F3 Cup title is “highlight of motorsport career” for Craven
After seven months of hard graft, three wins and an impressive 14 podiums, Alex Craven gave Lanan Racing their second driver's title of the season at Snetterton last weekend.
After seven months of hard graft, three wins and an impressive 14 podiums, Alex Craven gave Lanan Racing their second driver's title of the season at Snetterton last weekend. Two second place finishes in the Cup 07 Class ensured he beat main rivals Alice Powell and Tristan Cliffe to the title.
An elated Craven admitted he couldn't be happier: "I'm absolutely ecstatic. I just can't express how happy I am to have clinched the title - especially against some great competitors such as Tristan, Alice, Henry [Chart] and Louis [Hamilton-Smith] who have all had strong pace during the season.
"Winning the Championship really represents the highlight of my motorsport career to date. The feeling of crossing the line knowing you've clinched it, the elation, the relief - it's just such a high. It was amazing pulling into the pits seeing all the team there waiting, cheering, I just couldn't get out of the car soon enough!"
"It is a real testament to Lanan Racing, who have put a strong car under me all year. It's taken time to get on top of the setup, and we've had a few niggles, but I can honestly say they haven't rested until things were perfect - they truly deserve the two drivers titles (F4 and F3 Cup) this year so thank you to them and to Velotive. I hope Graham Johnson [of Lanan Racing] is inundated with calls from prospective drivers for both championships!"
Craven's penchant for podiums began at the very first round, where he began the season as he ended it: with two second place finishes. He soon reeled in the fast-starting Alice Powell and but for two retirments, he was in the top four finishers all season.
"Alice had a great start, she was just so far ahead at Oulton, nobody was even close." Craven admitted. "We struggled through the early stages of the season with chronic understeer that just ruined the front left tyre constantly, and from that point it was clear we needed to rack up the podiums until we had the pace for race wins which took a little time.
"With 18 races it was always going to come down to consistency, and at times it has meant that perhaps I have tried to remember the points and the finishes count above all. I'm pleased to see the strategy paid off!"
One man who would have had a part to play in that strategy is single seater champion and Le Mans runner-up Robbie Kerr. The 2002 British F3 champion has been an integral part in Craven's development as a driver and Craven is full of praise.
"Robbie has worked with me since 2009, and I can honestly say I couldn't have done this without him. The guy is a sensational talent, and gaining an insight into a tiny part of his vast ability has helped me develop as a driver. We drove together in 2011, and being able to compare yourself directly on the telemetry really enables you to see where the gains are to be made. A massive thank you to him too, and good luck to him for the upcoming WEC race in Shanghai."
Joining Kerr in sportcars and GTs could be on the horizon for the Cornwall based racer, but the pull of single seaters is still strong. As with all motorsport, money will dictate things.
"I'm looking at various options." Craven said. "Raising a budget obviously plays a big part, and will likely determine my path. Single seaters have always been my passion, so we'll see if there's an option, but LMS/WEC is definitely where I'd like to see myself in the future, and myself and Robbie have discussed some opportunities to head more in that direction for '14.
"That being said it would be great to try to come back and do at least a round or two of F3 Cup! Good luck for next year for those staying on, and well done to the MSV team for putting on such a well organised Championship - it's been thoroughly enjoyable."