First British Formula 3 win for Fortec’s Foresti
Lucas Foresti came of age as a driver in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series this afternoon at Oulton Park, the Brazilian leading Round 4 of the championship all the way from pole position to checkered flag. The Mercedes-powered Fortec Motorsport driver increased his advantage on every lap and broke the circuit lap record for good measure.
It was a brilliant showing from the 18-year-old, who claimed his first British Formula 3 podium finish only last weekend at Monza. His countryman, the championship leader Felipe Nasr, placed second ahead of his Carlin team-mates Jazeman Jaafar and Carlos Huertas. T-Sport’s Bart Hylkema overcame early class leader Kotaro Sakurai to win the Rookie division.
Foresti nailed it right from the start of the 21-lapper, pulling 2.2s clear of his pursuers on the opening lap. T-Sport driver Menasheh Idafar was the man in second spot initially, the Bahraini making a superb getaway from third on the grid to overhaul Nasr away from the line. Idafar ran strongly in second all the way to the eighth lap, when he went off at Old Hall.
Thus Foresti, who had broken Nick Tandy’s two-year-old lap record on his sixth lap, found his lead doubled from 4.0s to 8.4s, with new second-place man Nasr seemingly unable to do much about closing it. Foresti did not back off, however, and increased his lead over Felipe each and every lap, reaching the checkered flag 18.4s ahead.
Said Lucas: “We did a great job, me, the team, Mercedes, everybody. We were all looking forward and working together. It’s great, my first win and I hope the first of many.”
Added Felipe: “It’s a good result for the championship. We like to win all the time but sometimes it is not possible. I didn’t take my best set of tires for this race; there will be more speed to come in the later races.”
Jaafar held station throughout, fourth initially and then promoted to third with Idafar’s demise; it was the Malaysian racer’s third podium finish from four races. Huertas finished a second ahead of Hitech Racing’s Pietro Fantin to claim fourth, with championship newcomer Harry Tincknell scoring his first points with sixth.
Riki Christodoulou placed seventh for Hitech, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, who started 14th after a qualifying crash, Double R’s Scott Pye and Rupert Svendsen-Cook. Pipo Derani joined Idafar in retirement, the Brazilian suffering an engine problem.
Dutch driver Bart Hylkema recovered from a poor start to overhaul Hitech man Sakurai on the sixth lap and record his third Rookie win of the season. Sakurai finished a lap down to score his first points of the year.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 4, Oulton Park 4/23/2011
21 laps / 56.532 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 31m 19.106s / 108.30mph
2 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +18.362s
3 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +20.043s
4 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +24.677s
5 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +25.839s
6 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +27.110s
7 Riki CHRISTODOULOU / GBR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +29.882s
8 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +30.644s
9 Scott PYE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +31.168s
10 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +34.275s etc
Provisional results Rookie class
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 11.679s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 20 laps
Fastest lap Foresti 1m 28.669s / 109.29mph Record
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/fwgptU
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 66 points; 2 Jaafar 45; 3 Foresti 38; 4 Huertas 37; 5 Will Buller 24;
6 Svendsen-Cook 22 etc
Rookie class: 1 Hylkema 55; 2 Sakurai 15.