It was only a week ago when the British Formula 3 Championship last raced. But the series was at it again last weekend at Thruxton. Previously, at Knockhill, Australian Barton Mawer once again extended his National Class championship lead, out to 9 points over Salvador Duran. In the outright Championship Class, the championship lead exchanged hands from Mike Conway to Alvaro Parente, who was in devastating form.
As previously mentioned in the round report for Knockhill, these two rounds at Thruxton may be the last that Barton Mawer, as he has run out of money to compete. It would be a terrible injustice if Mawer would be unable to continue fighting for the National Class title, despite leading the championship. If you feel that you can support Bart and help him finish the season, please do not hesitate to contact him on +44 7900947296, or (02) 46571340.
Thruxton can best be imagined as an odd-shaped oval with two chicanes to slow the cars down. As a result, it is an ultra-fast circuit, and it has length of 3.8 kilometres. Once again, a field of 24 cars entered the event, of which fifteen were Championship Class cars, and nine were National Class cars.
In qualifying for the ninth round race, Barton Mawer had a strong, but not flashy performance. Mawer qualified third in the National Class, and seventeenth overall, with a time of 1:08.751min. Charlie Hollings, who had a strong run at Knockhill last weekend, continued his fine form, and took the Class pole, with Jonathan Kennard in second. Overall, young American, Charlie Kimball took his first British Formula 3 pole position, with Mike Conway in second, and Alvaro Parente in third.
Round ten qualifying went much better for Mawer. With a best lap time of 1:08.364min, Mawer placed himself on the National Class pole, and thirteenth place overall on the grid. Charlie Hollings and Jonathan Kennard followed Mawer in the National Class. Overall, Charlie Kimball was quickly making a name for himself with second successive pole, with Alvaro Parente and Christian Bakkerud qualifying in second and third.
Mawer got off to another one of his customary fast starts, and got ahead of Kennard as the lights went out. The Australian then tried to pass both Hollings and Bruno Senna on the outside, but had to back out of the ambitious manoeuvre due to a lack of grip. However, Mawer was quickly able to pass Hollings on the outside in the run into the complex, taking the Class lead. Coupled with the first lap retirement of Tim Bridgman, Mawer was into fourteenth place at the end of the first lap. On the second lap, Salvador Duran, Mawer’s main rival in the National Class at the moment, slipstreamed by Mawer. Mawer in turn re-took the Class lead from the Mexican half a lap later. Following his encounter with Duran, the two stayed close together until the thirteenth lap, when Duran retired. Mawer was then able to race comfortably by himself, for the remaining laps, finishing in fourteenth overall, but more importantly winning the National Class race within the race.
Charlie Kimball won the ninth round overall. The American led all 16 laps, and in the process taking his maiden Formula 3 victory. Trailing Kimball by 3.6 seconds was Marko Asmer, and Christian Bakkerud rounded out the top-3.
Once again Mawer got a strong start, and took advantage of a crash between Bruno Senna and Danilo Dirani. Mawer emerged from the first lap in eleventh place, and stayed there for the next couple of laps as the safety car came out to give marshals time to clear the wreckage from the Senna and Dirani incident. When the race resumed, Mawer was able to take advantage of Parente and Bridgman running off the track on the fifth lap, promoting the Australian to ninth position, and the National Class lead. Mawer then remained in ninth position for the remaining laps. However, on the ninth lap, he set the fastest National Class lap time, scoring himself an extra championship point. Following Mawer in the National Class was Charlie Hollings in second, and Juho Annala in third.
Charlie Kimball was in the class of his own on raceway. Once again Kimball lead every lap of the race, and took a comfortable 4.8 second victory. As was the case in the previous case, Marko Asmer and Christian Bakkerud followed Kimball home
Barton Mawer simply had a dominating weekend in the National Class, adding 41 points to his tally. Coupled with his Duran’s retirement from the first race, and then coming fourth in the second race, Mawer now has a strong 42-point championship lead over Duran. The 42-point margin means that even if Duran wins both races in the next weekend at Castle Combe, and posts both fastest laps, and Mawer fails to score any points, Duran would still only be tied with Mawer in the National Class championship lead. This may happen if Mawer is unable to find funding to compete at Castle Combe. So once again, if you are able to help Barton, please contact him, and aid his charge for the 2005 National Class title.
While Mawer jumped to a healthy lead in the National Class, the battle heated in the Championship Class. Yet again the championship lead changed hands. Alvaro Parente has been ousted from the lead, and Marko Asmer now has slender 5-point lead over both Parente and Mike Conway – whom lay on 80 points apiece.
Rounds 11 and 12 of the British Formula 3 Championship will be held at Castle Combe on June 24-26.
National Class Standings:
1 Barton Mawer 132
2 Salvador Duran 90
3 Charlie Hollings 89
4 Josh Fisher 74
5 Juho Annala 74
Championship Class Standings:
1 Marko Asmer 85
2 Mike Conway 80
3 Alvaro Parente 80
4 Christian Bakkerud 74
5 Ryan Lewis 68