F3 Cup set for title deciding Snetterton Finale
24/10/12 - The battle to become the inaugural F3 Cup champion goes down to the wire with a three-way title showdown at Snetterton this weekend.
24/10/12 - After sixteen races held across the UK and Europe, the battle to become the inaugural F3 Cup champion goes down to the wire with a three-way title showdown at Snetterton this weekend.
Chris Dittmann, Tristan Cliffe and Gino Ussi can all still win the title and the coveted prize of an FIA Formula Two test. With the trio all eager for glory, there is no margin for error in this weekend's two races which will bring an end to a thrilling campaign.
After gaining championship status from the MSA, the F3 Cup has burst onto the motorsport scene in 2012 fast becoming one of the most competitive and cost effective single seater championships in the country. This year almost 40 drivers have taken part with seven different drivers earning the right to stand on the top step of the podium.
However, heading into the crucial final round the standings see Dittmann, driving for his own team Chris Dittmann Racing, at the top with a 25.5 point advantage. The Tewkesbury man will be seen as the favourite to make history and become the first F3 Cup champion, but he is all to aware how quickly things can change. The 23-year-old, former Ginetta racer, recored a victory at Silverstone in May and triumph here this weekend would be his first title in motor racing.
Dittmann said: "It all boils down to these two races. I have an advantage and I hope fingers crossed I can keep it come the end of the weekend. I don't see it as my title to lose but I would certainly be disappointed not to come away with it. The title race is by no means over and it can all change so quickly. I will just have to put the title to the back of my mind during the weekend. Considering I didn't think I would be doing a full season it has been a great year."
Dittmann's nearest challenger is Snetterton local Cliffe, driving for family-run outfit Omicron Motorsport. The 2011 Monoposto 2000 champion stepped up to the F3 Cup this season enjoying success immediately with podiums at the first two meetings at Oulton Park and Donington Park. Consistency has been the key to Cliffe title challenge this year with only two DNFs from 16 races. The 31-year-old says he is feeling relaxed heading into the meeting and is hoping the home circuit will swing the title race in his direction.
Cliffe said: "I have little pressure on me as the title is really for Chris to lose. We should be strong at Snetterton and I hope that can help me but the plan really is to just do my own thing and see what happens. Anything can happen in motorsport."
Grays Motorsport's Ussi is a further four points behind Cliffe but the Italian insists he cannot be ruled out of the battle to become 2012 F3 Cup champion. The ex-Formula Palmer Audi man is arguably the most in-form driver out of the three with podium finishes at three of the last four meetings. Ussi has proved to be a force to be reckoned with at Snetterton with a third a fourth back in July.
Ussi said: "The championship is an outside chance for me but that is not going to stop me from being on maximum attack this weekend. I think there is more to come from me and the car and I hope we can find it at Snetterton. I think we lost ground at Anglesey which was costly but the championship is not over anything can happen."
With history to be made this weekend, the final races of the 2012 F3 Cup championship are not to be missed as glory beckons for just one of these three drivers.
While the title battle will take centre stage, the F3 Cup will welcome a bumper grid of 21 cars for the final two races of the year. Silverstone race winner Louis Hamilton-Smith and David Scott will be hoping to repeat their impressive drives to the podium from the earlier visit to Snetterton.
Chris Dittmann Racing's Prajesh Shah will be aiming continue his strong second half to the season and finish the year on a high. Mark Bailey Racing will field three entries in the form of Stuart Wiltshire, Nick Robinson and Frank Thomas which will be doing battle in the competitive Cup class. They will be joined by Chris Needham Mark Harrison and Neil Harrison. F1 test drivers Antonio Felix Da Costa and Kevin Korjus will comepte in an invitation class.
The Trophy Class is set for strong battle to end the year with Jeremy Timms, James Ledamun, Dave Karaskas and Philip Austin taking the fight to Dittmann.
The F3 Cup will also welcome back Tony Bishop and James Abbott after sitting out the previous round at Silverstone. Abbott will join Lanan Racing for the final round of the season. Also making a return is Spain's Juan Serda, who will be competing in the Masters Class.
Drivers and teams interested in joining the 2013 F3 Cup should contact championship co-ordinator Simon Davey on 07770 368648, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all the latest news and further announcements visit www.f3cup.co.uk. Follow F3 Cup on twitter at www.twitter.com/f3cup.