Stutely wins F3 Cup epic at Snetterton

01/07/2012 - Linton Stutely completed a sensational double at Snetterton with victory in race two which was full of overtaking and thrilling action.

01/07/2012 - Linton Stutely completed a sensational double at Snetterton with victory in race two which was full of overtaking and thrilling action.

Stutley was forced to defend from David Scott and Gino Ussi at the start but once out in front he stormed into a healthy lead. In the end he took the chequered flag from Scott but the drive of the day belonged to Louis Hamilton-Smith, who came from 15th to third with a selection of incredible overtaking moves.

Stutely was forced to defend as soon as the lights went out with Scott and Gino Ussi both making good starts and trying to overtake the Enigma Motorsport man. As the field entered Riches, Stutely held firm and Scott and Ussi followed suit.

However, there was plenty of action behind with Hamilton-Smith making up a couple of places along with Chris Dittmann, who both started from the back of the grid. A five car train built up behind Stuart Wiltshire in fifith while Mark Harrison was trying to catch Ussi in fourth.

Hamilton-Smith continued to make progress passing James Abbott and he soon latched on to the back of Wiltshire, Chris Needham, Tristan Cliffe and Robbie Watts. Cliffe and Watts swapped places twice before Watts made contact with Cliffe and was forced into retirement with a broken front wing.

Needham eventually found a way past Wiltshire with an impressive move around the outside at Brundle and Nelson. Cliffe soon followed past Wiltshire along with Hamilton-Smith, who was all over the gearbox of the Omicron Motorsport Dallara. Spurred on by the pressure the pair then passed Needham with Cliffe occupying fifith and Hamilton-Smith sixth.

At the front Stutely had built up a healthy lead with Scott also constructing a margin ahead of Ussi, with fourth placed Harrison being reeled in by Cliffe and Hamilton-Smith. All the action centered around Hamilton-Smith as he moved into fifth with a stunning move around the outside of Cliffe into Riches. The move soon became his party piece as he passed Harrison with an identical move a lap later. Harrison then dropped into the clutches of Needham, Cliffe and Dittmann, who joined onto the train for fifth.

Cliffe was the next to make a move passing Needham but the pair were then overtaken by Dittmann with a series of impressive moves. Hamilton-Smith's surge through the field continued as he caught Ussi for third. It didn't take long for him to move into the podium positions, as he grabbed third by going around the outside of Ussi at the ultra fast Coram corner. Dittmann copied the move minutes later to take fifith place from Harrison.

While all the overtaking was happening, Stutely powered off into the distance and he went on to take the chequered flag finishing ahead of Scott by 19.052 seconds for his fourth win of the season. Driver of the day Hamilton-Smith came home in third ahead of Ussi in fourth. Dittmann crossed the line in fifth ahead of Harrison, Cliffe, Abbott, Wiltshire and Alf Skeels, who completed the top 10. Contact between Nick Robinson and Prajesh Shah forced them into retirement and Needham ran out of fuel on the final lap.

Race winner Stutely said: "It's nice to win and have weekends like this. It was a shame that Louis Hamilton-Smith and Chris Dittmann had problems in the first race. My start wasn't to bad but David's (Scott) and Gino's (Ussi) were better so I had to do a bit of creative moneuvreing but one the first corner was out the way it was plain sailing."

Second placed finisher for the second time this weekend David Scott, said: "It's been a very good second weekend in the car. I didn't think this would be possible. It's been a great start to my F3 Cup career. The encouraging thing is we have still some way to go. I had a run on Linton but I just couldn't get passed him. I knew Louis would be quick so I had to get my head down and build a gap as I knew he would be coming."

Third placed finisher and the driver of the day Louis Hamilton-Smith said: "It was quite a good drive as i had to come from the back. It wasn't as good as my Silverstone win but its my seocnd best drive of my career. I seemed to be able to carry the speed in the faster corners and made some moves."

Cliffe leads the championship standings as the F3 Cup heads to Brands Hatch GP (18/19 August) after a six week break.

F3 Cup Race Two Result

1. Linton Stutely (Trophy) 12 laps
2. David Scott (Cup) +19.052s
3. Louis Hamilton-Smith (Cup) +30.503s
4. Gino Ussi (Cup) +35.904s
5. Chris Dittmann (Trophy) +38.155s
6. Mark Harrison (Cup) +40.843s
7. Tristan Cliffe (Cup) +41.493s
8. James Abbott (Cup) +45.704s
9. Stuart Wiltshire (Cup) +57.400s
10. Alf Skeels (Trophy) +1.07.546s
11. Tony Bishop (Cup) +1.30.120s

DNF Chris Needham
DNF Prajesh Shah
DNF Nick Robinson
DNF Neil Harrison
DNF Robbie Watts