Lights to flag victory for Steele

The third and final race of the weekend saw Aaron Steele on pole position once again, with Louis Hamilton-Smith lining up beside him on the front row.

The third and final race of the weekend saw Aaron Steele on pole position once again, with Louis Hamilton-Smith lining up beside him on the front row. Stuart Wiltshire and Tony Bishop completed the second row of the grid, with Ashley Crossey and Jacopo Sebastiani on row three.

At the lights, the front few rows got away cleanly, and it was Daniel Tapinos from seventh on the grid that made the best start, jumping up to fifth place. Off the line, Steele held on to his lead ahead of Hamilton-Smith and Wiltshire. Trophy class driver Ashley Crossey could only complete one lap, as a clutch problem meant he had to come into the pit lane and retire the car. After his eventful race two, Jacopo Sebastiani was looking to make up places in the early stages of the race. He caught and passed the fast starting Tapinos (who had dropped to fifth) and then chased down Tony bishop. On lap six, Sebastiani made the move stick on Bishop to take fourth place; he then began closing in on Stuart Wiltshire, which, yet again, would prove to be the closest action on circuit.

Daniel Tapinos made a small error at Clearways midway through the race, spinning down to sixth place behind Frank Thomas. Tony Bishop was the next driver to hit trouble, spinning into the Paddock Hill gravel trap.  With five minutes remaining, the safety car was brought out so that Tony Bishops' car could be moved to a safer position. This closed up the field, meaning the 4 second lead Aaron Steele had gained, was completely wiped out.

The safety car peeled in with three minutes remaining, and it was Aaron Steele who would control the restart. As the green flag flew, Steele immediately pulled a small gap to Hamilton-Smith, who had Wiltshire and Sebastiani close behind. Although close, no one was able to challenge over the last few laps, meaning it was Aaron Steele who held on to take his second race victory of the weekend. Hamilton-Smith took second place and Stuart Wiltshire held onto third place after a great battle with Jacopo Sebastiani. Frank Thomas took his best result of the weekend in fifth place.

Speaking after his second victory, Aaron Steele said: "I am very pleased; it's been a great weekend after Oulton Park where we had clutch issues and Donington where we seemed to have a bit of a pace deficit. It's my home circuit, I love it here and I am pleased to get the two wins."

Race one winner Louis Hamilton-Smith, had an excellent weekend. He was also the recipient of the IWI Fastest Lap of the Weekend award, for setting the fastest lap which was also a new lap record. He said: "I am happy with the weekend, a good first win yesterday and I consolidated that with two second places today. I lost a bit of tyre temperature during the safety car and after that it was just about bringing it back in second."

Third place Stuart Wiltshire, who had a great battle with Jacopo Sebastiani said: "Thanks to the safety car for letting Jacopo get close! Louis was lucky, one more lap and I think I could have got him."

Jacopo Sebastiani came home in fourth place, and was awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award for his feisty drives. He said: "The weekend went very well, it's absolutely fantastic, the circuit is great and there was wonderful sunshine. Bring on spa!"

 

F3 Cup Rounds 6-8, Brands Hatch Indy - Race 3 Classification

 

  1. Aaron Steele, Dallara F307 -       26 Laps
  2. Louis Hamilton-Smith, Dallara F306        +1.850
  3. Stuart Wiltshire, Dallara F308     +3.950
  4. Jacopo Sebastiani, Dallara F311            +4.083
  5. Frank Thomas, Dallara F305/06  +1 Lap
  6. Daniel Tapinos, Dallara F311      +1 Lap
  7. Tony Bishop, Dallara F307         DNF
  8. Ashley Crossey, Dallara F301    DNF