Steele converts pole position into dominant win in MSV F3 Cup
20/03/2011 - Aaron Steele left the rest of the MSV F3 Cup field gasping for breath after a brilliant win in the opening race for the series at Snetterton.
20/03/2011 - Aaron Steele left the rest of the MSV F3 Cup field gasping for breath after a brilliant win in the opening race for the series at Snetterton today (Sunday).
The race was immediately red flagged after a dramatic start line accident which saw second-placed starter Mark Terry make a slow getaway and suffer a frightening crash. Realising his position was under threat, Terry moved across to defend his line from team mate Alex Craven who started third, forcing Craven to slow down as he brushed the pit wall. The resulting contact launched Terry into the air, with the car rolling before coming to a halt on the start finish straight.
The race was immediately red flagged while Terry was removed from his car uninjured. At the restart, it was pole-sitter Steele's turn to make a poor get away, but he kept his lead from Craven who was able to make the restart.
From then on there was no looking back for ex-Formula Palmer Audi racer Steele, who crossed the line at the end of the first lap over three seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Alex Craven ran second early on, chased by female-racer Kat Impey in third. However fifth-placed starter Chris Needham was charging, and found a way past Impey to move into third. By lap six Needham was less than a cars width behind Craven, attempting a move into the Hamilton-Oggies complex. Needham forced his way past on the next lap but wasn't able to move away, with Craven getting a decent slipstream exiting Murrays at the end of the ninth lap and attempting a move around the outside of Riches.
Nether though could catch the irrepressible Steele, who crossed the line to win by almost half-a-minute. Needham was second, with Craven third. Impey was close behind in fourth, with Matt Draper and Stephen Clegg rounding out the top six.
1. Aaron Steele, Dallara F302, 12 Laps
2. Chris Needham, Dallara F302, +29.785s
3. Alex Craven, Dallara F302, +31.014s
4. Kat Impey, Dallara F302, +35.440s
5. Matt Draper, Dallara F304, +42.424s
6. Stephen Clegg, Dallara 301, +1:09.372s
7. Dave Karaskas, Dallara F300, +1:12.639s
8. Neil Harrison, Dallara F302/4, +1:35.354s
9. Richard Purcell, Dallara F301, +1:43.812s
10. Phil Moore, Dallara F304, +1 lap
Tickets are still available on the gate for the second day of the MSVR Season Starter at Snetterton, priced at £13 with free admission for children aged 12 and under.