||Post race interviews with Sergio Perez, Sebastian Hohenthal and Esteban Guerrieri
CLICK HERE to listen to the post race National Class press conference
Sergio Perez did a one man Mexican wave as he took the first win for T Sport in Round 3 of the 2008 British F3 International Series at Croft. His victory also marks the first overall win in British F3 for a Mexican driver and the first for a Mugen Honda powered car since Oliver Jarvis at Thruxton in October 2006. Perez finished the wet race 4.2 seconds ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal, with Esteban Guerrieri securing the first British F3 podium finish for Ultimate and Mygale in 3rd place. Andy Meyrick took his third win from three starts in the National Class.
A very wet track forced all the drivers to select Avon wets for the race. Salman Al Khalifa came back into the pits after his Mugen Honda developed a misfire on the formation lap and after the mechanics had solved the problem the Bahraini driver started the race from the pitlane.
As the lights went out, pole sitter Marcus Ericsson got a poor start off the line and was passed by Perez, Hohenthal and Devaney before the first corner at Clervaux as the spray from the 29 race cars obscured the view. Oliver Turvey had stalled his Carlin Motorsport Dallara on the line, forcing the cars behind to take avoiding action. The Racing Steps Foundation driver got his Mercedes engine fired up and he rejoined in 19th. Ricardo Teixeira and Brendon Hartley clashed at the first corner, with both cars spinning into the gravel and bringing out the waved yellows for two laps.
At the end of lap one it was Perez followed closely by Hohethal, with Devaney in 3rd and 4th placed Ericsson coming under pressure from Alguersuari, the Spaniard making up five places on the opening lap. Alguesuari swept past Ericsson on lap 3 and started to reel in Devaney. The Irish drivers Ultimate Motorsport teammate Esteban Guerrieri was also on the move after losing two places on th opening lap, moving ahead of Atte Mustonen at the Hairpin on lap 4 and he repeated the move a lap later on Ericsson.
Meanwhile Andy Meyrick was leading the National Class, running in 7th overall, six places ahead of second placed Jay Bridger, with Steven Guerrero five places further adrift.
By lap 9 Sergio Perez had started to pull away from Hohethal, ending the lap 1.8 seconds ahead of the Swede, who in turn held a 3.6 second advantage over Devaney. A dry line had started to appear on the track and the front runners were trying to keep their Avon wet weather tyres cool by seeking out the wet patches off the racing line on the start finish straight.
Atte Mustonen started to make his presence felt by posting the fastest lap on three successive laps but the Finn couldn't make any inroads in the gap between himself and 5th placed Esteban Guerrieri. The Argentine driver was concentrating on the Red Bull Dallara of Alguersuari ahead of him on lap 11 and he got close enough to attempt a passing move at Tower. The Ultimate Mygale went down the inside and moved into 4th place. Mustonen followed Guerrieri's lead and by the end of the lap Alguersuari had lost two places, dropping the Spanish driver to 6th.
The top three looked pretty well set but then Guerrieri started to close on his teammate Devaney, the Mercedes engine in the back of his Mygale misfiring intermittently. The Irish driver looked determined to hold onto the podium position and everyone held their breath as the Guerrieri went around the outside of his teammate at Tower. The two Mygales exited the corner side by side but it was Guerrieri who moved ahead as they approached the Jim Clark Esses. As the cars came into the complex Devaney's car slowed dramatically as the chequered flag approached.
At the flag it was Sergio Perez who punched the air in delight, with Sebastian Hohenthal finishing in 2nd place, which was enough to give the Swede a 1 point lead in the championship over his Fortec teammate Marcus Ericsson who had finished 5th. Esteban Guerrieri took his first Formula 3 podium for two years and his first in British F3. Max Chilton, who had switched to slick tyres just before the end of the race took a championship point for the fastest lap.
Andy Meyrick took his third win and also took the point for the fastest lap to continue his domination of the National Class and holds a 19 point advantage over Jay Bridger.
Round 3 - Provisional Result
1 - 9 - Int - Sergio PEREZ - MEX - T-Sport - 30:49.794 - 22 laps
2 - 7 - Int - Sebastian HOHENTHAL - SWE - Fortec Motorsport - +4.294s
3 - 11 - Int - Esteban GUERRIERI - ARG - Ultimate Motorsport - +5.568s
4 - 26 - Int - Atte MUSTONEN - FIN - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +7.267s
5 - 8 - Int - Marcus ERICSSON - SWE - Fortec Motorsport - +9.769s
6 - 4 - Int - Jaime ALGUERSUARI - ESP - Carlin Motorsport - +17.691s
7 - 25 - Int - Alistair JACKSON - GBR - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +18.840s
8 - 17 - Int - Oliver TURVEY - GBR - Carlin Motorsport - +19.456s
9 - 24 - Int - John MARTIN - AUS - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +20.539s
10 - 18 - Int - Sam ABAY - AUS - Carlin Motorsport - +24.608s
11 - 6 - Int - Henry ARUNDEL - GBR - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +25.446s
12 - 15 - Int - Oliver OAKES - GBR - Eurotek Motorsport - +28.292s
13 - 56 - Nat - Andrew MEYRICK - GBR - Carlin Motorsport - +29.290s
14 - 2 - Int - Walter GRUBMULLER - AUT - Hitech Racing - +29.754s
15 - 50 - Nat - Jay BRIDGER - GBR - Fluid Motorsport Development - +45.174s
16 - 13 - Int - Michael DEVANEY - IRL - Ultimate Motorsport - +51.717s
17 - 5 - Int - Viktor JENSEN - ISL - Nexa Racing - +01:00.280s
18 - 53 - Nat - Steven GUERRERO - COL - T-Sport - +01:14.216s
19 - 51 - Nat - Stefan WILSON - GBR - Fluid Motorsport Development - +01:19.730s
20 - 54 - Nat - Kristjan EINAR - ISL - Carlin Motorsport - +1 lap
21 - 58 - Nat - Niall QUINN - IRL - Team Loctite - +1 lap
22 - 1 - Int - Max CHILTON - GBR - Hitech Racing - +1 lap
23 - 55 - Nat - Craig REIFF - GER - Nexa Racing - +1 lap
24 - 57 - Nat - Salman AL-KHALIFA - BHR - T-Sport - +3 laps
DNF - 28 - Int - Nick TANDY - GBR - JTR Marshall Westland - 19 laps
DNF - 3 - Int - Brendon HARTLEY - NZL - Carlin Motorsport
DNF - 12 - Int - Ricardo TEIXEIRA - ANG - Ultimate Motorsport
DNF - 14 - Int - Philip MAJOR - CAN - Fortec Motorsport
DNF - 52 - Nat - Hywel LLOYD - GBR - C F Racing
1 - Int - Max CHILTON - GBR - Hitech Racing - Lap 21 - 97.19mph - 1:18.711
56 - Nat - Andrew MEYRICK - GBR - Carlin Motorsport - Lap 19 - 93.44 mph - 1:21.870