Daly Takes Maiden Victory
Team Fox's Stephen Daly secured a win in only his second F3 Cup race
F3 Cup's second race of the year took place this morning under overcast skies at the East Midlands' Donington Park.
Having lost James Simons yesterday due to a blown engine, the rest of the cars set off on the green flag lap, but a second was forced as Philip Jeans had a spin on cold tyres and a delayed start was called. The full grid returned from the second lap and as the lights went out to start the race, everyone made a clean getaway.
Sebastiani just about had the legs on pole sitter Daly towards the first corner, but Daly outbraked him into Redgate and held onto the lead. In fact, team mate Stuart Wiltshire was able to get the better of Sebastiani and completed the first lap in second place.
Once there he wasted no time in challenging Daly for the lead, one brave move in particular up the inside at Redgate almost paid off but Daly was able to defend. From then on the Irishman asserted his dominance of the race, putting his foot down and stretching a lead.
Sebastiani made a small mistake at McLeans, causing him to run wide and giving up third place to Shane Kelly, which he was able to keep until the end. George Line and Tony Bishop enjoyed a close, race-long battle until Bishop ran wide and ended up in the gravel at Coppice on the final lap.
Cian Carey was sadly forced to retire back to the pits, his electrical gremlins from yesterday returning. The Chris Dittmann Racing squad got straight to work on the car with the aim of getting him back out for the final race of the weekend.
Further back, Philip Jeans and Roberto Tirone enjoyed a very close battle, all the while chasing down Patrick Jeans ahead.
In the closing stages Kelly found himself right on Wiltshire's tail, the gap down to 0.3s at one point, but the season is a long one and the UWR driver opted to look after the car and his tyres and secure the points for third place. Daly claimed a solid victory at the chequered flag.
Speaking after the race, Daly said, "We got the great start that we needed and there was no looking back from there really. I was a bit cautious after my spin yesterday but then I saw the guys were starting to attack so I thought I'd better pull the gun and go, I'd waited long enough! The car was brilliant today, the guys worked a storm overnight so I can't thank Team Fox Racing enough. My family too - there were 17 of us sat at the restaurant last night!"
Wiltshire was delighted with his podium return: "I had a good start, in contrast to yesterday, but once I realised Stephen was getting away I thought I'd save my tyres for the race later." Regarding Kelly's challenge, he said "I had it all in hand! I know Shane's weaknesses, one of them is getting up in the morning... So I had it all in hand, I took care of it!"
Kelly commented, "Both the CF Racing cars jumped me at the start and I was sort of swamped there in the first corner. Jacopo seemed to be struggling with his front end a bit so when we got to McLeans he ran wide and we're quite strong in the third sector so I took advantage of that. We had the pace but struggled in the dirty air. Happy in P3 again - back on the podium and happy with the points."
F3 Cup's third race of the weekend is scheduled at 16:10 today (22 April). Head to www.f3cup.co.uk/LIVE for live timing and real time Twitter updates throughout the session.