TEAM NEWS: Ultimate Match Best Ever in Silverstone Homecoming
TEAM NEWS: Ultimate Motorsport matched their best ever race result as they narrowly missed out on a podium finish on their return to Silverstone for the eighth round of teh Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series.
Irish driver Michael Devaney put his Mygale-Mercedes machine in third on the grid for the second race of the day and finished just 3.320 seconds off the podium in fourth – equalling his and the team's best result but leaving them still searching for their maiden podium.
Devaney scored a double points finish, having claimed eighth in the opening race of the day, while Esteban Guerrieri had a frustrating weekend that saw him put in some inspiring early race performances to fight back from low grid spots only to miss out on points as he finished the two races 13 th and 11th.
Team Owner Barry Walsh said: "It was great to come here to Silverstone and show how far we have come this year. Third on the grid was by far our best qualifying result and Mick was able to keep the pace with the leaders in the race. Both he and Esteban did a great job this weekend.
"That's great – but it's gettting frustrating not getting on that podium now! We will do it, and it may be a bit strange to say but it is encouraging to see everyone a little bit disappointed with the result because it shows what we all are expecting at every race now.
"We know we are closing in on finding the pace we need and the team is working hard to make it happen. There is still development potential in the Mygale and we keep showing that by making steps forward. This was our best performance yet, and we are hoping for even better next time at Thruxton."
In the first race, Guerrieri made a flying start from 14th on the grid to climb to seventh by the end of the opening lap, with Devaney holding station in ninth. After a brief safety car period Guerrieri gained two more places to reach fifth place while Devaney dropped to 10th.
It was all change on lap 11, when Guerrieri came under serious pressure from the cars behind – including Devaney - and dropped to 10th with Devaney making it up to seventh in an exciting multi-car battle. Guerrieri then slowly dropped back, while Devaney dropped behind Niall Breen on the last lap to finish eighth.
In the second race, Devaney slipped from third to fifth after a disappointing start from a dirty part of the grid but he climbed back to fourth at the second corner on lap two. He kept pace with the leaders, setting his fastest lap just three tenths slower than race winner Marko Asmer, but dropped back towards the end.
Guerrieri, meanwhile, made another fantastic start as he climbed up from 20th to 17th after the first sector and then moved up three more places to 14th by the end of lap one. With an improved car he picked off two more drivers ahead of him to finish 11th.
Devaney said: "It has been a good weekend all round. It is disappointing we still have not got that podium, but the pace is here now and we have proved we can qualify well – which makes all the difference. The first race was a good one to get a few more points in the bag but the second one was what it was all about.
"So when I lined up on the grid and saw the crap on my tyres, I thought b*llocks! Everyone else had clean tyres, so I knew what was going to happen. I had a terrible start and dropped two places, but I made it back up to fourth and held the pace. If we had got the start, it could well have been a podium. Next time."
Guerrieri said: "I had a fantastic start to race one and we were flying, up to fifth after the safety car. But as the race went on the car became more and more difficult to drive and I could not avoid dropping back through the field.
"We worked on it for the second race and it was much better. I did all I could from 20th but it was a battle and I couldn't quite make it up into the points-scoring positions. For some reason we could not find the pace in my car, but we will strip the car down now, find out and be back ready for Thruxton."