||Post race press conference with Sebastian Hohenthal, Jaime Alguersuari and Max Chilton
CLICK HERE to listen to the National Class press conference
Sebastian Hohenthal took his second victory of his British F3 career and his first in 2008 on the very slippery Rockingham track. The Swede took the lead at the start from pole sitter Jaime Alguersuari and led the Spanish driver home to the chequered flag. Max Chilton took his second podium of season in third, 10-seconds ahead of Round 7 winner Atte Mustonen. Andy Meyrick notched up another win in the National Class, finishing 7th overall in his best performance to date.
On a wet track the 27 car grid lined up behind Jaime Alguersuari and as the lights went out the Spaniard got a good start off the line, but not as good as second placed Sebastian Hohenthal and fourth placed Max Chilton, who both got alongside the lead driver into the banked first corner. The three leaders were three abreast as they headed down to the turn onto the infield, with Hohenthal holding the advantage and Chilton, who was being squeezed towards the concrete wall, deciding to back off as the corner approached. Alguesuari and Hohenthal fought side by side through Deene and Yentwood but the Swede was the first to emerge as they crested the hill at Chapman.
Oliver Turvey had a less than excellent getaway and it suddenly got worse as he spun at Deene, dropping the Racing Steps Foundation driver to the back of the field.
Chilton was continuing to challenge Alguersuari for 2nd when the Safety Car boards were shown around the circuit. At first no one could see the reason, but it then emerged Henry Arundel's Double R Dallara was stranded on the grid next to the wall after a mechanical failure had left the British driver with no forward momentum.
The Safety Car bunched everyone up again as Arundel's car was removed and at the end of lap 3 the green flag was once again displayed. Hohenthal couldn't shake off the attentions of Alguersuari, the Swede having to watch his mirrors on every lap.
Andy Meyrick was running at the head of the National Class in 5th overall and he had no problem in keeping ahead of the battling Mygales of Nick Tandy and Michael Devaney in the wet conditions. Steven Guerrero was holding second spot in class and lookd to be driving well within his means, but then came under pressure from Jay Bridger from the mid point of the race. Bridger duly took the place from the Colombian on lap 13 but Guerrero still had a comfortable gap to Niall Quinn.
Hohethal looked in complete control at the front as the final part of the race approached. Alguersuari was able to keep pace with the leader, maintaining a two second gap to Hohenthal, but he couldn't get close enough to challenge for the top spot. Chilton was a comfortable third, well ahead of Mustonen, Tandy and Devaney, the pair of Mygales finally finding their way past Meyrick on the 12th lap.
On lap 17 Devaney passed Tandy at Yentwood to move into 5th place but on the next lap he missed the Deene corner, overshooting his braking point and having to travel around the oval part of the track to rejoin the race still ahead of Tandy at Turn 4.
At the end of lap 20, the 30-minutes had counted down and the chequered flag came out for Sebastian Hohenthal, the 6th different winner in the eight races held this season. Jaime Alguersuari claimed his second podium finish of the day ahead of a delighted Max Chilton. Atte Mustonen was 4th ahead of Michael Devaney, who was initially given a 4-second penalty for using the oval, but this was overturned on appeal.
Andy Meyrick finished 7th overall to recordhis 6th class win of the year, with Jay Bridger finishing a distant second in 16th overall, one place higher than Steven Guerrero.
Sergio Perez could only manage to finish in 13th overall and his championship lead has been cut to just 10 points by Atte Mustonen, who looks to be getting into his stride. Jaime Alguersuari is 3rd, 17 points behind the Mexican, as the teams get ready for the next event at Snetterton in less than two weeks.
The races from Rockingham will be shown on Channel 4 in the UK and Motors TV across Europe starting Sunday 2nd June. CLICK HERE to see a full TV Schedule.
CLICK HERE for championship positions after Round 8
CLICK HERE to listen to the post race press conference.
Round 8 - Provisional Result
1 - 7 - INT - Sebastian Hohenthal - SWE - 31:05.263 - 20 laps
2 - 4 - INT - Jaime Alguersuari - ESP - +2.199s
3 - 1 - INT - Max Chilton - GBR - +6.450s
4 - 26 - INT - Atte Mustonen - FIN - +16.502s
5 - 16 - INT - Michael Devaney - IRL - +17.659s
6 - 28 - INT - Nick Tandy - GBR - +18.372s
7 - 56 - NAT - Andy Meyrick - GBR - +23.274s
8 - 3 - INT - Brendon Hartley - NZL - +25.494s
9 - 17 - INT - Oliver Turvey - GBR - +25.956s
10 - 8 - INT - Marcus Ericsson - SWE - + 26.240s
11 - 18 - INT - Sam Abay - AUS - +26.950s
12 - 2 - INT - Walter Grubmuller - AUT - +30.411s
13 - 9 - INT - Sergio Perez - MEX - +32.004s
14 - 24 - INT - John Martin - AUS - +43.004s
15 - 12 - INT - Ricardo Teixeira - ANG - +46.319s
16 - 50 - NAT - Jay Bridger - GBR - +1:01.890s
17 - 53 - NAT - Steven Guerrero - COL - +1:12.114s
18 - 5 - INT - Viktor Jensen - ISL - +1:14.247s
19 - 52 - NAT - Hywel Lloyd - GBR - +1:17.333s
20 - 54 - NAT - Kristjan Einar - ISL - +1:18.865s
21 - 51 - NAT - Stefan Wilson - GBR - +1:19.944s
22 - 58 - NAT - Niall Quinn - IRL - +1 lap
DNF - 11 - NAT - Alistair Jackson - GBR - +12 laps
DNF - 14 - INT - Philip Major - CAN - +18 laps
DNF - 6 - INT - Henry Arundel - GBR
DNF - 57 - NAT - Salman Al Khalifa - BHR - +5 laps
DNF - 55 - NAT - Craig Reiff - GER - +9 laps
17 - INT - Oliver Turvey - 1:28.587 - 78.83mph - 126.88kph
56 - NAT - Andy Meyrick - 1:29.506s - 78.03mph - 125.57kph