Stutely scorches his way to Snetterton success
0/06/2012 - Polesitter Linton Stutely showed his class to record his third victory of the season after an immaculate drive in the opening race of the weekend at Snetterton.
30/06/2012 - Polesitter Linton Stutely showed his class to record his third victory of the season after an immaculate drive in the opening race of the weekend at Snetterton.
The Enigma Motorsport man survived the pre race drama which saw the demise of championship leader Chris Dittmann and Silverstone race winner Louis Hamilton-Smith. Stutley never looked back after making a strong start to the race and he was followed home by David Scott, enjoying a maiden F3 Cup podium and Gino Ussi.
The race started in drama with Hamilton-Smith and Dittmann both failing to make the start. Hamilton-Smith suffered a fault with his starter motor and Dittmann locked his front brakes, forcing them into retirement on the formation lap.
Hamilton-Smith and Dittmann's departures allowed Stutely to make a great unchallenged start and he led the field into Riches on the opening lap. David Scott moved into second spot with Mark Harrison in third. Gino Ussi reacted well and overtook Omicron Motorsport's Tristan Cliffe on the run down to Riches. Chris Needham made the best start climbing to sixth after starting from 11th on the grid.
Stutely opened up a sizeable lead after the first two laps and Scott had a healthy margin from the battle for third. Arguably one of the highlights of the season came on lap three when Ussi produced a stunning move around the outside of Harrison to grab third. Further down the order Prajesh Shah moved up to ninth his highest position of the season so far.
The closest battle on the circuit was for sixth with Alf Skeels all over the back of Needham. Skeels tried to fashion a move on several occaisions but in the end his efforts allowed Mark Bailey Racing's Stuart Wiltshire into seventh spot.
The battle for third intensified with Harrision looming in the mirrors of Ussi and Cliffe began to reel in the pair. At the front Stutely had built an unassialbale lead with Scott comfortably ahead of Ussi, Harrison and Cliffe.
In the end Stutely cruised to take the chequereed flag from Scott and Ussi. Harrison came home in fourth ahead of Cliffe, Needham, Wiltshire, James Abbott, Skeels and Shah, who rounded out the top 10.
Race winner Linton Stuteley said: "Admittedly having Louis Hamilton-Smith and Chris Dittmann not start the race helped me massively. It was relatively straight forward in the end but great to win the race."
David Scott was delighted with his maiden podium finish in the F3 Cup after just three races in the championship, he said: "I didn't expect to come away with a podium. It was a shame that Louis and Chris were unable to start the race. It was good for me but there was no sticking with Linton. I haven't been on the podium for quite a few years. We have so much more to learn and get out of the car which is encouraging. I'm looking forward to the next race."
Returning to the podium for the first time since Donington was Gino Ussi, he said: "It was great dice with Mark Harrison which I really enjoyed. The whole race was just great. It's a lovely result after a frustrating round at Spa."
F3 Cup Race 1 Result Top 10
1. Linton Stutely (Trophy) 11 laps
2. David Scott (Cup) +21.700s
3. Gino Ussi (Cup) +27.672s
4. Mark Harrison (Cup) +28.997s
5. Tristan Cliffe (Cup) +35.274s
6. Chris Needham (Cup) +41.259s
7. Stuart Wiltshire (Cup) +42.750s
8. James Abbott (Cup) +51.807s
9. Alf Skeels (Trophy) +52.837
10. Prajesh Shah (Cup) +1.05.805
11. Robbie Watts (Cup) +1.22.429s
12. Tony Bishop (Cup) +1.24.842s
13. Russ Giles (Cup) +1 Lap
14. Nick Robinson (Cup) +1 Lap
DNF Chris Dittmann
DNS Louis Hamilton-Smith