2008 Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula F3 Championship National Class
Welsh Trio pick up Silverware at Oulton Park
WRDA members Andy Meyrick, Hywel Lloyd & Alex Jones complete a trio of Welsh Silverware winners at Oulton Park on Monday.
Welsh 1 - 3 Andy and Hywel collect the National Class trophies after round 1 of the 2008 British F3 Championship
In the first of the days 2 races for The British Formula 3 Championship, Andy Meyrick driving his Carlin Motorsport Dallara Honda started from 16th on the grid and drove well, winning the National Class first time out, and finishing 12th overall, the most significant result for a Welsh driver in F3 single seater racing for many years, with Hywel Lloyd backing that up with an excellent 3rd in class on a wet and greasy track. Andy himself said "Im very pleased, it was really good. It was very tricky with the track changing all the time and it was drying at the end. By that time I had built a big enough gap over the 2nd place man so I was saving my tyres, rather than push for the fastest lap as well. Im very happy to have carried my pre-season test form over to the racing"
Splish Splash! Andy & Hywel are on top of it in round one
For his part Hywel, also in a Dallara Honda, but run by his families CF Racing Team was only 24th in practice, but found some speed and came alive once racing started. "Everyones a bit ginger on the first lap, but I got a good start, and moved up 4 or so places on the first lap. My pit crew were giving me the signals so I knew I was 3rd in class, which was good, but I really wanted to bring the car home as we needed the data from a long run. It was hard to keep it consistent as the track was changing all the time and was a bit tiring at the end; Im not used to the longer races at the moment."
By the time of the second race, despite some flurries of snow, the track had dried and Andy was able to capitalise on the Carlin Motorsport teams experience, and again dominate practice and the race, this time setting the fastest lap as well. Afterwards a beaming Andy Meyrick said "Winning the first 2 races is not to bad is it! I felt there was lots more pace to come if we needed it and Im looking forward to the next round at Croft on April 26 27, although weve got 2 days testing there before then"
Race 2 - Win 2. Andy starts adding to his collection
However Hywel, whilst still giving a good account of himself, was finding it a lot harder & finished 5th in class.
"We know we dont have the pace in the car in the dry at the moment, but we are a new team who are building for the future. For instance Tom my race engineer has just joined us and he has a lot of ideas to make the car quicker, so I cant wait for the next test session to see if we can start to make some progress."
Alex Jones - Showing he's got the right Formula
Meanwhile Alex Jones, who was racing in the Scholarship class in the British Formula Ford Championship had to start from the pit-lane in the first of the weekends races for Formula Fords after his car developed a minor fault. He was making his way up the order, when the race was red-flagged following an accident, but in the second race he started well and after establishing himself in the lead of his class, he began to draw away to finish 1st in class, 13th overall, and set the fastest lap in the closing stages to grab the extra point! Again the most significant result for a Welsh driver in Formula Ford racing for many years, Afterwards he said "It was good, once I made a break I was able build up a nice cushion and then control the gap." His last race started well - he had a brilliant start taking two just past the start line and then another on the straight going up to Island, by Druid's he was up to 10th overall but unfortunately, a few cars in front span out and the one immediately in front of Alex span and hit him. Alex kept going but came into the pits as he could feel damage to the back end, so a DNF on that one. Nevertheless, a reasonable start to the season all in all and the team know what to work on for the next round at Knockhill in two weeks' time.
Lets hope the success continues
N.B The National and Scholarship Classes are for drivers in their first year in the Formula 3 & Formula Ford where the cars are restricted, which means much more of a level playing field, with more emphasis on driver skill and how they work with their race engineers.
Results from http://www.tsl-timing.com/