Carey Clings on in Exciting Snetterton Finale
Cian Carey collected a second win at Snetterton after a thrilling race this afternoon
The third race of F3 Cup’s Snetterton weekend formed up just as the rain began to spit; fortunately that was all it amounted to and the Snetterton pit lane scramble of previous years was avoided as everyone got going on the Pirelli slicks.
Chris Dittmann Racing’s Cian Carey launched his car perfectly once again, converting pole position into an early lead over Jacopo Sebastiani and Tony Bishop. Shane Kelly tried a brave move through the grid but gained only one position before running out of space.
After lap two Kelly was up to fourth, chasing Bishop, while Sebastiani had closed the gap to Carey to just 0.6s. This set the theme for the race, as the leading pair battled incessantly, running side-by-side at times. Robbie Watts was making great progress, and enjoyed a similar battle with Stuart Wiltshire.
Kelly was clearly hungry for a podium this weekend, and tried a number of moves to get past Bishop, including a brave attempt on the inside at Riches. Bishop held firm though, and even with the gap down to 0.2s kept control of the situation to defend his position.
Similarly Sebastiani kept his efforts up, trying to use the slip stream down the start/finish straight, and attempting to pass Carey around the outside at Brundle, until he eventually got past at Agostini. Carey refused to settle for that however, and within a few corners had passed the CF Racing driver back at Nelson to regain the lead. Sebastiani tried to get back past in the closing laps, including a particularly ambitious move around the outside at Riches, but to no avail.
Bishop and Kelly closed in on the leaders as they tussled through the closing laps but at the flag Carey made it two wins from three at Snetterton. The top three were joined on the podium by Robbie Watts who collected the Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Weekend Award.
He commented, “Early on I had the pace but Jacopo just kept coming back at me. I was second at one point as we traded for the lead but that was the longest 20 minutes ever! I really enjoyed that race and just thankful I was able to hold on to the lead. It [the weekend] started off poor with fifth in qualifying but I’ve made up for it now. We’ll keep cracking on now for Rockingham in a couple of weeks and hopefully carry the momentum on.”
Sebastiani said, “I tried, I knew that I had the pace but just not in the first few laps because typically I don’t as the tyres come up, but then I really tried hard. I managed to get past but then he got me back because I had a difficult exit. I love racing, I love driving this car and Hywel [Lloyd, team manager CF Racing] prepares a phenomenal car, I think it’s the fastest thing out there I just haven’t had the clean air to show it!”
Bishop mused, “It was good fun, I was shattered halfway through! I had a bit of a breather and then thought ‘hang on a minute, I’m getting closer to these’ so I had another go so I could have done with another couple of laps I think!”
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