TEAM NEWS: Marko Asmer and Hitech Racing have secured their fourth successive race win with a dominant lights to flag victory in the opening race of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series at Bucharest today. The Silverstone-based team and the Estonian driver’s fourth straight win and fastest lap gives them a 47 point lead after five rounds.
Asmer’s victory, from pole position, came amid three safety car periods around the 1.9mile Romanian capital that did not affect the 22 year-old who did not put a wheel wrong over the course of the shortened 17-lap race. The race was started under the safety car due to slippery track conditions, and thereafter two separate incidents forced the car back out.
At each restart, Marko made the better getaway to lead, extending his advantage each time to more than six seconds. The final restart however came towards the end of the race and with just two racing laps remaining, Marko crossed the line just over half a second ahead of Alberto Valerio, with his nearest championship rival Maro Engel down in fifth.
Marko Asmer: “It was not a very interesting race I shouldn’t think for anyone to see and also for the drivers just sitting behind the safety car, but a win is a win and we got some good points so it’s OK. On the first lap already I took a couple of seconds and were a lot quicker than the rest so it was quite easy. The car was good; the team did a good job so it was an easy race basically. Being behind the safety car was no real problem I knew I was quick enough so as soon as the safety car went in I knew I just had to make some good restarts again and it was fine.”
David Hayle: “It’s easy to get complacent when you start to win races but today we had to stay focused and do a job, the guys produced a very good car again and Marko was in total control throughout.”
Tomorrow’s second race will take place at 10.45 and sees Asmer line-up on the fifth row after struggling to get a clear lap without yellow flags in this morning’s second qualifying. Going into the closing minutes of the session Marko was quickest until the yellow flag period but as required by the regulations backed off while others did not. At the finish, he ended up tenth quickest and with a lot to do tomorrow. “Tomorrow will be hard,” he said, “but I’ll try to do my best and we’ll see what happens.”