F3 Cup drivers ready for Silverstone showdown
The new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit should provide drivers with a test of speed and precision at the penultimate round of the season.
29/09/2011- The new Silverstone Grand Prix circuit should provide drivers with a test of speed and precision as the Northamptonshire venue hosts the penultimate round of the 2011 season this weekend.
After tackling the technical picturesque Anglesey circuit last time out, the F3 Cup drivers are faced with a completely different challenge, as they aim to emulate Ferrari F1 star Fernando Alonso by standing on the top step of the podium.
Kent's Aaron Steele has proved he is the man to beat this season by recording several victories, but he will be even more desperate to perform this weekend with a glittering Sunoco Grand-Am 200 Challenge prize at stake. If the 22-year-old can pick up 58 Challenge points then he will secure a trip to race at the famous Daytona circuit in America next January. Pole position and a finish fourth or higher in Saturday's race one would clinch the prize with a round of the season remaining at Oulton Park.
He said: "I've tested a MINI around the Silverstone circuit so I do know it and I'm looking forward to really attacking the new Arena complex. I'm pretty confident I can go out there and be on the pace. It will be a fun event.
"Winning the Sunoco GRAND-AM 200 Challenge would be a great achievement but more importantly a great opportunity to advertise my abilities on a whole new stage at what will be one of the world's premier motorsport events of 2012. I am going to be pushing really hard at Silverstone and will be doing everything I can to gain the extra points."
Mark Harrison was the surprise package from the last round of the series at Anglesey after recording two third place finishes and he is determined to continue his form at Silverstone this weekend.
Harrison said: "I think the car will go well at Silverstone and the setup we have been working on should suit the venue. I quite like the Silverstone Grand prix circuit so I expect to have a quite a strong race."
The F3 Cup will welcome another new face this weekend with former Ginetta G50 racer Chris Dittmann joining the Silverstone grid. The Tewkesbury-based driver has experience of single-seater racing and is looking forward to his F3 Cup debut at Silverstone, driving the ex-Louis Hamilton-Smith Dallara F301.
He said: "We have raced in the Monoposto Championship for years so I know Simon Davey well. When I found out he had become involved with F3 Cup I was interested in looking into doing it. I haven't driven the new Silverstone circuit before so it is going to be a new experience. It's bit of fun for me really as I haven't raced in anger since last year."
Lanan Racing's Mark Terry is one of the F3 Cup's in-form drivers after a string of podium finishes stretching back until the MSVR Indy Weekend in July. However, the prospect of a new circuit to learn could provide a challenge, according to the Medway driver.
Terry said "I've never raced on the new Silverstone Grand prix circuit so straight out into qualifying on an unknown track is going to be very difficult. I just need to try and hang on to the cars in front."