Battles throughout the field in race two at Donington
The second F3 Cup race of the year took place in overcast but dry conditions at Donington Park
The second F3 Cup race of the year took place in overcast but dry conditions at Donington Park, with a slightly depleted field after Saturday's season opening race. Matt Payne was forced to miss the race after suffering fuel pressure issues in his Dallara F305 Mercedes, and Malcolm Scott had mechanical issues during the formation lap and was unable to take the start. Robbie Watts was also absent, the Team Fox Racing driver supporting his daughter at the London Marathon today.
Scott's issues on the formation lap resulted in a delayed start and a second formation lap, with a slightly reduced race distance of twelve minutes. Nonetheless, as the lights went out Daryl Jones shot off to an early lead from the second row of the gird, leap-frogging pole man Shane Kelly who struggled to launch the University of Wolverhampton Race Team Dallara F308 again. Tony Bishop was quick to follow Jones, with Mark Harrison in pursuit.
As the race settled down in the first few laps, Kelly managed to work his way back up to third, with George Line and Mark Harrison behind. Harrison was enjoying a tussle with Omicron Motorsport's Jacopo Sebastiani, who ultimately got past him to take the fifth spot, and Stuart Wiltshire. The close racing continued throughout the field, with James Ledamun making the most of his older Trophy class car to tackle Richard Purcell for position, the pair separated by less than a second for a good portion of the race.
With less than four minutes to go, Kelly was able to catch and pass Jones to take the lead, holding the position to the chequered flag, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Harrison came under further pressure from James Heffernan in the closing stages of the race, but again managed to fend him off until the end to hold on to sixth position. Speaking after the race, Kelly again praised the efforts of his team, "They live and breathe it - it's an amazing job that they're doing."
Daryl Jones was delighted with his race start: "I had a good start yesterday but it didn't last long. Same again today, but got a bit of a lead, saw Kelly had dropped behind Bishop which was good for four or five laps, but I saw him coming and he was going to get past at some point."
Tony Bishop, completing the podium, was pleased with his performance too, "I got a good start - not as good as Daryl's - and was staying with him for a few laps, but constantly watching Shane in the mirrors. One mistake and he got past, but as the race went on I was getting quicker and quicker so to be honest I'm looking forward to the twenty minute race!"
F3 Cup's final race of the weekend is at the revised time of 17:20 this afternoon.
F3 Cup, Donington Park Race Two (24 April 2016)
- Shane Kelly - Dallara F308 - 12 laps
- Daryl Jone - Dallara F308 +4.459
- Tony Bishop - Dallara F310 +4.812
- George Line - Dallara F308 +8.889
- Jacopo Sebastiani - Dallara F311 +17.233
- Mark Harrison - Dallara F305 +22.547
- James Heffernan - Dallara F308 +22.873
- Stuart Wiltshire - Dallara F308 +23.774
- Daniel Tapinos - Dallara F311 +42.332
- Richard Purcell - Dallara F308 +1 lap
- James Ledamun - Dallara F300 +1 lap
- Geoffrey Hoodless - March 813 +2 laps
- Malcolm Scott - Dallara F306 DNS
- Matt Payne - Dallara F305 DNS