Carey Secures Title at Snetterton

F3 Cup’s 2019 champion was crowned today (Sunday 20 October) at Snetterton in Norfolk, with Cian Carey retaining the crown for a second year after a tense, weekend-long battle.

F3 Cup’s 2019 champion was crowned today (Sunday 20 October) at Snetterton in Norfolk, with Cian Carey retaining the crown for a second year after a tense, weekend-long battle.

As is almost a tradition, the title fight came down to the wire again this year, with three drivers in contention. Having led for the majority of the season, Chris Dittmann Racing’s Cian Carey was the odds-on favourite. The reigning champion had a reasonable lead, but his arch rival Shane Kelly was hot on his heels.

Kelly and his University of Wolverhampton Racing squad have yet to finish outside the championship top three – an enviable track record – but were hungry for that elusive title. Just a single non-finish at Snetterton earlier in the year blighted their season, with consistent podium finishes throughout.

Team Fox’s Darragh Daly was the third driver with his eyes on the prize. The Irishman’s form had peaked with precision timing, winning two of the preceding four races.

An exciting qualifying session on Saturday saw Daly clinch pole position from Stefano Leaney on the very last lap, in tricky conditions as the track dried out after Friday’s torrential rain.

Race one beckoned on a now dry track, and as the lights went out it was CF Racing’s Stuart Wiltshire who made the most of the conditions, launching his car away from the line. Kelly too made a great start, leading the pack into Riches, only to lose the lead to Daly later in the lap. As the pack caught up he was forced to play defensively, allowing Daly and Leaney to pull away at the front. Carey managed to recover to third, after struggling in qualifying. At the flag, it was Daly collecting the maximum points haul, ahead of Leaney and Carey.

Race two took place this morning, this time with Leaney on pole alongside Daly. Once again however, Wiltshire stormed away as the lights went out, making up a handful of positions on the run down to Riches. Unfortunately a spin at Wilson dropped him to the back of the field, leaving the key protagonists to take control of the race. Leaney led after lap one, from Daly and Carey. Carey set about trying to pass Daly, with a race-long battle between the pair allowing Leaney to create a comfortable lead. His pace was so quick, in fact, that he set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:43.35 to collect the Sunoco Fastest Driver award.

Race three was scheduled for later in the afternoon. By this time, the skies had darkened and the first spots of rain began to fall. The Clerk of the Course declared the race ‘wet’ to permit use of the Pirelli wet tyres, but all of the drivers opted to stick with the slicks.  After two formation laps, the red lights went out for the final time this year and once again Leaney and Daly led the pack. Carey was not far behind, however, and by the end of the first lap had stolen second place from his fellow countryman. While a battle developed between Carey and Leaney, Tony Bishop suffered a spin at Agostini, dropping him to the back of the pack. While working hard to recover, he collided with Gino Ussi leaving him stranded at Turn Four. Recovery of his car required a Saefty Car deployment, and due to the tricky nature of the recovery the race was forced to finish under those conditions.

Carey’s hard-fought season ends with the result he desired – and he becomes the first driver in the championship’s history to successfully defend his title. The championship podium was completed by Shane Kelly (second) and Darragh Daly (third). CF Racing also retains its title as the Team’s Champion, scoring a healthy points haul over the weekend.

MSVR would like to thank championship partners Sunoco, Pirelli and Marchand Watch Company for their support throughout an exciting 2019 season. Planning for the 2020 Championship is well underway, with a provisional calendar due to be announced in the coming weeks. For the latest news and updates over the winter break, please keep an eye on the website at www.f3cup.co.uk.

 

2019 Driver Standings

1Cian CareyCup422pts
2Shane KellyCup361pts
3Darragh DalyCup354pts
4George LineCup293pts
5Stefano LeaneyCup263pts
6Stuart WiltshireCup252pts
7Tony BishopCup246pts
8Chris DittmannCup213pts
9Adrian HoleyCup98pts
10Patrick JeansCup96pts