DRIVER NEWS: Hamad Al Fardan didn’t get the best start of the year at Oulton Park but things were looking up this weekend at Donington Park.
In qualifying one Hamad put in consistent laps times with no problems and ended the session in 7th place; a great result for his first outing at the Derbyshire track. Unfortunately in qualifying two the GFH backed driver suffered from a slight brake problem causing him to spin off and loose valuable track time. Despite the spin Hamad finished the session in 10th place.
After the problems in qualifying on Saturday the team took the precaution to replace all of the brake components on the #38 car in time for the races on Sunday. In race one the Dallara Mugen Honda driver drove a solid race to 6th place and his first points of the season. But it was in race two under the watchful eye of the Chairman of Bahrain International Circuit, Talal Al Zain, that Hamad showed the F3 fraternity his real racing prowess.
With the weather unable to make up its mind, the track at Donington was slippery and unpleasant by the late afternoon. It made no difference to Hamad, starting from the back row of grid within the first few laps the Bahraini driver was up to an impressive 4th place. Unfortunately though no fault of his own Hamad was caught up in a racing incident mid way through the race and finally limped home in 9th place.
Race 1 Classification: 6th place + 59.929s Race 2 Classification: 9th place + 1 lap
Hamad Al Fardan: “I am happy with how this weekend has gone. At Oulton Park we had a lot of problems but now I’m happy with the balance and set up of the car. I think we have proved that we have the pace and if I hadn’t been involved in the crash in race two I could have been fighting for a podium. I just need more time in the car but hopefully in the next few races you will see me on the podium.”
Bobby Issazadhe, Team Manager: “Hamad had a reasonable first test at Donington Park on Thursday. His times were good for his first time out at the track and he improved consistently over the weekend. He was happy with his balance and set-up throughout the weekend.
“Unfortunately Hamad suffered a slight brake problem in qualifying two causing a spin and a loss of track time. In the first race Hamad was slightly affected by a battery warning light in his car, fortunately there was no problem and he went on to drive a consistent race. Hamad started race two really well and drove a really, really good race until the crash.
“From what we could see over the weekend Hamad has the pace but now we need to turn it into results.”
British F3 International will be back on track for a two day official test at Snetterton on May 2-3 before getting back to racing at the inaugural street race at The Bucharest Ring on 20th May.