he adapts to the rigours of Formula 3.
T-Sport’s other contender is Nick McBride, like Uhrhane a Formula Ford graduate, who pilots the new Nissan-engined Dallara in the International class, and whose fourth place at Monza in April hinted at the potential of the package.
Provisional championship standings after Round 11
1 Jazeman Jaafar (MAS/Carlin) 137 points; 2 Jack Harvey (GBR/Carlin) 124; 3 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Carlin) 117; 4 Felix Serralles (PUR/Fortec) 101; 5 Alex Lynn (GBR/Fortec) 98; 6= Harry Tincknell (GBR/Carlin) & Pietro Fantin (BRA/Carlin) 72 etc
National class: 1 Spike Goddard (AUS/T-Sport) 176; 2 Duvashen Padayachee (AUS/Double R) 160.
Brands Hatch provisional timetable
Fri 22 June pre-event testing
Sat 23 June 1115 qualifying; 1450 Race 1 (30 mins)
Sun 24 June 1100 Race 2 (20 mins); 1635 Race 3 (40 mins)