Rf2 - Formula 3: British Championship (Q3 Write up & Highlights)
As the world entered lockdown, the F3 championship entered its final phase to crown the champion. So far it was L.Muller who had the advantage, but an ever more competitive D.Kalocsai threatened to claim the final remaining top spots before things were said and done. With Silvertone up next, the teams prepared for the intense fighting that would ensue. Round 5: Silverstone International: Watch HERE
The grid prepares for the start of Silverstone International
As usual, the qualifying session was full of exchanges down to the wire. D.Kalocsai once again showed us his talent behind the wheel of the MSV Formula 3 car, M.clipp from Royal Blue racing was also on point this round, joining the front row for the start. D.Vidimari, the man in 2nd place in standings would start P5, with the championship leader all the way down in P7.
The grid bursts into life as it enters the apex of T1!
As the countdown began the grid burst into life, all cars dashed towards the apex of T1, D.Kalocsai defending the inside line again M.clipp who made a decent start. I.Khan would lose x2 position to both the F1 Bro's Racing drivers, moving him down to 7th place, with D.vidimari also making good ground at the beginning to get into P3 with an incredible move around the outside of T1.
T.Thiele gets it wrong on the entry to Village, he would later receive a penalty for his actions which took out several drivers.
Further back though the drivers weren't so lucky. A quick move to the right under braking into the vilage complex caught T.Thiele out. He would make contact with M.Ribolli, sending his car backwards into the apex of the next corner. The impact speed was immense, as the car hit the kerb it flew into the air, with no control over the car, it made its mark as it re-entered the circuit limits, taking several cars out of the event.
D.Kalocsai leaves the field behind!
Up front, D.Kalocsai continued to extend his lead. His overal lap pace was once again on show for all to see, with M.clipp and D.Vidimari left to fight over the remaining top positions. L.Muller and his teammate D.Erstling where also close behind, but could not capitalise on their opportunities to move onto the podium positions here at silverstone.
A bold move around the outside as I.Khan takes P9 from K.Lewis
Fighting for the top 10 was I.Khan and K.Lewis. Both were on a recovery drive after being involved in the incident on Lap 1 and ready to do battle to regain some points. I.Khan would make the move down on the outside line at Club corner, smoke appearing from K.Lewis's front tires as he attempted to slow for the apex.
S.Grassi half spins on the entry to the Hanger Straight
Attrition started to appear as the race progressed. S.Grassi would make a mistake on the entry to the Hanger Straight. Luckily the car would drift off the racing line, leaving the door open to T.Schaefer to mop up the points left wide open.
S.Grassi would recover to fight alongside his fellow colleague M.Ribolli who was defending against T.Theile. T.Thiele would get the slipstream entering Vale, claiming the inside line to demote M.Ribolli down to P13.
D.Vidimari applies pressure on M.Clipp for 2nd place
As the event came to a close the battle for 2nd place heated up. M.Clipp used every trick available to hold off D.Vidimari as they ducked and dived through slow moving traffic. With M.clipp closing in the championship standings, D.Vidimari knew this was his opportunity to secure 2nd place in the standings before heading to the final. He looked, left and right, but with each opportunity that presented itself, there was a very wide F3 Royal Blue Racing machine ready to close it off. His efforts would eventually be in vein, both coming across the line in P2 & P3 respectively with the decider for the 2nd place title going to donington.
Victory once more for D.Kalocsai!
D.Kalocsai would come home victorious once again, he had learnt from earlier mistakes in the season and was now truly showing raw pace. Sadly, due to his earlier retirements in the championship, he would not be in a position to take the title, however by denying L.muller of further victories, D.Vidimari stood a chance to undercutting the title should donington not fair well for the championship leader. All eyes now set on the final, the Donington Decider. Donington International (The Final!): Watch HERE
All championship hopes, all efforts so far had led to this moment. The drivers final place in this seasons standings would come down to how well they performed at donington International. The grid was tense and the qualifying was close as always. Taking pole position, D.Kalocsai, once again proving he is the guy to beat now on the championships final day.
Drivers warm up their tires, ready for the start!
Alongside, M.Clipp from Royal Blue Racing, ready to claim 2nd place in the standings if he could do well here. The second row was occupied by the F1 Bros Racing drivers. L.Muller knew he had to score points here that afternoon to secure his title, beating D.Vidimari by 13 points was a MUST! D.Vidimari himself was not having a good final, starting down in P10, he had the work to do if he wanted to both claim victory here, or hold onto his 2nd place position in the standings. As the grid finished their warm up lap, it was time to do or die for the deciding round!
The grid dives into T1! M.Clipp trails behind D.Kalocsai, the championship leader behind.
