||Championship Class Press Conference with Maro Engel, Sam Bird and Alberto Valerio
National Class Press Conference (Audio) - CLICK HERE
Maro Engel (#23 Carlin Motorsport) scored his second win of the season in an action packed first race at Monza, leading home Sam Bird (#3 Carlin Motorsport) and Alberto Valerio (#22 Carlin Motorsport) for a Carlin 1-2-3, the second of the season for the Aldershot based team.
Victory in the National Class went to Sergio Perez (#31 T-Sport), the Mexican scoring his 4th win of the year and finishing ahead of 'Frankie' Cheng (#39 Performance Racing) and Mike Meadows (#55 Newnet Raikkonen Robertson Racing).
The 33 car grid lined up on the famous Monza grid in bright sunshine for the first race at the home of the Italian Grand Prix since 2005. Maro Engel was under immediate pressure from Stephen Jelley (#1 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) as the cars sped away from the line. The cars used all of the track on the approach to the first corner and there was a collision in the mid pack, with Sebastian Hohenthal (#5 Fortec Motorsport) spearing across the track with a damaged rear wing.
The cars filed through the first chicane and set off on the next straight. Marko Asmer (#7 Hitech Racing) had got a good start to move ahead of Sam Bird by the first corner. Second placed Jelley was side by side with Engel but had to defer to the German at Lesmo. Asmer then pounced, trying to take advantage of Jelley’s abandoned attack on the lead. Jelley held the position but Asmer in turn had Bird in the tow as they approached the Parabolica for the first time. Bird jinked to the outside of Asmer and overtook the Estonian to move into 3rd. However his victory was short lived as Asmer regained the place into turn 1.
At the front Engel still had to keep his eyes on his rear view mirrors as Jelley challenged at every opportunity but the Raikkonen Robertson Racing driver fell victim to Asmer on the approach to the Parabolica. Greg Mansell’s race came to an end when Esteban Guerrieri (#14 Ultimate Motorsport) touched the back of the Fortec Dallara, launching Mansell into the air and damaging the car, while Guerrieri’s Mygale was able to continue the race.
On lap 3 Jelley was trying to get back at Asmer and the two cars briefly touched, causing the front wing of the Hitech Dallara to be damaged. However Asmer was able to continue in 2nd place despite the handicap. The move caused Jelley to fall into the clutches of Sam Bird, who moved ahead of Jelley before the end of the lap.
Meanwhile Alberto Valerio, who had started in 10th place and had lost another position at the start, was flying through the field. At the end of lap 2 he was up to 8th and gained a further two places by the end of lap 3. Valerio then caught and passed Jonathan Kennard (#2 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) and then got on terms with the leaders. However he clashed with Marko Asmer and the championship leader went off, rejoining behind Guerrieri in 6th place.
At the same corner Stephen Jelley’s race took a dramatic turn as he over did it on the brakes. Jelley rejoined at the back of the field and the Englishman now had to fight his way back up the field.
Asmer started to work his way back up the field, picking off Guerrieri on lap 6 and Kennard two laps later, setting the fastest lap of the race at that point despite the handicap of the broken element on his front wing.
Further back Carlin teammates Mario Moraes and Niall Breen caught Michael Devaney (#15 Ultimate Motorsport) and began one of the highlights of the 16-lap race as the three drivers battled for 7th place. Each corner seemed to provide an overtaking opportunity for the following driver but at the next corner the places swap around again. At the end of lap 9 the cars crossed the line side by side as they raced down the straight towards the first chicane. Moraes held the upper hand but for only a short time.
Out in front Maro Engel was able to open and maintain a 2.5 second gap over second placed Sam Bird. Valerio had moved into third place but Asmer was catching the Brazilian. However the Avon slicks were well past their best in the Italian heat and the front of the race settled down. The Breen–Devaney–Moraes battle continued to rage, with Niall Breen eventually getting the upper hand.
Stephen Jelley was driving like a man processed and was clawing his way back up the field. He set the fastest lap of the race on lap 10 and then broke it twice more before the end of the race, with his best time of 1m46.546 setting a new lap record for British F3 at Monza and well inside the previous record of 1m48.149.
However he was trying to get back into the points before the end of the race and had Max Chilton (#16 Arena Motorsport) in his sights. The 16-year-old was driving in his first Championship Class race having raced six times in the Invitation Class before getting his International B race license last week. Chilton was lying in 10th in class but only had a 1.7 second advantage over Jelley as they began the final lap of the race. Chilton was denied a points scoring finish in his first championship class race when Jelley swept past the young driver at Lesmo.
In the National Class ‘Frankie’ Cheng got a great start to on terms with Sergio Perez, who had started five places further up the grid than the Chinese driver. However Perez soon took control as he put some Championship Class cars between him and his rival. Cheng didn’t allow Perez to get too comfortable but was unable to challenge the Mexican again before the end of the race. Third placed Hamad Al Fardan was the only retirement in the class, with Mike Meadows and Alex Waters (#34 Promatecme) having a good battle for the final podium position in the middle of the race.
