Qualifying Report – Rounds 12 and 14
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas
Brands Hatch, Kent, June 23rd/24th 2012
At Brands Hatch today Carlin remained very much the team to beat, although this time it was Jack Harvey who was the dominant force, claiming pole position for both Race 1 and Race 3 of the weekend. 2nd and 3rd fastest, on the track at least, were Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) and Harry Tincknell (Carlin), though the latter would later have his second fastest time disallowed for disregarding track limits and thus 3rd on the grid for this afternoon’s race was handed to Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsport). In the National Class, returnee Adderly Fong (CF Racing) was fastest during the majority of the session, despite whatever Richard “Spike” Goddard (T-Sport) and Duvashen Padayachee (Double R Racing) could throw at him.
As already mentioned, this time out we had 15 runners, with Fong coming back to British F3 for a selection of races, including, logically, this one on the circuit where he has pulled off some remarkable results, no matter that some of them were weather-assisted.
At the start of the session, however, all eyes were on the front-runners, and it was Tincknell who was first out of the box, the Carlin boys getting on it straight away. It wasn’t long before the order read Harvey, Tincknell and Carlos Sainz Jr (Carlin) with Fong in a slightly unlikely (though not unprecedented) 4th.A lap later and Jaafar was ahead of his three team-mates with Lynn the first non-Carlin runner, in 5th.
Just as the session was beginning to shape up nicely though, there was a red flag after Fahmi Ilyas (Double R Racing) stuffed it in the barriers at Stirling five minutes into the session. The order as the rest of them trooped back to the pits was Jaafar from Harvey, Tincknell. Sainz Jr, Lynn, Pietro Fantin (Carlin), Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsport), Geoff Uhrhane (Double R Racing), Pipo Derani (Fortec Motorsport) and Nick McBride (Three Bond with T-Sport). Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec) was 11th ahead of Fong, Ilyas, Goddard and Padayachee.
With 24:40 remaining on the clock, they were all champing at the bit to get back out, but the retrieval to a place of safety of the Malaysian driver’s car took some time. When the track was finally live again, it didn’t take long for the drivers to start to settle in to a rhythm, with Serralles up to 7th then a lap later to 4th, while van Asseldonk improved to 8th. Meanwhile, Goddard was chasing Fong’s times, as was Padayachee. It didn’t take long for Ilyas to drop to 15th and last.
The Carlin infighting continued throughout the session, with Tincknell moving into 2nd at the expense of Harvey, and the only man of the five-car team not to get in on the act was Fantin, as has been the case more than once this year. The Brazilian was instead disputing 7th with van Asseldonk. He wasn’t the slowest Brazilian though – that was Derani, who seemed to be seriously out of sorts this weekend and was down in 11th. It’s been an up and down season for the youngster and this appeared to be one of the downs,
Fifteen minutes into the session and the pit stops began, by which point Jaafar was still leading from Tincknell, with Harvey 4th, from Sainz Jr, Serralles, Lynn, Fantin, van Asseldonk, Uhrhane and Derani. McBride had slipped to 11th and Fong still held the National Class pole, from Goddard, Padayachee and Ilyas. The top 7 were covered by less than 0.8 seconds, but there was then quite a big gap to van Asseldonk who promptly buried the car in the Paddock Hill gravel.
With yellows at Paddock, it reinforced the feeling that now was the time for new tyres. The track was now pretty empty and it would stay that way for quite some time. With hardly anyone left running, Fong was now being reeled in by Goddard, while Sainz Jr suddenly appeared at the top of the order having pulled out 0.068 seconds over Jaafar. To general surprise, though, Uhrhane was up in 8th, and may well be finally getting to grips with the car after his impossibly late season start, which had effectively meant that the early races were used to learn the car, rather than to race.
As Goddard moved ahead of Fong, Sainz Jr finally came in for new tyres after that making him almost the last driver to pit. Goddard slammed in another faster lap, though it wasn’t enough for him to get ahead of McBride this time round. Serralles, meanwhile, was also going faster and was 5th briefly until Lynn got ahead of him.
At the front, too, it was all still to play for with Jaafar now winding it up again to try and get ahead of Sainz Jr. Not to be outdone, Serralles dug deeper for 4th while Lynn too found some time from somewhere to make it 3rd. Just to get in on the act, Harvey went even faster to pull ahead of the pack by 0.3 seconds.
The National Class was also wide open as became apparent when Goddard moved up ahead of McBride. That seemed to be the wake-up call McBride needed and he immediately came back to go 9th, while Fong reclaimed the National Class pole. Meanwhile McBride was now 8th, which points to improvements in the Nissan power unit as well a increased confidence in the Australian.