The countdown began, 3,2,1. The grid accelerating hard to gain position early on, they entered T1 en masse, the sound of whining turbo and screeching rubber in the air. On the run down the hill the tarmac began to narrow, J.Watts found the back wheel of W.Karjalainen in that moment, the PMK Driver countersteering onto the grass and lossing several positions in the process.
Disaster for L.Muller as he spins at Coppice!
Back up front the racing was close, but the tires still cold. L.Muller would find this out the hard way as the grid entered Coppice Corner, the F3 would loosen as it struggled from grip in the dirty air. The car ran wide, L.Muller tried desperately to correct the error but to no avail. The car would touch the grass, followed by a spin into the gravel. The entire grid would simply drive past before he could get back onto the circuit to continue, and his championship hopes were finished unless he could complete the drive of his life.
Another position for D.Vidimari as F.Zerbetto rides the kerbs
Fortune would continue to smile on D.Vidimari as the race began to unfold. Moving from P10 up into P6 he would score enough points to claim the title. He would do battle with S.Grassi from Valle Esports along with T.Hakkinen and F.Zerbetto to secure those all important points. Though, it was not over just yet.
L.Muller misses a Spinning #86 as he recovers at incredible speed!
L.Muller had engaged "Red mist" mode as he drove faster and faster each and every lap. He moved back into the points quickly and attacked without mercy. He would catch his prey and claim the position just as easily that day. First was A.Feletto, then J.Watts, C.Mueller and K.Lewis. Up into P12 he could once again sense the glory of the title coming back into his grasp, but more was yet needed before he could come home with a smile on his face.
D.Vidimari gets it wrong on the exit of Mcleans!
Then, came the moment he had been waiting for. As D.Vidimari pushed for the final Top 5 positions, he made the mistake that would end his hopes for victory. On the exit of Mcleans, he would rotate the car 90 degrees to the right. The car would slide off circuit, facing the barrier, making the slightest of touches. Now down in P9, he now not only faced losing the title when he had a chance, but no also his 2nd place podium position.
M.Clipp chases D.Kalocsai for the race win
Up front, M.Clipp was retaining his position. Still firmly in the rear view mirror of D.Kalocsai he was set to come home with all the points required to claim 2nd place for the series. He had been driving very well in the second half of the season and Donington was no exception. D.Erstling, the man sitting behind him for the duration of the race could not gain any more ground, but did not lose it either.The top three position would not change, with all three cars coming home in the podium positions.
L.Muller attaches himself to the #23's rear bumper
What of the championship though? L.Muller was now behind D.Vidimari, the man who had been on his heels throughout this entire series, the only man who could beat him, the only one who could steal his glory! Muller knew he had the points to secure victory now, but to overtake the man who challenged you, to secure that spot to ensure the championship lead would be extended and not closer come the chequered flag, that is what he wanted.
The two championship leaders go wheel-to-wheel!
On the entry to T1, Muller made his move. With the slipstream providing the extra speed he needed, he snatched the inside line and claiming P9! Despite his attempts to stay close, D.Vidimari would not get an opportunity to fight back, whether he was carrying damage from his visit to the barrier is not known to us, but one thing is known and that is that he would have been pushing 100% for that title.
D.Kalocsai claims the final victory of the season!
D.Kalocsai would once again claim victory for the final round at Donington, moving up the standings to secure his resting place at P4, how things could have been different if those early DNF's never happened, lessons learnt im sure, and true racing spirit on display for the final rounds! M.Clipp did what he needed to do here, claiming 2nd place both at Donington as well as the championship standings too. D.Vidimari's misfortunes had allowed him to jump ahead by 6 points to claim the spot. The Royal Blue Racing driver surely chuffed with the results. D.Vidimari would come home in P8 which would be enough to hold onto P3 in the standings. The driver joked through the season how he was always coming third place every race, I guess this stands true for the final standings as well.
Your 2019-2020 Champion L.Muller!
Of course, the winner of this series is L.Muller. Driving to victory for the first three rounds he scored points when it mattered and knew what needed to be done to secure the title. It almost slipped through his fingers after his spin but staying calm, focusing on the task at hand allowed him to come back from the brinke to say he is our British F3 Champion! From us here at CFEG, we have enjoyed this series so much, It has once again highlighted the enjoyment a small sprint series such as this can bring in our world focused on endurance racing. very strong competition and of course the brilliant circuits located in the British Countryside have been a success story for this season. As always, it's been an honour to stream and host these events for you all to enjoy and we hope that you join us again for future championships as our community continues to grow and flourish amongst the sim-racing community. thanks for reading, stay safe out there! cheers Matt/OTL