Felipe Nasr took his fourth victory of the season this afternoon, in another thrilling wet/dry British F3 race at Brands Hatch. Nasr took the lead at the mid way point from Rupert Svendsen-Cook who lead in the early stages, but later failed to finish after contact with another car in the closing stages. Jazeman Jaafar continued his strong run of points in fourth, just ahead of Carlos Huertas and Jack Harvey in fifth and sixth respectively. Kevin Magnussen endured another chaotic race and crossed the line 15th.
In a replay of race one yesterday, a torrential rain storm just minutes before the cars took to the grid threw the teams into chaos and sudden set-up changes. As the cars lined took their positions, the soaked track required everyone to start on wets, with varying degrees of wet/dry set up on their cars.
Once again with the mission of exploring the grip levels and track conditions ahead of the other drivers fell on Svendsen-Cook who started from pole, and coped well to make the perfect start off the line. Team mate Nasr also made a lightning start from third on the grid to pass second placed man Adderly Fong into the first corner.
Magnussen and Jaafar also made good starts. Magnussen was in the fight for fourth at the second corner, but lost out as the field piled around Druids and dropped back to sixth, while Jaafar had climbed two places to eighth.
Magnussen was keen to make up ground, but lost his front wing on lap two during some close racing. Huertas was also on a charge and was putting Harvey under pressure for eighth.
Having pitted for a new front wing, Magnussen decided he had little to lose and made the brave decision to switch to slick tyres. The young Dane rejoined the field a lap down but slotted in behind the fourth place car. Despite being a lap down he was clearly keen to maintain his position and claw his way back through the order.
At the front, Svendsen-Cook still led, although the British racer was having to fend off the attentions of team mate Nasr in second. Fortec’s Lucas Foresti was a close third but would later run wide into the gravel and drop to fourth. Jaafar was still in a solid points position in sixth place, just ahead of Huertas who had recovered from a difficult start to seventh, while Harvey was ninth.
At the front, Svendsen-Cook was still under pressure from Nasr who was getting closer and closer with every lap. The championship leader finally found a way through on lap seven to take the lead.
Magnussen meanwhile was struggling in the still damp conditions, and was soon under pressure from the cars behind. Team mates Harvey and Huertas were soon on the attack, and in the melee Huertas managed to pass both Harvey and Magnussen as the trio squabbled.
As the track continued to dry, Magnussen’s decision looked like a wise one, until a sudden and torrential downpour on lap eight created a deluge on track, forcing the Carlin man to tip toe back to the pits for another set of wets. So bad were the conditions, that the safety car was needed for two laps to control the pace of the field.
When racing resumed on lap 10, Nasr made a good restart to maintain his position, with Svendsen-Cook still second. The order remained unchanged for several laps until third placed man Pietro Fantin made an ambitious overtaking manoeuvre on Svendsen-Cook, which resulted in the two cars colliding at Druids, putting both cars out of the race.
That incident elevated Jaafar to fourth and Huertas to sixth, while Harvey was now running in a strong sixth position as well. At the back of the field, Magnussen was showing his true potential, snatching the glory of the fastest lap of the race from Jaafar on the penultimate lap.
Nasr, who’s victory strengthens his lead in the championship standings said, “My engineer made the perfect decision this afternoon to stick with the full wet set-up. When we had another downpour in the middle of the race I knew it was the right decision. When I had got past Rupert, I just concentrated on pushing hard and not making any mistakes. The car felt really good and I was just able to push, even in the very wet conditions. It feels really good to win again this weekend.”
The Cooper Tires British F3 Series will meet again in Nurbürgring for rounds 13, 14, and 15 from 2 – 3 July.