Fantin meanwhile improved to 6th and it was still all go at the front too. Jaafar moved back into 2nd with 8 minutes of the session left, so basically around 5-6 laps available still if the tyres would hold up for that long. Certainly they seemed to be still sticky enough at this stage, as was shown by Tincknell moving up to 2nd, only for Lynn to take it from him. To add insult to injury for Tincknell, Sainz Jr went 3rd and then Jaafar came back to 2nd.
As Serralles made a very late pit stop, McBride improved to 7th but it was Harvey who was really on it today, with a flying run of laps that would give him both poles unless anyone else had anything left to give. It seemed that they didn’t, with Fantin being shown the black and white flag for not respecting track limits, and Tincknell under investigation for the same offence despite moving up to 3rd.
With hardly any time left on the clock, the chances of any improvements were scuppered when Goddard spun out at Stirling. All they could do now was circulate round, with several drivers abandoning the effort early. And so for Race 3, the grid order would be Harvey from Jaafar, Tincknell, Lynn, Sainz Jr, Serralles, McBride, Fantin, Derani and Uhrhane. Van Asseldonk would start 11th from National Class pole man Fong, then Goddard, Padayachee and Ilyas.
For Race 1 today the grid would also be headed by Harvey, again from Jaafar, this time with Lynn 3rd, then Sainz Jr, Tincknell, McBride, Fantin and Uhrhane. Fong (on National Class pole) is 11th, ahead of Goddard, van Asseldonk, Padayachee and Ilyas.
Round 12 – Grid (Second Fastest Qualifying Laps)
1st – No. 1, Jack Harvey, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.271, International Class pole
2nd – No. 22, Jazeman Jaafar, MAS, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.287
3rd – No. 36, Alex Lynn, GBR, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:17.455
4th – No. 31, Carlos Sainz Jnr, ESP, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.518
5th – No. 21, Harry Tincknell, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.713*
6th – No. 12, Nick McBride, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, ThreeBond Nissan, 1:18.141
7th – No. 2, Pietro Fantin, BRA, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:18.176
8th – No. 4, Felix Serralles, PUR, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:18.297
9th – No. 3, Pipo Derani, BRA, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:18.726
10th – No. 26, Geoff Uhrhane, AUS, Double R, Dallara F309, Mugen Honda, 1:19.101
11th – No. 43, Adderly Fong, CHN, CF Racing/Fong, Dallara F311, Mugen Honda, 1:19.953, National Class pole
12th – No. 42, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, T-Sport, Dallara F311, Mugen Honda, 1:20.011
13th – No. 23, Hannes Van Asseldonk, NED, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:20.324
14th – No. 77, Duvashen Padayachee, AUS, Double R, Dallara F309, Mugen Honda, 1:21.131
15th – No. 27, Fahmi Ilyas, MAS, Double R, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, no time set.
*2nd fastest lap disallowed for exceeding track limits & gaining a sporting advantage.
Round 14 – Grid (Fastest Qualifying Laps)
1st – No. 1, Jack Harvey, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.048, International Class pole
2nd – No. 22, Jazeman Jaafar, MAS, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.131
3rd – No. 21, Harry Tincknell, GBR, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.310
4th – No. 36, Alex Lynn, GBR, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:17.340
5th – No. 31, Carlos Sainz Jnr, ESP, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:17.492
6th – No. 4, Felix Serralles, PUR, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:17.935
7th – No. 12, Nick McBride, AUS, ThreeBond with T-Sport, Dallara F312, ThreeBond Nissan, 1:17.974
8th – No. 2, Pietro Fantin, BRA, Carlin, Dallara F312, Volkswagen, 1:18.024
9th – No. 3, Pipo Derani, BRA, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:18.436
10th – No. 26, Geoff Uhrhane, AUS, Double R, Dallara F309, Mugen Honda, 1:18.896
11th – No. 23, Hannes Van Asseldonk, NED, Fortec Motorsport, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:19.412
12th – No. 43, Adderly Fong, CHN, CF Racing/Fong, Dallara F311, Mugen Honda, 1:19.504, National Class pole
13th – No. 42, Richard (Spike) Goddard, AUS, T-Sport, Dallara F311, Mugen Honda, 1:19.748
14th – No. 77, Duvashen Padayachee, AUS, Double R, Dallara F309, Mugen Honda, 1:20.991
15th – No. 27, Fahmi Ilyas, MAS, Double R, Dallara F312, Mercedes HWA, 1:28.158