Dirani Dominant in Donington

Danilo Dirani had an ideal start to the British Formula Three championship, claimed two easy wins at a sunny Donington track by leading from lights to flag in both races, giving himself a strong early lead in the series

Dirani Dominant in Donington

Dirani, the principal Lola driver in a field almost entirely comprised of Dallara competitors, simply had no competition all day with Marko Asmer, the other driver on both front rows, in the wars all day long.

In race one Asmer suffered from a clutch problem, falling to the back of the grid as Dirani stormed off into the lead. Behind them Tim Bridgman stalled on the grid, which caught out Suk Sandher and Salvador Duran - all three were out as the pack rounded the first turn.

At turn one the leading three drivers were Dirani, Mike Conway and Daniel Clarke, and the order remained unchanged until the chequered flag. Further back Asmer had an impressive fight back, running back up through the grid to finish eighth. In an otherwise uneventful race Stephen Jelley was the only other retirement, slowing to a stop on lap five.

Asmer's problems compounded before race two as his mechanics worked feverously to change out his engine before the pitlane closed - he made the track a mere five seconds before the red light was shown.

The mechanical dramas clearly had an effect on the Estonian - he made an awful start from pole, dropping back to fourth at the first corner. Behind him Bruno Senna outbraked himself entering the old hairpin; Charlie Hollings was unlucky to be next to the Brazilian, and the pair were out on the spot.

Asmer got back into his stride and began to work his way back up the field - he powered by Mike Conway on lap two and started putting pressure on Daniel Clarke, who eventually wilted and ran wide, letting Asmer through into second.

Dirani was already too far ahead to be caught by this stage, and cruised to a second easy win.

Behind him Jonathan Kennard had dramatically rolled his car on lap five after a coming together with Josh Fisher, leaving the Briton shaken but otherwise unhurt. It was the biggest incident in a surprisingly calm pair of races in a series that normally has many more collisions, and augers well for the car control of this year's contenders.

Steven Kane in the second Lola had a quietly impressive pair of races, claiming seventh and fifth in a car that had no pre-season testing and was in fact largely build at the track over the weekend.

Ahead of him Mike Conway stayed out of trouble, running two quiet races to claim a pair of podiums to lay down the foundations of his championship challenge, while Ryan Lewis was the only driver to do much overtaking, claiming three scalps in the second win to put himself in the hunt with two points finishes.

British Formula Three Championship - Rounds One and Two, Donington National Circuit
Race One 

Pos   Driver                    Chassis/Engine                Time       Laps  Gap   
1. C Danilo Dirani (BRA) Lola B05/30 Mugen Honda 25:27.896 20 2. C Mike Conway (GBR) Dallara Opel Spiess 25:29.677 20 1.781 3. C Daniel Clarke (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:32.093 20 4.197 4. C Ryan Lewis (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:32.408 20 4.512 5. C Christian Bakkerud (DEN) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:37.507 20 9.611 6. C Bruno Senna (BRA) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:44.154 20 16.258 7. C Steven Kane (GBR) Lola B05/30 Mugen-Honda 25:45.390 20 17.494 8. C Marko Asmer (EST) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:50.208 20 22.312 9. C Susie Stoddart (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:55.915 20 28.019 10. N Josh Fisher (GBR) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:56.902 20 29.006 11. C James Walker (GBR) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 25:57.291 20 29.395 12. N Barton Mawer (AUS) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 26:01.243 20 33.347 13. N Charlie Hollings (GBR) Lola-Dome F106/4 Mugen Honda 26:07.171 20 39.275 14. N Jonathan Kennard (GBR) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 26:08.295 20 40.399 15. C Ronayne O'Mahony (IRL) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 26:09.777 20 41.881 16. C Charlie Kimball (USA) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 26:10.432 20 42.536 17. N Juho Annala (FIN) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 26:20.074 20 52.178 18. C Keiko Ihara (JPN) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 26:21.376 20 53.480 19. N Nick Jones (USA) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:41.247 19 1 Lap 20. N Cheong Lou Meng (MAC) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:46.012 19 1 Lap 21. N Ricardo Teixeira (ANG) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 26:04.323 19 1 Lap Not Classified C Stephen Jelley (GBR) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 9:42.730 5 C Tim Bridgman (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 0 0 N Suk Sandher (IND) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 0 0 N Salvador Duran (MEX) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 0 0 Fastest Laps C Ryan Lewis Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 1:02.682 N Charlie Hollings Lola-Dome F106/4 Mugen Honda 1:03.966 Race Two Pos Driver Chassis/Engine Time Laps Gap 1. C Danilo Dirani (BRA) Lola B05/30 Mugen Honda 25:02.684 20 2. C Marko Asmer (EST) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:07.489 20 4.805 3. C Mike Conway (GBR) Dallara Opel Spiess 25:07.992 20 5.308 4. C Daniel Clarke (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:08.663 20 5.979 5. C Steven Kane (GBR) Lola B05/30 Mugen-Honda 25:10.623 20 7.939 6. C Christian Bakkerud (DEN) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:13.381 20 10.697 7. C Ryan Lewis (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:18.514 20 15.830 8. C James Walker (GBR) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 25:19.476 20 16.792 9. C Tim Bridgman (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:24.030 20 21.346 10. C Charlie Kimball (USA) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:27.834 20 25.150 11. C Susie Stoddart (GBR) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:29.442 20 26.758 12. N Barton Mawer (AUS) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:30.675 20 27.991 13. N Salvador Duran (MEX) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:36.912 20 34.228 14. C Stephen Jelley (GBR) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 25:39.422 20 36.738 15. N Josh Fisher (GBR) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:40.986 20 38.302 16. C Keiko Ihara (JPN) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 25:42.938 20 40.254 17. N Suk Sandher (IND) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:43.682 20 40.998 18. N Juho Annala (FIN) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:50.579 20 47.895 19. C Ronayne O'Mahony (IRL) Dallara F305 Opel Spiess 25:53.221 20 50.537 20. N Nick Jones (USA) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 26:00.196 20 57.512 21. N Ricardo Teixeira (ANG) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 25:55.442 19 1 Lap Not Classified N Cheong Lou Meng (MAC) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 16:40.288 11 N Jonathan Kennard (GBR) Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 9:17.230 5 C Bruno Senna (BRA) Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 0 0 N Charlie Hollings (GBR) Lola-Dome F106/4 Mugen Honda 0 0 Fastest Laps C Marko Asmer Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda 1:03.215 N Salvador Duran Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda 1:04.192
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