TEAM NEWS: All three T-Sport drivers put in fantastic qualifying performances at Silverstone this weekend but it was Mexican sensation, Sergio Perez, who lit up the score sheets with national class pole position, victory and fastest lap in both rounds of the British F3 International Series.
T-Sport’s Championship Class driver, Rodolfo Gonzalez, again showed an improvement in his qualifying form with a blistering third place on the grid for race one, his highest placing yet. He then backed this up with another second row grid position for race two and looked to be on course for some top results.
Rodolfo got off to a great start in race one, moving straight up into second place. The safety car came out on lap one while a stranded national class car was cleared from the gravel at Copse, so Rodolfo sat patiently in second place awaiting the restart. When that came at the end of lap three Rodolfo set off after race-leader Marko Asmer, challenging him for the lead at Copse. Unfortunately Asmer wasn’t having any of it and while Rodolfo was engrossed in that battle Atte Mustonen tried to pass him through Becketts. The pair touched and Rodolfo ended up way down the field. His fight back through the ranks was ultimately stopped, again at Becketts, when he clashed with John Martin, and this time it was enough to force Rodolfo to retire from the race.
The Venezuelan driver got bogged down at the start of race two, losing a couple of positions. He gamely fought to take them back and entered into a long battle with Michael Devaney whilst running in fifth. He struggled in the closing laps and dropped two places to Alberto Valerio and Sam Bird, settling for seventh position at the chequered flag.
After performing brilliantly all weekend, Sergio Perez now has a 31-point lead at the top of the National Class standings. The Mexican driver stormed to pole position in both qualifying sessions, taking his 10th pole of the season in the second session. In race one Walter Grubmuller almost had Sergio off at Copse and damaged his front wing in the process. This meant that Sergio lost first position to Frankie Cheng. He used the safety car period to plan his attack and as soon as the race restarted he took Cheng going into the first corner. He didn’t look back and won the race comfortably, taking fastest lap along the way.
Race two was less dramatic for Sergio. He had a stunning start, took fastest lap and won the race, completing the full strike for the weekend.
Salman Al Khalifa, now into his third event with T-Sport, is settling in well and making strong, steady progress. The young Bahraini took third place in the national class during the first qualifying session which was his best result of the year. He then followed it up with another third in the second session, proving it was no fluke. Salman got off to a good start in race one but was then assaulted by fellow Bahraini, Hamad Al Fardan, going into Copse on the very first lap. This accident put Salman out of the race.
Salman was hoping for a clean start to race two which he duly delivered. Unfortunately he was let down by an electronic component failure just a few laps in so was unable to make the most of the fantastic race pace he was showing.
“Sergio really did the job this weekend,” said Team Principal, Russell Eacott. “He knew what he needed to do and he did it; it’s as simple as that. Rodolfo had two great qualifying performances. We’ve worked on this a lot lately but now we need to work on making sure we can translate good grid positions to good race finishes. Salman took another large step in the right direction and we’re disappointed that he didn’t get a podium place as his pace certainly deserved to be rewarded.”