Asmer Triumphs as Greg Mansell Scores First Podium
Marko Asmer (#7 Hitech Racing Dallara F307 Mercedes pictured right) took his second win in three races in a lights to flag victory but he had to fight off a last lap challenge from Stephen Jelley (#1 Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara F307 Mercedes). The Mansell name returned to the British Formula 3 podium for the first time since 1979 with Greg Mansell (#50 Fortec Motorsport Dallara F307 Mercedes) finishing in third ahead of his rapid Fortec teammate Sebastian Hohenthal (#5 Fortec Motorsport Dallara F307 Mercedes).
In the National Class Michael Meadows (#55 Master Motorsport Dallara F304 Mugen Honda) came under some early pressure from Sergio Perez (#31 T Sort Dallara F304 Mugen Honda) but pulled away from the Mexican in the latter half of the race. Alistair Jackson (#35 Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara F304 Mugen Honda) was a new face on the podium after a three way battle with 'Frankie' Cheng (#39 Performance Racing Dallara F304 Mugen Honda) and Alex Waters (#34 Promatecme Dallara F304 Mugen Honda).
At the green flag it was Asmer who led the 31 car field away with Jelley slotting in behind the Estonian and Greg Mansell holding onto his 3rd spot on the grid as they rounded Redgate corner for the first time. Sebastian Hohenthal made a good start, moving up two places to get ahead of Jonathan Kennard and Niall Breen, the Irishman also dropping behind Maro Engel and Esteban Guerrieri, who was up from 13th on the grid.
As the cars completed the opening lap Asmer had a 1 second lead over Jelley but the Safety Car was deployed after Leo Mansell and Sean Petterson ended up in the gravel at Coppice.
The cars circulated at reduced speed until lap 5 when racing resumed. Normal service also resumed at the front with Asmer holding off a determined challenge from Jelley while Mansell was being caught by Fortec teammate Hohenthal and Jonathan Kennard.
At the rear of the field Alberto Valerio, who had started at the back of the field due to his qualifying times being disallowed for overtaking under yellows was moving up the field, picking off the back markers. Michael Meadows and Sergio Perez were also having a battle royale for the lead of the National Class, but by mid distance Meadows managed to break away from the Mexican, a gap he managed to grow as the checkered flag drew near. The battle for 3rd place in the National Class was providing some racing action as Alistair Jackson had to defend his podium position against a determined Frankie Cheng and Alex Waters, a fight that went all the way to the flag.
Meanwhile back at the front Asmer opened up a 2 second lead over Jelley but the Englishman reeled his opponent in as they started to lap the backmarkers. However Asmer used his considerable experience to pass the slower cars without leaving an opening for Jelley to exploit. Greg Mansell also managed to find some breathing space to Hohenthal who had to defend against the rapidly closing Jonathan Kennard as the race drew to a conclusion.
At the flag it was Asmer from Jelley, with 0.5 seconds separating the two cars. Greg Mansell (pictured right)took the final podium slot to the delight of his Fortec Motorsport team and his Father who was watching from the race from the pitwall.
Michael Meadows took the flag to win his first race in British F3 with a good margin over Sergio Perez. Alistair Jackson held on to take the final podium position in the National Class.
Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series
Round 3 - Provisional Result
1 - 7 - C - Marko ASMER - EST - Hitech Racing - 30:33.255 - 25 laps
2 - 1 - C - Stephen JELLEY - GBR - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +0.545s
3 - 50 - C - Greg MANSELL - GBR - Fortec Motorsport - +3.186s
4 - 5 - C - Sebastian HOHENTHAL - SWE - Fortec Motorsport - +5.723s
5 - 2 - C - Jonathan KENNARD - GBR - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +6.560s
6 - 14 - C - Esteban GUERRIERI - ARG - Ultimate Motorsport - +20.205s
7 - 23 - C - Maro ENGEL - GER - Carlin Motorsport - +20.529s
8 - 4 - C - Mario MORAES - BRA - Carlin Motorsport - +20.669s
9 - 26 - C - Atte MUSTONEN - FIN - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +20.794s
10 - 3 - C - Sam BIRD - GBR - Carlin Motorsport - +21.661s
11 - 22 - C - Alberto VALERIO - BRA - Carlin Motorsport - +23.523s
12 - 9 - C - Rodolfo GONZALEZ - VEN - T-Sport - +23.756s
13 - 55 - N - Michael MEADOWS - GBR - Master Motorsport - +36.974s
14 - 6 - C - Walter GRUBMULLER - AUT - Hitech Racing - +37.319s
15 - 31 - N - Sergio PEREZ - MEX - T-Sport - +39.263s
16 - 10 - C - Ricardo TEIXEIRA - ANG - Performance Racing Europe - +42.438s
17 - 35 - N - Alastair JACKSON - GBR - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +57.390s
18 - 39 - N - Cong Fu CHENG - CHI - Performance Racing Europe - +58.003s
19 - 34 - N - Alex WATERS - GBR - Promatecme F3 - +58.520s
20 - 61 - I - Max CHILTON - Arena International Motorsport - +58.958s
21 - 38 - N - Hamad AL FARDAN - BHR - Performance Racing Europe - +59.929s
22 - 8 - C - Francesco CASTELLACCI - ITA - Alan Docking Racing - +61.625s
23 - 77 - N - Salman AL KHALIFA - BHR - Promatecme F3 - +1lap
24 - 36 - N - Albert COSTA - ESP - Raikkonen Robertson Racing - +1lap
25 - 37 - N - Viktor JENSEN - ISL - Alan Docking Racing - +1lap
26 - 15 - C - Michael DEVANEY - IRL - Ultimate Motorsport - + 2laps
27 - 33 - N - Juan Pablo GARCIA SAMANO - MEX - Fluid Motor - +6laps
NC - 21 - C - Niall BREEN - IRL - Carlin Motorsport - +6laps
NC - 44 - C - Leo MANSELL - GBR - Fortec Motorsport - +24laps
NC - 32 - N - Sean PETTERSON - RSA - Fluid Motorsport Development - +24laps
NC - 24 - C - John MARTIN - AUS - Alan Docking Racing - +25laps
7 - C - Marko ASMER - EST - 1:01.594 - 114.36mph
55 - N - Michael MEADOWS - GBR - 1:02.954 - 111.89mph
61 - I - Max CHILTON - GBR - 1:03.693 - 110.59mph