wpe333.jpg (10433 bytes) 2010  International & Single Seater News


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Hywel shines but suffers at Oulton Park

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Race 1 - Hywel looks to be in a good position early on

WRDA member Hywel Lloyd endured the motorsport Bank Holiday from hell as he got off to a stuttering start to the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship at Oulton Park. The weekend started well after Lloyd, driving the CF Racing with Manor Motorsport Dallara with a Mercedes engine, qualified in 7th place, and was running in a points paying position early on. With the finishing places of race 1 deciding the grid for race 2, with the positions of the top 8 finishers reversed, Lloyd was looking to be in a good position at the front of a gaggle of cars. However after only 3 laps he was involved in an accident that was not his fault as James Calado, who was making his debut in Formula 3, crashed into the rear of Lloyds’ car after showing his inexperience in the Formula by making an over optimistic overtaking manouvre at the Knickerbrook chicane. The incident left Calados’ car stranded with damaged suspension, and although Hywel stayed on the track, his team wisely called him into the pits to check that his car was not damaged.

Coming out of the pits Lloyd was now last, but fortunately as the pack was held by the safety car which was sent out to allow the marshals to deal with Calados car, he was still in touch. Lloyd started to make his way back up, overtaking half a dozen cars, to eventually finish 14th but out of the points. Afterwards he said "It was a shame, Calado must have thought he had a chance to overtake, but he went for a gap that wasn’t there. It happens in motor racing" Happily for Lloyd, irrespective of the results of race 2, he had already qualified for race 3 in 8th place. French driver Jean-Eric Vergne won race 1.

With virtually no prospect of a meaningful result in the next race, which was a 12 lap sprint race, the focus of the team switched to the main 25 lap race, and they made some changes to the car that might have born fruit, but Lloyd was again forced into the pits to check the handling of the car. With that problem solved, Hywel was looking forward to salvage the weekend with his first points of the season from a useful starting position in race 3.

Sadly however it was not to be and on his way to take his position on the grid, Lloyd was caught out at the first chicane after another car had dislodged part of the tyre barrier. Hywel was unable to avoid clipping the dislodged tyre bundle, which broke his suspension and he could only limp out of the race, even before it had started! Afterwards Hywel said "Things have just gone from bad to worse. It’s not the kind of weekend you want." However there may be the consolation that he may have got all his bad luck out of the way all at once, and with another 27 races still to go there is plenty of time to get his season back on track, starting with test sessions at Silverstone on April 21st before the next races at Silverstone on May 2nd & 3rd.

British driver Rupert Svendsen-Cook won race 2 and French driver Jean-Eric Vergne won again to take race 3 and he now leads the points table.

Angleseys’ Alex Jones was unable to complete a deal in time for this weekends races but still hopes to enter the National Class later in the year.

British F3 is sponsored by US tyre manufacturer Cooper Tires and is further supported by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and Mirror.co.uk

There are big changes to the format of races in the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship. In contrast to previous years when there used to be a Qualifying session and 20 lap race on both days; now there will be 10 race weekends, each featuring one Qualifying session and three races per weekend. Day one will have one 30 minute race while day two will see a 20 minute sprint and a 40 minute feature race

In the 30 minute qualifying session a drivers’ second-fastest lap time will give their grid positions for race one. The winner of that race will then draw a number between six and 10. If they pick seven, they start seventh, with the second-placed driver sixth and the seventh-placed driver on pole position for the sprint race. This is designed to give drivers all the way down the grid something to fight for in race one. Grid positions for the final race are determined by drivers’ fastest lap in qualifying.

Points are scored for the Top 10 places in each class (20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1) with a bonus point for the fastest lap in each class. The 20 minute sprint race will score half points, with two bonus points for the fastest laps.

The Mirror.co.uk British F3 Challenge Cup will once again be awarded to the top British driver

Watch F3 on TV Channel 4 UK 11th April 2010 at 0730

http://www.alexjonesracing.com/   Hywel Lloyds site  http://www.tsl-timing.com/  http://www.fota.co.uk/