Mechanical gremlins for Lloyd hand victory to Steele

F3 Cup’s second race of the weekend took place in dry but overcast conditions at Silverstone this morning

F3 Cup's second race of the weekend took place in dry but overcast conditions at Silverstone this morning (13 September). The grid was formed from the drivers' second fastest times in yesterday's qualifying session, putting Zach Claman de Melo on pole, with Hywel Lloyd alongside leading the Cup Class contenders. Champion-elect Aaron Steele lined up on row two, alongside Louis Hamilton-Smith but it was Stuart Wiltshire, holding on to second place in the standings, who needed to make sure he finished this race ahead of third-placed Jacopo Sebastiani to keep his points advantage.

As the lights went out, Claman de Melo bogged down but was able to recover sufficiently to fend off Lloyd into Copse. Lloyd in turn stayed ahead of the chasing Steele and Hamilton-Smith, while problems for Sebastiani dropped him down to almost the back of the field. This left Wiltshire in fifth, leading team mate Malcolm Scott (who was enjoying a superb run on his F3 Cup debut) and Trophy class runner Adrian Holey. Matt Payne lay in eighth, ahead of Daniel Tapinos who had lost a few spots after a mistake earlier on. Tony Bishop meanwhile was starting a charge in his new Performance Racing-run machine, which would ultimately see him finish in fifth place after passing his rivals.

Just a few laps in, Hywel Lloyd ran into mechanical issues and would be forced to retire the car near Farm corner. Steele wasted no time capitalising on this, and began to pull away from the chasing Hamilton-Smith and Wiltshire.

Afterwards Steele commented, "We made a couple of changes over night to the car and it's a massive step-up now, it's so much more stable in the high-speed [areas] which keeps Louis [Hamilton-Smith] at bay. Much, much happier with that."

Hamilton-Smith noted, "I was very close to him and there were a couple of times where I nearly had a go. I was probably a bit quicker in the early part of the lap and he was quicker in the second half of the lap so it sort of evened itself out."

Stuart Wiltshire was also pleased with his performance, "I got a lot quicker in the second race than I did in the first. Major differences, really happy."

The final F3 Cup race of the season takes place at approximately 14:00 today, and will see Aaron Steele crowned as 2015 Champion. Live timing will be available at www.f3cup.co.uk and live updates at www.twitter.com/F3Cup

 

F3 Cup - Silverstone GP, 12/13 September - Race Two results

  1. Zach Claman de Melo (Inv) - Dallara F308 - 8 laps
  2. Aaron Steele (Cup) - Dallara F307 +18.981
  3. Louis Hamilton-Smith (Cup) - Dallara F306 +20.003
  4. Stuart Wiltshire (Cup) - Dallara F308 +28.421
  5. Tony Bishop (Cup) - Dallara F310 +56.717
  6. Daniel Tapinos (Cup) - Dallara F311 +1:06.734
  7. Malcolm Scott (Cup) - Dallara F307 +1:16.742
  8. Jacopo Sebastiani (Cup) - Dallara F311 +1:17.725
  9. Adrian Holey (Trophy) - Dallara F300 +1:19.616
  10. Matt Payne (Cup) - Dallara F307 +2:09.649
  11. Geoffrey Hoodless (Inv) - Ralt RT1 +1 lap 

DNF Hywel Lloyd (Cup) - Dallara F311