Aaron Steele dominates race two
The second F3 Cup race of the weekend took place on Sunday morning, and it was dry and sunny conditions which greeted the drivers as they lined up on the grid.
The second F3 Cup race of the weekend took place on Sunday morning, and it was dry and sunny conditions which greeted the drivers as they lined up on the grid. With starting positions based on the second fastest lap times from Saturdays qualifying session, it was Aaron Steele who would again start from pole position. Race one victor, Louis Hamilton-Smith, lined up second on the grid ahead of Jacopo Sebastiani and Stuart Wiltshire. Missing from the grid was Henry Chart, whose car woes meant he was unable to take the start.
As the lights went out, it was Steele who got the best start, preventing Hamilton-Smith jumping through into the lead. Stuart Wiltshire was another who got a good launch off the line, moving ahead of Jacopo Sebastiani before the field reached Druids on the opening lap. Further back, Ashley Crossey made amends for his poor start yesterday, latching onto the back of Daniel Tapinos in the early stages. However, fellow trophy class driver Lee McCrumlish encountered problems on lap one, with a spin at Graham Hill Bend.
Over the next few laps, Aaron Steele continued to extend the gap between himself and second place man Hamilton-Smith. In the battle for third, Stuart Wiltshire was coming under ever increasing pressure for Jacopo Sebastiani. The pair, as at Donington, ran nose to tail for a number of laps, before Sebastiani spun at Graham Hill Bend while in traffic. The Italian rejoined down in sixth place, promoting Tony bishop and Ashley Crossey up to fourth and fifth places respectively.
Up front, Steele had increased his lead to four seconds, while Hamilton-Smith sat comfortably in second place. Fourth place man Tony Bishop was the driver to watch, as he quickly closed in on Wiltshire. He would be unable to challenge however, as the unfortunate Lee McCrumlish went off at Paddock Hill bend, to bring out the red flags on the last lap.
This left Aaron Steele to take his first victory of the 2015 F3 Cup season by a comfortable four and a half seconds, from Louis Hamilton-Smith and Stuart Wiltshire who rounded out the podium. Ashley Crossey came home in an excellent fifth overall, and was the Trophy Class victor, in his first F3 Cup weekend.
Current championship leader, Steele, said: "The race was fantastic, there is never a better feeling than winning. I got a much better start today and had got a lot more temperature in my rear tyres on the warming up lap. As soon as I got away in P1, it was just about settling into a rhythm, keeping it going and bringing it home."
Yesterdays winner Louis Hamilton-Smith seemed happy with second place after his Oulton Park troubles, and missing the Donington Park round altogether. He said: "The pace at the start really set the agenda of the race, second off the line and just maintain the gap. Aaron pulled away in the last couple of minutes so I was holding my own."
Third place Stuart Wiltshire was very happy with another podium finish this season. He said: "I got a good start and could stay with the front two for about three quarters of the race. I could see Jacopo very, very close behind. My team mate then turned up, Tony Bishop. One or two more laps he may have got past, however, I would have been as wide as possible, then the red flags came out."
F3 Cup Rounds 6-8, Brands Hatch Indy - Race 2 Classification
- Aaron Steele, Dallara F307 - 20 Laps
- Louis Hamilton-Smith, Dallara F306 +4.426
- Stuart Wiltshire, Dallara F308 +12.960
- Tony Bishop, Dallara F307 +13.284
- Ashley Crossey, Dallara F301 +18.444
- Jacopo Sebastiani, Dallara F311 +28.278
- Daniel Tapinos, Dallara F311 +33.264
- Frank Thomas, Dallara F305/06 +1 Lap
- Lee McCrumlish, Dallara F301 DNF
- Henry Chart, Dallara F305 DNS