2008 Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula F3 Championship National Class
Silverstone International Circuit Saturday 16th
Hywel nets 3rd in Silverstone race 1 before snatching sensational win in race 2!
Lovely Bubbly! - Hywel sprays it around
Hywel scooped some welcome points and another 3rd place trophy after the CF Teams hardwork started to pay off with some much more competitive qualifying performances, in the British Formula 3 Championship round 17 on the International Circuit at Silverstone.
In the first qualifying session on Friday, Hywel was 21st overall and 3rd in the National Class, only headed by Jay Bridger and Stefan Wilson the National Class pole sitter. "I was faster in the morning test sessions, buts its a better starting position than weve had for a few races, and at places like here and Brands the further up you start the better"
In Saturdays first race, after a good start, Hywel converted his grid position into a firm 3rd place, after initially resisting some early pressure from Steven Guerrero. "He was right on my tail, but late in the race my car started to work well, and I was able to draw away from him, but I wasnt able to match Jay or Stefans pace."
In the second qualifying session Hywel was 5th fastest in Class but in a more comptetive session only a few 10ths of a second separated the next 2 men, T-sport drivers, Salman Al-Khalifa & Steven Guerrero, with Jay Bridger and Stefan Wilson less than half a second away. Before the race Hywel commented "Its going to be more difficult in race 2, the best chance I have of overtaking the T-sport cars will be at the start"
However if Hywels first race start was good his 2nd race start was sensational, overtaking 4 cars, including National Class points leader Jay Bridger to slot into 2nd place behind Stefan Wilson! He lost the place on lap 2 to Salman Al-Khalifa and spent several laps fending off some determined attacks from Jay Bridger especially at Copse Corner. "He was faster than I was but I knew once I had the inside line I could keep him behind" As the race moved on Hywel gained some relief as International Class runner Jordan Oakes, passed Bridger, and then moved past Hywel and then past Al-Khalifa and Wilson to eventually finish 14th. After that shake up Hywel had a gap to Bridger but was some 5 seconds behind the Al-Khalifa and Wilson battle. But this was no stalemate as Hywel, lapping consistently in the low 1 min 18 seconds mark, began to carve lumps out of the gap to Al-Khalifa who responded to close up to Wilson. On lap 20 Hywel set his fastest race laptime of 1.17.943, to close on the T-sport car and from then on it was possible to sense that something was going to happen! Indeed going into lap 22 all 3 cars were within striking distance and Al-Khalifa, perhaps aware of Hywels advance, saw a chance to pass Wilson and went for it, putting the nose of his Dallara down the inside of Wilsons at Brooklands only to find Wilson not ready to yield. A clash was inevitable and with the two cars in front of him tangled up, Hywel seized his chance and swept into the lead, whilst making sure he didnt leave the door open for Jay Bridger who had also closed up to make it 4 National cars in the mix!
Wilson was left stranded on the track while Al Khalifa got going again down in third behind the new leader Hywel and Bridger, and that was how it stayed until the chequered flag came out two laps later, Hywel taking the flag from Bridger who was only 3/100ths of a second behind! Hywel having to be at his best to take his second National Class win of the year.
Afterwards a beaming Hywel confirmed "It was a bit unexpected, 3rd place had been my main target. But when the two in front touched, my main aim was to keep Jay behind me! The start was the key, that gave me the race. This will be a big boost for the team. Its been a lean patch for podiums. It shows that F3 is very tough but weve worked so hard on our set up, and we feel weve closed the gap pace wise. I just hope we can maintain this momentum to the end of the season."
Harry, CF Racing team principal commented "It show what happens when you can put the opposition under pressure. We know we've got a good race car, if we can quailfy better, more results will come" With Wilson only scoring 1 point in race 2, Hywel has moved back up to 4th place in the National Class, 8 points ahead of Wilson only 10 points behind the absent Andy Meyrick in 3rd place, & 20 behind 2nd place Steven Guerrero.
With the unforgiving walls of the Bucharest circuit next before the final races at Donington the major championship positions are still up for grabs.
Hear Hwyel at the winners press conference Points Results
Results from http://www.tsl-timing.com/ http://www.hywellloyd.com http://www.britishf3international.com/