Motorsport News - F3
Two Wins From Three At Rockingham For Padayachee
11th June 2012Australian racer Duvashen Padayachee secured his third and fourth National Class victories of the 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Rockingham over the weekend, 9th/10th June, to close to within just 16 points of the championship lead for Double R Racing.
Easily the best event of the year so far for the F3 rookie, Padayachee confirmed his excellent pace with the fastest National Class lap in all three encounters. In addition, the Dallara Mugen-Honda driver added yet more points with second position in the first outing of the weekend.
“It’s been a great weekend for Duvashen”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He was very close behind Spike [Goddard – National Class points leader] in race one and then did a fantastic job to win the other two. He really made big strides this weekend, we’re absolutely delighted for him.”
In the headline International Class, Dallara-Mercedes drivers Fahmi Ilyas and Geoff Uhrhane had mixed fortunes with Ilyas taking a weekend’s best of eighth position in round 11 while team-mate Uhrhane’s highest finish was 11th in round 10.
For round nine on Saturday afternoon, Ilyas started in seventh and maintained position on the opening lap but any potential progress was hampered soon after when he sustained damage to his front wing and nose cone. Although carrying on for a couple of laps, such was the loss of downforce, and therefore pace, the Malaysian had no option but to pit for a new front wing assembly.
After rejoining the race, Ilyas showed the sort of lap times he was capable of by posting a fastest of 1m19.460 seconds on the seventh tour – less than 0.4 seconds shy of the best of the race. On lap 15 though, another tangle resulted in damage to the replacement front wing and certain retirement.
Uhrhane didn’t fare any better in the first race after being caught-up in a collision with Pipo Derani on lap four, while defending 10th place. Although slipping from ninth to 12th at the start, Uhrhane was back into the top 10 by lap three but, like Ilyas, wasn’t able to show his true performance.
Padayachee, meanwhile, started second in class and was a constant threat to compatriot Spike Goddard as they diced for the National lead. On lap nine the Double R racer posted the fastest class lap of 1m21.967 seconds (90.11mph) and although pressuring hard, he had to settle for second.
Round 10 on Sunday started with Padayachee ahead of his two International Class team-mates on the grid but the quicker Dallara-Mercedes cars of Ilyas and Uhrhane moved through to ninth and 13th respectively on lap one with Padayachee bundled back to 14th overall.
On lap five, contact between Ilyas and Carlos Sainz Jnr dropped the Double R man back to 10th and he remained there to the chequered flag on lap 15. Uhrhane moved up into 11th during the first third of the race and at the finish just 0.3 seconds separated the pair.
Padayachee, meanwhile, took the National lead on lap four but a spin soon after reversed the order again. Mounting a strong recovery, he was back onto Goddard’s tail on lap eight and moved through once more to take the lead before pulling away to his third win of 2012 – almost 20 seconds clear.
For round 11, Uhrhane endured a disappointing run after an opening lap clash with Goddard but Ilyas had better fortune and climbed from 10th to seventh. After a brief Safety Car period, racing resumed on lap two and although slipping to eighth a couple of laps later Ilyas remained there to the finish on lap 29 to claim some important championship points.
With Goddard out of the equation on lap one, Padayachee eased to his second National Class win of the weekend and fourth of the season in 11th position overall – a lap ahead of Uhrhane who rejoined after pitting on lap one.
“We picked-up plenty of damage in the first race on Saturday, it was disappointing to see Geoff and Fahmi both have to retire but after his pit-stop Fahmi was super quick”, said Hieatt, “Sunday wasn’t much better for either of them but the pace was there to be in or around the top six. It’s a shame both International Class boys had problems but Duvashen’s results were a big positive for the team.”
Double R Racing will be back in action two weeks from now when rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series take place on 23rd/24th June at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent – the team’s ‘home’ track.
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd11):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 24pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 5pts
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd11):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 160pts
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