Harvey made the most of his pole position at a wet Oulton Park this morning to lead the field into the first corner at the start of race one. Behind him team mates Harry Tincknell and Jazeman Jaafar were involved in a close battle, with PETRONAS backed Jaafar snatching second by the second corner. Sainz meanwhile had held onto fourth on his first F3 start, while Fantin had dropped from sixth to 11th after light contact with Felix Saralles.
Lincolnshire born Harvey wasted no time in pulling away from the field and already had a 4.1 second lead by lap three, while Sainz was putting Tincknell under pressure for third. The determined Red Bull Junior ran wide on lap four but recovered and set about closing back in on third place.
By lap seven Sainz was back with Tincknell, with the close fight between the Carlin duo allowing Jaafar to pull out a comfortable gap in second. Sainz finally took third place down the start/finish straight at the start of lap nine, and now had second placed Jaafar in his sights.
The fight between Sainz and Tincknell had allowed the Fortec cars of Hannes van Asseldonk and Alex Lynn to close in on the Carlin drivers, with Tincknell now having to defend from van Asseldonk who took fourth place on lap 12. Now running fifth Tincknell was having to defend from Lynn, in a close battle that would last until the checkered flag.
Despite several attempts by Lynn, Tincknell stayed ahead with a defensive drive against his former Formula Renault 2.0 rival. Ahead of them, Sainz was coming under pressure by van Asseldonk for third, but maintained the position after the Fortec man went off in the final stages of the race.
At the front, Harvey took his second ever British F3 victory after a flawless drive from pole, with Jaafar starting his 2012 account with second place from Sainz. Tincknell moved up to fourth after van Asseldonk’s excursion off track while Fantin had recovered to eighth place having initially dropped to 11th.
Reflecting on his victory Harvey said, “This is the best start to the season we could have hoped for. We’ve worked so hard over the winter and this result is a great team effort; I’m really pleased for the team. I was very focused on a good start and then pushed hard to build up a gap. Towards the end of the race I backed off a little bit and was driving within myself to ensure we took the points at the flag. I’m aiming to replicate this in race three later this afternoon."
Second placed man Jaafar added, “I made a good start and was very close to Jack and Harry, and managed to pass Harry into the first corner. Then I focused on building up a gap from third. I’m aiming for the race win every time this year, but solid points for second is a good start to the season."
Completing the podium, Sainz Jr said, “It was an ok race; we had a good fight for third and I’m glad to finish on the podium in my first F3 race. There’s more to come though from myself and the car so I’m looking forward to the next two races today."
Results – 19 laps:
|1.||Jack Harvey||Carlin Dallara-VW||+0.000s|
|2.||Jazeman Jaafar||Carlin Dallara-VW||+7.736s|
|3.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Carlin Dallara-VW||+11.165s|
|4.||Harry Tincknell||Carlin Dallara-VW||+23.070s|
|5.||Alex Lynn||Fortec Dallara-Merc||+23.119s|
|6.||Fahmi Ilyas||Double R Dallara-Merc||+37.052s|
|7.||Felix Serralles||Fortec Dallara-Merc||+39.354s|
|8.||Pietro Fantin||Carlin Dallara-VW||+42.102s|
|9.||Pipo Derani||Fortec Dallara-Merc||+53.068s|
|10.||Nick McBride||T-Sport Dallara-Nissan||+54.727s|
|11.||Spike Goddard||T-Sport Dallara-Mugen||+1m05.418s|
|12.||Duvashen Padayachee||Double R Dallara-Mugen||+1 lap|
|13.||Hannes van Asseldonk||Fortec Dallara-Merc||18 laps|
|14.||Geoff Uhrhane||Double R Dallara-Mugen||4 laps|