Hitech Racing will line up on the second row for the opening two rounds of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Oulton Park this weekend. Estonian Marko Asmer, quickest overall in Friday’s pre-event test at the Cheshire track, struggled with traffic throughout the two 30 minute qualifying sessions and posted the fourth quickest time in both sessions.
His rookie team-mate Austrian Walter Grubmüller improved dramatically over the course of the day, the 18 year-old steadily closing down the gap to the leaders and ending the session just six tenths off Asmer and only one second off the pole time.
Both drivers, in their Dallara F307 Mercedes HWAs now look forward to a good opening couple of races on Monday and both remain confident of a good start to the season.
David Hayle: “It’s quite disappointing to be fourth because we have set such high standards for ourselves this season. In first qualifying we were very unfortunate to lose our fastest lap because of a red flag incident when only seconds from the finish line but we can’t explain our pace in qualifying two. However we can race strong and it’s still possible to win from there especially as it’s a 2 x 2 grid. On the bright side Walter has driven superbly well. He started 2.5 seconds off the pace and gradually reduced the gap to one second which resulted in two top ten positions in his first British F3 qualifying. He is only six tenths from Marko and the whole team is over the moon with him, let’s hope he can now convert that into points.”
Marko Asmer: Car #7 “I struggled a lot with traffic in the first session and then two seconds before I crossed the line, the red flag was out and I think I could have been second with that time. Then in the second session on my quick lap, I didn’t really get any traffic, it was just not perfect. I had some oversteer but really I just couldn’t go any faster.”
Walter Grubmüller: Car #6 “I’m very happy with that, it’s better than we expected, as Oulton is quite a tricky circuit. To be in the top ten in both qualifying sessions is very satisfying. The car was great, it’s just very tricky to get a good clear lap here today. It should be do-able to keep the car in the top ten in the races and if we can keep it there, then I’ll be happy. It’s a good circuit, one of the harder ones, it flows well and I like it a lot.”
The two 20-lap or 30 minute races are scheduled to take place on Easter Monday (9 April) at 11.15 and 16.30.