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11/06/2007:
A Lap of Monza with Jonathan Kennard

 

Jonathan Kennard is one of the few drivers in this years championship who took part in the British F3 race at the home of the Italian Grand Prix two years ago. He describes a lap of the famous circuit at Autodroma Nazionale Monza, the fastest track on the 2007 calendar.

"There is no circuit in the world quite like Monza, 3.61 miles long, it really is a temple of speed as it is comprised of mainly long straights and tremendous slipstreaming opportunities.

"It is an extremely special place, as upon arrival you immediately get a feel of the unbelievable atmosphere and an ambience for the past. The place has a rich history and one immediately thinks of the drivers who used to race on the old banking, some of which remains to this day.

"The current Grand Prix circuit is the format that the British Formula Three drivers will be fortunate enough to be using in 2007 and I will take you through a lap of this exciting but demanding track, where I have won twice in the past in another series.

"Past the pits we will be reaching speeds of around 155 mph. This is where drivers will be looking for any opportunity for a tow from another car.

"The first chicane comprises of very heavy braking as we will be losing around 100mph and using 2nd gear. This is critical to a lap time as you have to keep it nice and tidy and use the correct amount of curb. Then we are immediately into the Curva Grande, which for a Formula Three car is actually more of a straight as it is easily flat out.

"The second chicane is a little more violent than the first, as the curbs are higher and more aggressive. It is very easy to make a mistake here and blow a good qualifying lap. After the chicane you enter the first and second Lesmo’s in 4th gear. The exit curb is flat and smooth but tends to be slippery, so that is something to look out for.

"Next you are heading down another huge straight, under the old banking and into the Ascari chicane, which is a real test of both driver skill and car setup. It really does demand a lot from the car, with high speed directional change leading to an important corner exit.

"Then, once again we are onto another long straight, leading towards the famous Parabolica. This is one of those corners which is so difficult to get absolutely right as you need to have a fast entry, but also a clean and tidy exit.

"We are now crossing the start/finish line, have a quick glance at the pit board, and get ready for a new lap of the fantastic Monza circuit.

Jonathan Kennard

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