DRIVER NEWS: More Points for Breen at Challanging Silverstone Weekend
DRIVER NEWS: By the end of last weekend, Niall Breen was making some progress on the Silverstone International circuit, finishing in seventh and ninth places for rounds 15 and 16 of the Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula 3 Championship and scoring a few more points on Sunday.
Showing the competitive nature of the British Formula 3 series, Breen’s qualifying sessions on Saturday produced grid places of 11th and 13th respectively, although his time was only 0.605s away from polesitter Marko Asmer’s time for the first race on Sunday.
Following two races with two different engineers, Breen was pleased to be reunited with his regular engineer, Jimmy Goodwin, who was still not fully recovered from a recent spell in hospital.
The 21-year old Dundalk driver in the Bar One Racing Carlin Motorsport Dallara, had a lot of work to do in the first race. Following a brief safety car period at the start, he was up to ninth on the fourth lap and when he passed Sebastian Hohenthal on lap 11, Breen was in eighth and engaged in a dice with Michael Devaney, the pair chasing Niall’s Carlin team mate Sam Bird.
During some place swopping Devaney got by Breen and it wasn’t until the final lap that the 2006 Formula BMW Champion challenged his fellow countryman, making his move on Michael on the inside of Becketts to finish seventh behind Asmer, Maro Engel, Atte Mustonen, Greg Mansell, Stephen Jelley and Bird.
Starting 13th in the second race, Breen was straight up to 11th on the opening lap and chasing team mate Mario Moraes for 10th. He passed Moraes who was then penalised for a jump start and given a drive through penalty. There was little change until the closing stages when Niall got by Jelley on lap 21 to leave him ninth, where he finished at the flag behind Asmer. Engel was second again from Mansell, Devaney, Alberto Valerio, Bird, Rudolfo Gonzales and Hohenthal.
“It was another challenging weekend in which the car over-steered a lot and was even worse the hotter it got”, said a bemused Breen. “Fortunately we scored a few more points and closed the gap to fifth place anyway.”
With six rounds left in the series, the positions in the championship now stand at Asmer with 240 points from Engel (156), Bird (150), Jelley (131), Jonathan Kennard (115) and Breen (107). The next two rounds are at Thruxton Circuit on August 25/26th when Niall will be hoping for a turn in fortunes.