TEAM NEWS: The Hitech Racing team scored another victory in the Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula 3 International Series, as Estonian Marko Asmer took a lights-to-flag win in Round 11 of the championship. His team-mate, Austrian Walter Grubmüller took two brilliant top ten finishes in the two races.
Asmer followed up his race one win with third place in Round 12, which extends his lead in the series to 78 points. In race one, Marko immediately pulled away from the rest of the grid as soon as the lights went green, pulling out a two second lead before the safety car was scrambled.
At the re-start he was again able to pull out a commanding lead over the rest of the field, eventually crossing the line nine seconds clear of the opposition, picking up his seventh win of the season. His second race, however, was not as straight forward. At the start he suffered from too much wheelspin away from the line, dropping him behind Sebastian Hohenthal and Sam Bird.
Bird, though, had jumped the start and was given a drive through penalty, which put him out of contention and put the battle squarely between Marko and Hohenthal. Two laps from home Marko went for the lead, but ran wide onto the grass, allowing Atte Mustonen through into second place.
Despite being the fastest of the three drivers, with only a handful of laps left he was unable to find a way past and was forced to settle for the final podium position.
Grubmüller had to work hard in the first of the two races when he dropped back two places at the start. A great drive allowed him to work his way through the field and into tenth place before the chequered flag fell.
In the second race he suffered another bad start, dropping one place. But, he immediately started working his way back up the order, also taking advantage of Bird’s drive through penalty to gain another place, eventually taking ninth and finally breaking back into the points.
“The first race was perfect for Marko,” said team boss, David Hayle. “Even the safety car period couldn’t put him off and he took victory easily. In the second race he got a bad start, but was right with Hohenthal for lap after lap. He went for a move at Dingle Dell and ran wide and lost about four seconds, allowing Mustonen into second place.”
“What is frustrating is that Hohenthal ran wide a couple of laps later and if Marko had stayed where he was he could have taken advantage of that. But he’s extended his lead in the championship and taken another win and a podium finish, but we’re disappointed by what could have been, which shows that we’re not getting complacent about the rest of the season.”
“Walter had two good drives back through the field and in the second he was battling with Engel and had race-long pressure from Jonathan Kennard and set the sixth fastest lap of the race. It’s good for him to be back in the points again,” he added.
“Tenth wasn’t too bad after starting 16th as I lost two places at the start,” said Grubmuller. “I lost a place at the start of the second race too, but managed to come back strongly and make it into the top ten. It feels really good to be back in the points. I am looking forward to Spa as I know the circuit really well and want to move even further up there,” he added.
“The car was so good in the first race,” said Asmer. “The team worked so hard to get it right and it was easy really. When the safety car went in you never know what might happen into the first corner, but it was good.”
“It’s disappointing to finish third from pole in race two though. Sebastian got a better start and I stayed as close as I could to see if he made a mistake, but he didn’t and I did. I thought about settling for second halfway through the race, but I couldn’t see Atte behind me so I went for it and ran wide instead. It’s good to pick up more points and increase my lead in the championship, though and hopefully we can be just as quick at Spa,” he added.