At the flag an elated Maro Engel punched the air as he crossed the line to score his third British F3 victory and the second Carlin 1-2-3 of the season. Marko Asmer finished 4th and maintains a 43 point lead in the championship. Engel’s victory moved the German up two places in the championship table ahead of Stephen Jelley and Niall Breen.
Provisional Result - Round 9
1 - 23 - C - Maro ENGEL - GER - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 28:43.419 - 16 - - 192.96
2 - 3 - C - Sam BIRD - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 28:46.345 - 16 - 2.926 - 192.64
3 - 22 - C - Alberto VALERIO - BRA - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 28:48.226 - 16 - 4.807 -192.43
4 - 7 - C - Marko ASMER - EST - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 28:49.344 - 16 - 5.925 - 192.30
5 - 2 - C - Jonathan KENNARD - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 28:51.019 - 16 - 7.6 - 192.12
6 - 14 - C - Esteban GUERRIERI - ARG - Mygale Mercedes HWA - 29:04.813 - 16 - 21.394 - 190.60
7 - 21 - C - Niall BREEN - IRL - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:04.948 - 16 - 21.529 - 190.58
8 - 15 - C - Michael DEVANEY - IRL - Mygale Mercedes HWA - 29:05.386 - 16 - 21.967 - 190.53
9 - 4 - C - Mario MORAES - BRA - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:06.294 - 16 - 22.875 - 190.44
10 - 31 - N - Sergio PEREZ - MEX - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:06.786 - 16 - 23.367 - 190.38
11 - 1 - C - Stephen JELLEY - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:10.464 - 16 - 27.045 - 189.98
12 - 62 - I - Matteo CHINOSI - ITA - Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda - 29:10.740 - 16 - 27.321 - 189.95
13 - 16 - C - Max CHILTON - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:10.781 - 16 - 27.362 - 189.95
14 - 39 - N - CHENG Cong Fu - CHN - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:12.512 - 16 - 29.093 - 189.76
15 - 6 - C - Walter GRUBMULLER - AUT - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:14.688 - 16 - 31.269 - 189.52
16 - 24 - C - John MARTIN - AUS - Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda - 29:18.773 - 16 - 35.354 - 189.08
17 - 63 - I - Federico GLORIOSO - ITA - Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda - 29:29.942 - 16 - 46.523 - 187.89
18 - 9 - C - Rodolfo GONZALEZ - VEN - Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda - 29:31.713 - 16 - 48.294 - 187.70
19 - 44 - C - Leo MANSELL - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 29:32.203 - 16 - 48.784 - 187.65
20 - 55 - N - Michael MEADOWS - GBR - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:34.155 - 16 - 50.736 - 187.44
21 - 34 - N - Alex WATERS - GBR - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:34.903 - 16 - 51.484 - 187.37
22 - 8 - C - Francesco CASTELLACCI - ITA - Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda - 29:43.696 - 16 - 01:00.3 - 186.44
23 - 37 - N - Viktor JENSEN - ISL - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:47.758 - 16 - 01:04.3 - 186.02
24 - 36 - N - Albert COSTA - ESP - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 29:58.872 - 16 - 01:15.5 - 184.87
25 - 35 - N - Alistair JACKSON - GBR - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 30:01.714 - 16 - 01:18.3 - 184.58
26 - 33 - N - Juan Pablo GARCIA S. - MEX - Lola-Dome F106/4 Mugen-Honda - 30:24.956 - 16 - 01:41.5 - 182.23
- - - Not Classified - - - - - -
12 - C - Sean PETTERSON - RSA - Lola B06-30 Mugen-Honda - 28:01.258 - 15 - D.N.F. - 185.40
10 - C - Ricardo TEIXEIRA - ANG - Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda - 09:17.808 - 5 - D.N.F. - 184.94
5 - C - Sebastian HOHENTHAL - SWE - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 06:16.190 - 3 - D.N.F. - 163.35
50 - C - Greg MANSELL - GBR - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 03:42.359 - 2 - D.N.F. - 182.57
69 - I - Dominick MUERMANS - NED - Dallara F306 Opel-Spiess - 02:00.162 - 1 - D.N.F. - 164.29
38 - N - Hamad AL FARDAN - BHR - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 02:00.569 - 1 - D.N.F. - 163.74
26 - C - Atte MUSTONEN - FIN - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - - 0 - D.N.F. - N/A
- - - Fastest Laps - - - - - -
1 - C - Stephen JELLEY - - Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA - 01:46.546 - 14 - 121.62mph - 195.73
31 - N - Sergio PEREZ - - Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda - 01:47.770 - 13 - 120.24mph - 193.51
62 - I - Matteo CHINOSI - - Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda - 01:48.231 - 12 - 119.73mph - 192.68
FULL REPORT TO FOLLOW SHORTLY
CLICK HERE for Championship Points after Round 9