Hamilton-Smith boosts title bid with impressive Silverstone victory

13/05/2012 - Louis Hamilton-Smith increased his chances of becoming the first F3 Cup champion as he recorded an impressive victory in race two at Silverstone.

13/05/2012 - Louis Hamilton-Smith increased his chances of becoming the inaugural F3 Cup champion as he recorded an impressive victory in race two at Silverstone, the first outright win for a Cup Class car this season.

Hamilton-Smth, driving the former Aaron Steele car, made no mistakes in race two on the Silverstone National circuit as he produced a flawless drive to take the chequered flag, holding off Chris Dittmann and Jeremy Timms. The victory was the first for a Cup Class car this season.

Hamilton made the best getaway as the lights went out and he led the field at Copse with race one winner Dittmann following close behind along with Timms, Mark Bailey Racing's Benjamin Harvey and Gino Ussi. Meanwhile there was drama for Donington Park winner Linton Stutely as he was forced to start from the pit-lane and Richard Purcell was unable to make the start. The field failed to make it through Copse unscathed as Omicron Motorsport's Tony Bishop spun off and into retirement.

Championship leader heading into Silverstone Cliffe, suffered electrical problems in race one but he was back up and running to his potential with David Scott impressing close behind in seventh.

At the front Hamilton-Smith edged his way into a relatively comfortable lead and the top six began to space themselves out. However, the man on the move was Stutely as he scythed his way through the field to 12th position after the opening few laps, passing Chris Needham, Prajesh Shah, Alf Skeels, Dave Karaskas, Philip Austin, Nick Robinson and James Abbott. He continued to shine making his way into the top 10.

Scott continued to impress on his F3 Cup debut as he began to catch Cliffe but there was heartbreak for Austin and Neil Harrison and Skeels, who were forced into retirement.

Hamilton-Smith looked comfortable at the head of the field and despite his best efforts Dittmann and Timms were unable to catch him as he went on to record his first win of the season. The race was brought to a premature end due to a spin by Ussi at Becketts, which promoted Cliffe to fifth and Scott to sixth. Mark Harrison, Stutely, Karaskas and Robinson completed the top 10.

A delighted Louis Hamilton-Smith said: "It was a really good race. I managed to get into the lead at the start which was important and then I was able to pull a gap. I was pushing every lap and it was a bit tricky at the end with the backmarkers."

Second placed finisher Chris Dittmann said: "It was a great weekend. To have two class wins was good but an outright win was just awesome. I couldn't keep with Louis to be honest. I had a lot of pressure from Jeremy Timms throughout the race."

Third placed finisher Jeremy Timms said: "I've had a great weekend of racing. It is really competitiev out there and the F3 Cup just seems to be getting stronger and stronger. I'm only used to 15 minute races so it was quite tiring but great fun. I tried to catch Chris but I just couldn't get him."

F3 Cup Race 2 Full Results

1. Louis Hamilton-Smith (Cup) 19 laps  
2. Chris Dittmann (Trophy) +7.525s
3. Jeremy Timms (Trophy) +9.814s
4. Benjamin Harvey (Cup) +16.245s
5. Tristan Cliffe (Cup) +16.308s
6. David Scott (Cup) +17.268s
7. Mark Harrison (Cup) +22.201s
8. Linton Stutely (Trophy) +22.586s
9. Dave Karaskas (Trophy) +33.394s
10. Nick Robinson (Cup) +33.807s
11. James Abbott (Cup) +36.645s
12. Stuart Wiltshire (Cup) +41.054s 
13. Stephen Clegg (Trophy) +1 lap
14. Chris Needham (Cup)  +1 lap
15. Prajesh Shah (Cup) +1 lap
16. Matt Payne (Cup) +1 lap
17. James Simons (Masters) +1 lap
18. James Ledamun (Masters) +1 lap

DNF Alf Skeels
DNF Neil Harrison
DNF Winston Graham
DNF Philip Austin
DNF Tony Bishop
DQ Gino Ussi