Consistency key to calm Craven’s championship bid
Alex Craven has found his form at the perfect moment, shooting to the top of the F3 Cup standings with a double win at Donington Park last month.
Alex Craven has found his form at the perfect moment, shooting to the top of the F3 Cup standings with a double win at Donington Park last month. Only misfortune has slowed him this season, but as the final round approaches things appear to be falling into place.
The perennially calm Craven isn't one to fluster, and the Cornwall-based racer is typically relaxed ahead of the final round of the season.
"I'm feeling nice and calm about it all. I'm not one to get overly stressed! The same can't be said for the guys working on the car I won't name and shame - well except for Stu!
"My main focus all season has been consistent podium finishes, and I really can't afford to forget that. My approach really stays the same, decent start, stay out of trouble, and bring it home."
Craven's focus on podiums has paid off and he's taken his Lanan Racing VW-Dallara to a top three finish 12 times, more than any other driver. But for a non-finish at Silverstone caused by an electrical problem and being powerless to avoid crashing into a spinning Powell at Snetterton, Craven's yet to finish outside the top four.
The consistent podiums have yielded three wins, the fewest of the top three drivers, but Craven is adamant they should have had more. He ran wide at Zolder from the lead and those electrical issues from Silverstone returned at Snetterton and left him defenceless to David Scott.
"I think we have been pretty unfortunate not to have had more wins. It's fair to say races at Zolder and Snetterton should have ended in wins - but it was great for me and the guys at Lanan to have had the Donington round - it felt good to repay their hard work on the car this year, especially with Jake Hughes clinching the BRDC F4 Driver's Championship with the team that same weekend. Let's hope I don't let them down."
That Donington double means Craven leads the standings by three points. But, with each driver dropping two scores, he and Powell are in effect level at the top of the table. Such is the closeness at the top Craven admits he is going to have one eye on Powell and Cliffe.
"It's impossible not to think about the others. I do usually manage to get the car off the line pretty well, and I'll hope to put some space between myself and Alice from the lights. That's really all I am going to try to do."
Snetterton hosted F3 Cup in August and the weekend wasn't kind to him. He slowed from the lead and settled for second in race one and then collided with Powell as she spun in a cloud of dust. But he's been to Norfolk twice since then to test, and believes the car is in perfect shape to take him to glory.
"It was a pretty gutting weekend, but we came back stronger. In our recent test the car was the best it has been all season. I like Snett a lot and would hope to go well there this weekend - it has to count!"
Craven needs to outscore Powell this weekend to be the 2013 F3 Cup champion owing to her five wins to Craven's three. It cannot be settled in the 16.30 Saturday race one, but if Craven can add to his three wins he'll be favourite going into Sunday's race at 13.40.
Tickets for this weekend cost £13 on the gate with children 12 years and under getting in free.