TEAM NEWS: Carlin Motorsport driver Jaime Alguersuari finished second in round nine of the 2008 British F3 International Series today, at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. Fellow Red Bull driver Brendon Hartley made it a double podium for the Hampshire based team, coming home in third place, just ahead of team mate Oliver Turvey. Sam Abay completed a solid race for the team to take tenth. Welsh racer Andy Meyrick took second in the National Class while Kristjan Einar finished sixth.
It was an all Carlin second row as the lights went out for race one, with Alguersuari lining up third, ahead of Hartley in fourth. The Red Bull duo made a good start, with Hartley drawing alongside his team mate. Both drivers were alongside Nick Tandy down the back straight, with the Red Bull drivers passing him for second and third. For the next few corners Alguersuari and Hartley were neck and neck, with little to choose between the two. It was Alguersuari who finally got the upper hand to take second.
Racing Steps Foundation driver Oliver Turvey made a lightening start from his seventh placed grid slot, to pass a number of drivers off the line, and was already chasing the front runners by the end of lap one. By lap two, Alguersuari was second, Hartley third, Turvey fourth, with Abay tenth. Keen to take his second win in the championship, Alguersuari was pushing hard and by lap five the gap to race leader Michael Devaney was down to just 0.6 seconds. By lap nine, Alguersuari was just 0.314 seconds behind, but still couldn’t find a way past.
Meanwhile, F3 rookie Sam Abay was involved in his own battle with Walter Grubmuller, taking ninth place on lap ten, only to drop back to tenth on lap16. With Devaney and Alguersuari involved in their own battle, Hartley was able to close the gap to Alguersuari to just 0.8 seconds. In a relatively uneventful race, positions remained unchanged to the chequered flag, with Alguersuari taking his third consecutive podium, ahead of Hartley third, Turvey fourth and Abay tenth.
Following a disappointing qualifying yesterday, National Class leader Andy Meyrick enjoyed some close racing, and made up a number of places to finish second, while team mate Kristjan Einar came home in sixth place.
Reflecting on his race, Alguersuari said, “I had an ok start, but Brendon managed to get past me and then I managed to re-take the position in the Esses. The car felt very good from the start of the race and I felt I had the pace to win, but I just couldn’t find a way past Michael [Devaney]. There aren’t many overtaking spots at Snetterton and I decided to keep putting the pressure on him, but not to try anything stupid and concentrate on getting points. I’m really looking forward to the next race, I genuinely believe Carlin has the best car in the dry and I really want to show the pace we have this afternoon.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “Jaime, Brendon and Oliver did a fantastic job today to finish where they did and raced very maturely. Jaime and Brendon were very fair to each other at the start; they raced each other, but were very sensible and gave each other enough room. Oliver had a fantastic start and thoroughly deserved fourth place. Andy did well to recover from a difficult qualifying session to finish second in the National Class. We’ll be pushing for more of the same this afternoon.”