TEAM NEWS: After a victorious event in Bucharest, the Carlin F3 team are back racing in the UK this weekend at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. F3 rookie Sam Bird took the team’s second victory of the season last time out in Bucharest and his first win in the championship. Back on familiar ground at Snetterton, the team will be looking to replicate the pace that saw four Carlin drivers finish in the top five in Romania.
From three events so far this season, four Carlin drivers have visited the podium, including Sam Bird, Niall Breen and Alberto Valerio who recorded a first, two seconds and a third placed finish between them in Romania. With a win and a third placed finish to his name, 20 year-old Bird received a boost to his championship standings and climbs to third in the drivers’ standings.
Team mate and two times BF3 winner Maro Engel will be hoping to get his championship back on track after his first DNF of the season in Bucharest, and heads to Norfolk fourth in the championship.
21 year-old rookie Niall Breen has continued to shine in his first season in BF3, taking another podium in Romania. Having finished second at the last two events, the young Irishman will be hoping his first win is just around the corner.
2005 South American F3 champion Alberto Valerio had an encouraging weekend in Romania lining up second in both races and taking away a second placed finish in race one. Unfortunately an attempt to take the lead in race two resulted in broken suspension and retirement from the race.
Brazilian Mario Moraes has endured a challenging start to his 2007 championship campaign, which was summed up by a courageous drive through the field to take 10th in Romania after starting at the back of the grid. The youngest of Carlin’s F3 drivers, Moraes will be chasing some solid championship points this weekend.
The Snetterton circuit, located just outside the Norfolk town of Norwich, is one of the fastest circuits on the F3 calendar. Based on a disused air field, the circuit feature sweeping bends which can be taken almost flat out by the F3 cars.
Tyre performance is key to a good lap around the Snetterton circuit. As a low grip track, tyres take longer than average to come to reach optimum performance, meaning another last minute dash for the best times in qualifying in likely.
Race winner Sam Bird is looking forward to the next round in the championship, “Romania was a great result for us; it was a fantastic feeling to take my first British F3 win on such a challenging street track as Bucharest. Now looking forward to the rest of the season, we’re aiming to take that positive momentum to the next round at Snetterton. As one of the circuits that we test at regularly, we have a good understanding of how the car works here and a good set up. Now I’ve had a taste of the top step of the podium, I’m certainly ready for some more of the same!”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin commented, “The team had a fantastic weekend in Bucharest and we will be aiming to continue that level of performance at Snetterton. As this is a regular test facility, it is likely to be a very competitive weekend as all the teams and drivers are very familiar with the circuit. The weather could also play a large part in the races, but as always our aim is solid championship points and podium finishes.”