DRIVER NEWS: Stephen Jelley moved into outright second position in the British Formula 3 Championship points table after a useful weekend on the streets of Bucharest in Romania. After registering the first pole position of his Formula 3 career, the Leicester driver scored a podium finish to keep his title challenge going.
The pole position for race two was probably the most satisfying moment of the weekend, and one of the best of Stephen's career. The Raikkonen Robertson Racing driver secured it under the trickiest of conditions: a damp-but-drying street circuit lined by concrete walls. It was particularly enjoyable after problems with traffic meant he had only managed ninth place in qualifying for the first race.
Having raced up to finish seventh in the first race on Saturday, Stephen was hopeful the pole would mean taking his first win in race two on Sunday morning. But he fell victim to one of the championship's most unpredictable drivers, Brazil's Alberto Valerio. After Stephen took the lead of the race – which was also damp – Valerio quickly tried an optimistic overtaking move, which resulted in contact between the two cars.
Stephen dropped several positions thanks to this incident, but luckily he survived intact. With a number of other drivers making mistakes in the tricky conditions, Stephen once again showed his superior maturity by coming back to take third position – his fourth podium finish of the year. Still, he was disappointed with the race result: "Valerio was not close enough to me to overtake, he couldn't stop in time and he just slid into the side of my car. In those conditions drivers need to respect the track and take some time to learn the conditions – but he wasn't patient at all. It's another disappointment, but I'm pleased with the pole position. Especially as the lap time was over a full second faster than anyone else! "This track is new to us all and it was always a bit of a question mark. We didn't win, but at least I've improved in the championship and I don't have to share second place anymore! There's a long way to go in this season, and the next race, at Snetterton in Norfolk, should be our best yet. I've been fastest every time we've tested there this year, so I will be strong there." The Snetterton races take place on June 3. Marko Asmer is now leading the British Formula 3 Championship, with 105 points to his name.