Motorsport News - F3
Uhrhane Takes Best Result Of 2012 For Double R
2nd July 2012
Geoff Uhrhane produced the most impressive drive of his maiden season in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Germany’s Norisring over the weekend, 30th June/1st July, with an excellent fourth place in round 15 of the campaign – Double R Racing’s best result so far of 2012.
The Australian maintained good composure in baking hot weather during the first of the three Norisring encounters to climb from 10th to fourth, before adding an eighth place finish in round 16. During a rain-lashed round 17 on Sunday morning though, Uhrhane was pitched into retirement.
Conditions for the third race couldn’t have been more different from those of the first two – the scorching heat from the previous two days, which was so intense it resulted in problems with the track surface, gave way to major storms.
The final outing was therefore unsurprisingly red flagged after 21 laps due to the horrendous weather. But while several drivers came to grief in the challenging rain and spray, Fahmi Ilyas produced a superb drive to claim sixth – a positive response to a pair of non-finishes on Saturday.
Duvashen Padayachee missed out on adding to his tally of wins in the National Class but did string together three second place results. The Australian was on course to claim victory in the rain-hit third encounter but an unfortunate spin on lap 10 wrecked his hopes.
“The conditions for the third race were awful”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “Fahmi did a great job to finish sixth and Geoff was just really unlucky – his car aquaplaned, he lifted off and the car behind hit him into a spin. Fourth in the first race on Saturday was a great result though.
“Race three was the best for Duvashen. He was going really well early on, passed Spike [Goddard – National Class points leader] and was doing a good job but his front wing just got caught on the car in-front at the last hairpin. It’s a shame that cost him a potential win, but it was still a good drive.”
Running with competitors and teams from the Formula 3 Euroseries this weekend at the Nuremberg street circuit, the British championship racers had to operate to European F3 regulations meaning they utilised Hankook tyres rather than the Coopers they normally use.
Qualifying, which was originally scheduled for Friday, 29th June, was moved to an early slot on Saturday morning after track activity on the opening afternoon was halted – all due to the asphalt breaking up at two corners as a result of the searing temperatures.
Uhrhane was the quickest of the Double R drivers with a best time of 49.817 seconds (166.208 km/h), just shading team-mate Ilyas by two hundredths of a second, with the pair only 0.5 seconds away from the fastest of the British F3 contingent. On second fastest times though, Ilyas started ahead of Uhrhane for round 15 with the Dallara-Mercedes drivers ninth and 10th respectively.
The Malaysian made a superb start to Saturday’s opening encounter and gained several places at the first hairpin, neatly placing his car on the inside and avoiding a multi-car collision in the process to move up into the top six of the British series racers.
Following an early Safety Car period, action resumed on lap six and Ilyas had to work hard to try and fend off the swarming pack but his race was run just a lap later when unfortunate contact with the wall at the exit of the first hairpin resulted in damaged suspension and retirement to the pits.
As several of the British F3 runners hit troubles, Uhrhane kept a cool head and by lap eight he was sixth and pressuring fellow Australian Nick McBride. On lap 12, that became fifth when Jack Harvey was forced to pit for a penalty and then, at the end of lap 17, McBride tangled with one of the Euro runners which gave Uhrhane the chance to slice past.
Over the remainder of the race, which was brought to an early conclusion a couple of minutes before the scheduled distance due to an incident, Uhrhane held on to fourth in British F3 to claim not only his best ever result but also the Woking team’s highest finish of the season.
Yet more misfortune struck Ilyas in round 16 when he sustained damaged suspension in a mid-pack skirmish on the very first lap. Double R’s honour in the British F3 International Class therefore rested with Uhrhane who finished in eighth place.
Due to the awful thunder-storm conditions prior to round 17, the Sunday morning action started behind the Safety Car. On the first racing lap Uhrhane and Ilyas both profited from incidents for others to move into eighth and ninth respectively before their positions switched on the next lap.
Ilyas then moved up into seventh before an error by Carlos Sainz Jnr enabled the Double R man to take sixth prior to the deployment of the Safety Car – two laps after Uhrhane was pitched into an unfortunate retirement. On lap 21, officials then declared a race stoppage due to the poor weather.
Padayachee ran second in the National Class throughout both of Saturday’s races but took away a healthy haul of points at the wheel of his Dallara Mugen-Honda. During round 17, he delivered his best performance of the weekend, despite the conditions, and seized the class lead on the opening lap which he held until his unfortunate spin on lap 10.
Double R Racing will be back in action four weeks from now, on Friday, 27th July, and Saturday, 28th July, for rounds 18, 19 and 20 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series at the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium.
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd17):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 39pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 22pts
2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd17):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 232pts
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