TEAM NEWS: The 2008 British F3 International Series continues this weekend, as the Carlin F3 team head to Silverstone for rounds 17 and 18. Despite a rookie line-up, Carlin have three drivers in the top four of the championship, with Alguersuari taking the lead following two solid results last time out at Spa. Team mate and Racing Steps Foundation driver Oliver Turvey is currently third in the standings, having dominated proceedings at Spa before an engine problem cut short his second race. Red Bull driver Brendon Hartley is also still in contention for the title after a win in Belgium.
While some of the British F3 drivers have had a break from racing, Hartley and Alguersuari have been in action at the RTL Masters of F3 Zolder, where both finished in the top ten. Oliver Turvey has also been busy, collecting the first ever Cambridge Blue to be awarded for motor sport, the highest honour to be given to a sportsman at the university.
With thoughts firmly returning to the British F3 Series, Alguersuari, Turvey, Hartley and Sam Abay will all be chasing podiums this weekend. Last time out at Spa-Francorchamps, the team took two victories and a historic 1-2-3-4 finish. Oliver Turvey dominated from the outset, setting the quickest time in practice before taking pole position for both races. The Racing Steps Foundation went on to win race one, having fended off a charging Hartley at the start, and was looking good for a race two victory before a engine problem left him stranded on the grid.
With Turvey left on the sidelines, Hartley took an impressive victory, fighting his way from fifth place to take victory on the final lap. Having taken his fourth race win of the season, Hartley is now back in the chase for the title, making it a four way fight as the season enters the final stages.
Sam Abay has become a regular in the top five in the second half of the season, and with two fourth place finishes to his name, the 20 year-old Australian will be looking to go one better and stand on the podium at Silverstone.
Alguersuari’s season has seen the young Spaniard take an impressive eight podiums so far, a statistic only shared by Carlin team mate Oliver Turvey. The young Spaniard has also taken more pole positions and fastest laps than any other driver, highlighting his raw speed in his first season in F3.
Currently leading the championship by just one point, Alguersuari is keen to add more podiums to his tally at Silverstone, “I’ve tested at Silverstone and it seems like a really nice track. I’ve never raced there before, but lack of experience at a circuit hasn’t proved too much of a problem earlier in the season. We’ve got a short weekend at Silverstone, with practice and qualifying on Friday and then the races on Sunday, so we need to find a good set up quickly.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin is looking for strong results from his squad this weekend, “There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most competitive F3 seasons for many years and despite mixed results from all the drivers, the standings remain very close. With three drivers in the top four, we will be pushing hard to pull out a gap from Sergio [Perez] and get all the drivers at the front and on the podium. With only a few events remaining, race wins need to the aim now.”