Motorsport News - F3
Two Snetterton F3 Podiums For Double R Racing and Padayachee
6th August 2012
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series rookie Duvashen Padayachee added two more National Class podiums to Double R Racings tally at Snetterton over the weekend, 4th/5th August, as International Class runner Fahmi Ilyas equaled his previous career-best with fifth in a wet round 21.
Not for the first time this season, the British F3 teams and competitors were faced with extremely challenging conditions as thunderstorms and heavy rain interfered with the track action across the two days.
Double Rs International Class drivers, Ilyas and Geoff Uhrhane, were unbelievably evenly matched in qualifying on Saturday with the latter just shading his Malaysian team-mate by 0.003 seconds to claim a top 10 start for the weekends Feature Race. On second fastest times, determining the grid for the opening encounter, positions were reversed with Ilyas 0.040 seconds quicker.
Padayachee continued his strong development as an F3 driver with a highly competitive session, just missing out on the National Class pole for the Feature Race by 0.135 seconds. In the end he had to settle for third in class and for race one he qualified as third fastest again.
Heavy rain prior to the start of round 21 led to a delay in the days schedule but when the action did begin Ilyas made a superb start and surged through from 11th on the grid into the top five on the opening lap leaping up the order at the hairpin as several others tangled.
Maintaining his top five placing, Ilyas delivered a great drive and although he did come under more pressure during the latter stages he maintained a gap of over a second to the finish which actually came a couple of minutes early when red flags were shown due to the onset of more torrential rain.
Uhrhane ran as high as eighth in his Dallara-Mercedes but slipped to ninth on lap three, when he was passed by a recovering Jazeman Jaafar, and remained there to the conclusion his best finish of the weekend. Padayachee, meanwhile, held second in the National Class until lap four when he was usurped by points leader Spike Goddard but did maintain third to the chequered flag.
Fahmi did a great job in Saturdays race, the conditions were very tough but he managed to avoid the chaos at the second corner and then sensibly brought the car home in fifth, said Double R team principal Anthony Boyo Hieatt, At the end the rain was horrendous it was definitely the right call to red flag the race.
With the top 12 finishers from round 21 reversed to form the upper order of the grid for Sunday mornings opening race, Padayachee started on the outright front row with Uhrhane fourth and Ilyas in eighth place.
Unfortunately for Dallara Mugen-Honda driver Padayachee, his hopes of a class win were ruined on lap one when he was shuffled back to the tail of the field. He mounted a good recovery though and, after a drive-through penalty for Goddard due to an out-of-position start, Padayachee was able to pass his rival on lap six to take third for his second podium of the weekend.
Ilyas race only lasted until lap five when contact with Pipo Derani resulted in retirement. Although slipping to 11th on lap one, the Double R racer did get back into the top 10 prior to the incident and had looked comfortable at the tail of a train of cars building up behind third placed Adderly Fong.
Australias Uhrhane dropped down to fifth at the start, following some contact with Hannes van Asseldonk on the opening lap, and then lost another position on the second tour before regaining his composure and maintaining his top six placing.
Fending off the close attentions of series leader Jack Harvey, Uhrhane raced very impressively in the pack bottled up behind Fong and took fifth when Goddard pitted. On lap eight though, the Double R mans race began to come apart as he was shuffled back to an eventual finish of 10th place.
In round 23, the feature race, Uhrhane had an unfortunate spin at the hairpin on lap one and subsequently stalled, but did mount a strong recovery. Some 12 seconds behind the pack at that point, the F3 rookie charged up to the tail of the field by lap four and then worked his way past some of the National Class cars before closing on Ilyas.
The Kuala Lumpur-born racer, running in 11th position, spent much of the 40-minute encounter stuck in the wheeltracks of National leader Fong but with Uhrhane advancing at a rapid rate of knots he redoubled his efforts and passed Fong for 10th on lap 18. Uhrhane followed suit a lap later and at the finish just 0.136 seconds separated the Double R team-mates.
Race three was the least fruitful of the weekend for Padayachee who, after slipping from third in class to fourth on lap one, spent the remainder of the race there. Even so, with two podiums from the weekend he remains in contention for the National Class title with six races remaining.
Two more podiums for Duvashen is good and hes kept his title chances alive in the National Class with three scores, commented Hieatt, Geoff recovered well in the final race, his pace was good, its just a shame a couple of incidents cost him some stronger finishes this weekend. All three guys definitely showed a good level of performance and weve certainly improved the car.
Rounds 24, 25 and 26 of the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will be contested five weeks from now on 8th/9th September at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd23):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 48pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 30pts
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series National Class Standings (after Rd23):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 297pts
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