Motorsport News - F3
Career Best F3 Results For Ilyas and Uhrhane At Brands
25th June 2012
Double R Racing’s Fahmi Ilyas took a career-best top five finish during round 13 of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 24th June, in a race which could have delivered the Woking team’s first podium of 2012.
Beginning the second of the weekend’s three races on the ‘reverse grid’ pole position, with rookie team-mate Geoff Uhrhane alongside, Ilyas led away at the start on the damp and drying track and controlled things impressively at the front despite being under constant pressure.
With a 0.5 second advantage going into lap five, and as one of only two drivers lapping in the 1m 20 second bracket at that point, all looked good for the Malaysian. An attempt to brake later than he previously had at Paddock Hill Bend though resulted in his Dallara-Mercedes running wide through the gravel and he rejoined in fifth.
Forced to work incredibly hard to stay in front of compatriot and championship leader Jazeman Jaafar at the head of a train of five cars, Ilyas didn’t put a wheel wrong thereafter and held onto his top five slot by 0.6 seconds at the flag.
“Fahmi did a great job off the start, he made a good getaway and was leading well before his off at Paddock”, said Double R Racing team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He had the pace and was just unlucky to run a little bit wide when he tried to brake 10 metres later than he had before. It’s a real shame, we’d have been pretty happy with a podium!”
After being fended off by Ilyas away from the line, Uhrhane fell back into the clutches of the cars behind and unfortunately picked up damage to his front wing in the process. Slipping back to ninth by the end of lap one, he was bundled back further to 11th on lap two where he remained to the flag.
Uhrhane takes best finish of rookie season in race three
The Australian bested his International Class team-mate in round 12 on Saturday, 23rd June, though by taking a 10th place finish. Starting the race on the fifth row of the grid, the highest placed of the Double R runners, he did slip to 11th early on but re-took 10th on the third tour.
Ilyas, who had to start at the back of the grid after an excursion in qualifying only five minutes into the session prevented him from posting a representative time, fought through to 11th and lapped with almost identical pace to Uhrhane.
During round 14, the final race of the weekend, a multi-car accident enabled Uhrhane to climb into eighth from 10th on the grid while Ilyas scorched through from the back once again and up into ninth on the opening lap. Following a brief Safety Car period, racing resumed and Uhrhane held on to his eighth place to record his best finish of his maiden F3 season.
For Ilyas, an unfortunate moment at Clearways on the penultimate lap gave Felix Serralles the chance to pounce and the Puerto Rican just managed to shade the Double R driver on the line by a mere 0.033 seconds, pushing him back to 10th place.
Double R’s National Class competitor Duvashen Padayachee took two more podiums, third in round 13 and second place in round 14, to only drop four points in the championship race with Australian compatriot Spike Goddard – only 20 points splitting the pair after the Brands Hatch GP weekend.
Although unfortunately retiring from round 12 on Saturday on the last lap of the race following a visit to the gravel, the Dallara Mugen-Honda driver hit back in the first of Sunday’s encounters with a strong drive to third in class. Remaining a thorn in the side of Goddard throughout the 15-lapper, Padayachee couldn’t quite find a way by and was just 0.4 seconds adrift at the finish.
In round 14, the F3 rookie got ahead of Goddard on lap four for second in the National Class but the positions switched back on the ninth tour. Then, eight laps from the end, Goddard crashed out of second place enabling Padayachee to claim the runner-up spot.
“We’re pleased Geoff took a couple more top 10 finishes, eighth is his best so far and hopefully he can improve further from that in the next few events”, added Hieatt, “Duvashen didn’t quite have the pace this weekend over the other National Class boys but he still came away with two good results and only 20 points off the lead. That’s not a bad place to be with half the season to go.”
There’s no rest for the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series teams and drivers as they now head directly to the Norisring street circuit, in Nuremberg, Germany, for rounds 15, 16 and 17 next weekend, 30th June/1st July. As at Pau earlier in the season, British F3 will run alongside the competitors from the FIA European Formula 3 Championship and F3 Euroseries.
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd14):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 33pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 9pts
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd14):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 187pts
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