Khani does it again for F3 Cup double

19/08/2012 - A near perfect drive from Kourosh Khani gave him a double victory with a triumph in the second F3 Cup race held in hot conditions at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

19/08/2012 - A near perfect drive from Kourosh Khani gave him a double victory with a triumph in the second F3 Cup race held in hot conditions at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Khani managed to secure a good getaway from the line and he headed the field on the opening lap. The Iranian came under pressure from Linton Stutely briefly before settling into a rhythm and extending his lead. In the end he completed a brilliant lights-to-flag drive finishing ahead of Gino Ussi and Louis Hamilton-Smith.

With the grid set from times set in race one, Khani started from pole with Stutely alongside and Ussi and Hamilton-Smith on the second row. The championship's top two Chris Dittmann and Tristan Cliffe shared row three and Prajesh Shah recorded his season's best of 10th.

However, Khani once again made the most of of his grid slot and he held the lead as the field streamed through Paddock Hill Bend. Omicron Motorsport's Tristan Cliffe struggled in the early stages of his start but recovered well to lose only one position. Mark Harrison made arguably the best start as he surged to sixth from eighth on the grid.

Stutely pushed hard on the opening two laps and was able to hang onto the rear win of Khani. But once the winner of race one settled into his groove, he pulled away from the rest of the field at a rate of knots. Cliffe continued his recovery from a poor start by passing Harrison for fifith and he then set his sights on catching fifth placed Dittmann.

The race took a twist a couple of laps later when Stutely suddenly dived into the pits to retire with clutch problems. He was also joined in the pit lane by Neil Harrison and Winston Graham.

Stutely's retirement allowed Ussi into second, who in turn had Hamilton-Smith on his tail, whilst Khani moved into a healthy lead at the front. Frantic battles were rife in the midfield with Chris Needham and Jeremy Timms enjoying an enetertaining scrap which Needham eventually won. Mark Terry, Stuart Wiltshire, Prajesh Shah and Robbie Watts were also involved in a cracking battle for a place in the top 10. However, there was disappointment for Mark Bailey Racing's Nick Robinson who retired on lap five.

The midfield battles continued to rage all while Khani was enjoying a large lead out in front. The complexion of the midfield soon changed as Watts, Wiltshire and Shah were all caught up in an incident at Westfield which saw the trio retire.

At the front Ussi beagn to pull away from Hamilton-Smith and his second place looked safe, but the same couldn't be said for fourth position. Cliffe managed to catch Dittmann but was unable to find a gap to exploit. Meanwhile Terry was now having to defend from a hard charging James Abbott in the latter stages of the race and Dave Karaskas was being pushed hard by Tony Bishop.

But there was no stopping Khani as he went on to claim the win from Ussi by nine seconds. Hamilton Smith came home in third with Dittmann edging his title rival Cliffe into fourth. Harrison was sixth ahead of Needham, Terry, Abbott and Karaskas. Philip Austin joined Dittmann on the Trophy Class podium in 12th while Frank Thomas brought his car home in 13th place.

After claiming an impressive double win Khani said: "It can't get any better than that and to finish the weekend with two wins, two fastest laps and two pole positions is very satisfying. It is a great confidence boost especially to lead races from start to finish."

With two podiums from the weekend, Ussi was another extremely pleased man on the podium, he said: "It is as good as it gets. I felt sorry for Linton as he was quick. It was a nice race and a great haul of championship points. Unfortunately Kourosh was too quick and he took away the first place."

Picking up his first overall podium of the weekend Hamilton-Smith said: "It was pretty difficult to find a place to overtake and Gino was going quick. The car was going better but overall I'm pretty happy with the weekend's results."

In the championship title race, Cliffe leads by 3.5 points from Dittmann with Mark Harrison and Ussi now tied for third on 139 points. The F3 Cup heads to Wales for the next round at Anglesey on 8 September.         

F3 Cup Brands Hatch Grand Prix Race Two Results

1. Kourosh Khani, Lanan Racing, Cup 15 laps
2. Gino Ussi, Grays Motorsport, Cup, +9.450s
3. Louis Hamilton-Smith, Cup +11.392s
4. Chris Dittmann, Chris Dittmann Racing, Trophy +26.907s
5. Tristan Cliffe, Omicron Motorsport, Cup +27.826s
6. Mark Harrison, Magic Motorsport, Cup +32.597s
7. Chris Needham Cup +59.568s
8. Mark Terry, Lanan Racing, Cup +1min.02.639s
9. James Abbott, Cup +1min.03.135s
10. Dave Karaskas, Masters +1 lap
11. Tony Bishop, Omicron Motorsport, Cup +1 lap
12. Philip Austin, Trophy +1 lap
13. Frank Thomas, Mark Bailey Racing, Cup +1 lap

DNF Jeremy Timms, Topmarx Racing, Trophy
DNF Stuart Wiltshire, Mark Bailey Racing, Cup
DNF Robbie Watts, Raw Power Motorsport, Cup
DNF Nick Robinson, Mark Bailey Racing, Cup
DNF Linton Stutely, Enigma Motorsport, Trophy
DNF Winston Graham, Trophy
DNF Neil Harrison, Magic Motrorsport, Cup