TEAM NEWS: Carlin’s race winning British F3 team head to Brands Hatch this weekend, as the second half of the 2008 British F3 International Series gets underway. After a thrilling weekend of racing at the team’s home race at Thruxton, Red Bull driver Brendon Hartley is on top form having taken both wins to put his championship campaign back on track. While Hartley and his team mates will get their first taste of the Brands Hatch GP circuit, National Class leader Andy Meyrick will be missing from Carlin’s line-up this weekend.
Multiple race winner Andy Meyrick will miss rounds 13 and 14 at the Brands Hatch circuit due to ill health. Having begun to feel ill after the team’s test at Pembrey last week, the MSA British Race Elite driver was admitted to hospital where he is currently undergoing tests. The team are yet to make a decision as to whether Meyrick’s national class car will compete with a substitute driver.
Following five podium positions last time out at Thruxton, the Carlin team has seen its drivers climb to second, third and fourth in the championship, with 12 races still to go. Racing Steps Foundation driver Oliver Turvey enjoyed a strong outing at Thruxton, taking two podium finishes to push him up to third place overall, and confirm his place as the current top British driver in the series. Jaime Alguersuari also continued to impress in his rookie year, despite having to retire from race one with a puncture. The 18 year-old Red Bull driver came home in a strong third place in race two, and sits just one point behind championship leader Sergio Perez. Australian F3 rookie Sam Abay enjoyed his best outing of the season, coming home in fourth place in race one, and is aiming for the podium this weekend.
Speaking ahead of his first visit to Brands Hatch, Thruxton race winner Hartley said, “I’ve never been to Brand Hatch before, but I’ve heard that its pretty much the best circuit in the UK from a drivers’ perspective, so I’m excited about seeing it and racing there for the first time. I don’t think it will be too much of a penalty not having driven there before, I think I demonstrated at Thruxton that it doesn’t take me long to get used to a circuit. The two wins at Thruxton were a big boost and have definitely helped my confidence, and I’ve shown that I can handle the pressure of leading the race. Hopefully we can do the same again this weekend.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “The team had a fantastic weekend at Thruxton and obviously it will be very difficult to repeat that at Brands Hatch. Brendon, Jaime and Kristjan have never even been to Brands before and none of the drivers have experience on the Grand Prix circuit, so the team will have a lot of work to do in testing on Friday. Andy will be missed by the team, but it goes without saying that his health is the most important thing at this time. The entire team join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.”
The Carlin drivers will be on track from Friday morning for testing, before qualifying begins at 11.30 on Saturday. Race 1 will commence at 11.35 on Sunday, followed by race 2 at 16.15.