TEAM NEWS: F3 Rookie and Formula BMW UK Champion Niall Breen put his stamp on the 2007 Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series today, with a stunning drive to second place in race two at Donington. Team mate Maro Engel was unlucky not to see the podium, finishing in fourth, while Brazilian Alberto Valerio scored his first points of the season with a well fought fifth place. Sam Bird was the fourth Carlin car in the top nine; completing a strong showing in race two for the Hampshire based team.
The team had a disappointing start to the day in race one, with the leading Carlin car of Niall Breen forced to retire; the innocent victim in an over ambitious overtaking maneuver. It was left to race winner Engel to lead the Carlin squad home, ahead of Mario Moraes in eighth, scoring his first points of the season. F3 Rookie Sam Bird took his place in the last points paying position of 10th.
Following a difficult first race for the team, the second race of the day saw a resurgence in pace for the Carlin squad. Irishman Breen had a great start from his sixth placed grid slot and drove a mature race to finish second and claim his first ever F3 podium. A promising afternoon by Mario Moraes was ended on lap 17, after a clash with Kennard resulted in a bent front track rod and retirement from the race. Engel and Valerio were the next Carlin entries across the line, having battled furiously for track position, the team mates finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Sam Bird meanwhile completed another strong showing in ninth, having scored points in every F3 race in which he has competed.
Team Principal Trevor Carlin said, “The team had a strong showing in the second race today; to finish with four cars in the top nine is a great result. Mario was very unlucky not to finish after running in a strong third place. Niall has driven brilliantly all weekend and put in a fantastic race this afternoon which was made even more impressive by the fact that this is only his fourth F3 race. His first podium position was well deserved.”
The team now have a four week break before racing resumes at the Bucharest circuit in Romania. However, the team will be on track in three weeks time to test the Mercedes Benz AMG range at Mercedes Benz World on 12 May, where the Carlin drivers will also be available to meet fans and sign autographs.