Eastern express Sato goes West

Castle Combe may be the furthest West of any circuit in England, but it was a driver from the Far East who took pole position for the first of Sunday's two British Formula 3 Championship races. Takuma Sato took his Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen Honda around a massive 0.250 seconds quicker than the opposition

Eastern express Sato goes West

In second qualifying, it was the Japanese driver's Carlin team-mate Anthony Davidson who took the pole spot on a day on which Buzz Buzaglo's lap record took a hammering as F3 cars returned to Wiltshire for the first time in 28 years.

Sato was mighty in the first session, needing just a few laps to do his time before parking his car well before the finish. His performance was aided by the two F3 classes being split in a one-off experiment, on a circuit on which the lap time is only 59 seconds.

"It was because I could get a clear lap," he said. "I got stuck behind a car on my first attacking lap. On my second the tyres were still fresh - I had just a little understeer, which is normal when the tyres are just scrubbed."

In the second session, Sato was on another flier when he hit a marker board at the Bobbies chicane, which got wedged in the front suspension and cracked the right front wing. That gave him a huge understeering moment into the final corner - Camp - on a lap that still netted him fourth on the grid. He plugged on for another couple of laps before calling it a day.

That assured Davidson, who took second to Sato earlier on, of a front-row double.

"It didn't really feel that different," said the Englishman of his pole position lap. "That's the hard thing about this place - it's difficult to know when you've done a good time. It's a scrappy feeling around this place, but that's what makes it all fun."

Jamie Spence, who languished 11th in the first session, took a great second for Duma Racing in the second. He actually held pole and was trying to improve when he understeered wide in a lurid moment at Camp and narrowly missed the tyre wall before spinning back across the track. Adding further to Duma's joy were a pair of third row places for new recruit Ryan Dalziel, making his first appearance with the team since his defection from RC Motorsport.

"It's a mega plus, big time," said the previously solo Spence. "We've got more personnel and morale is much better now. It brings the whole profile of the team up."

Third places were taken by Andre Lotterer in first qualifying and Derek Hayes in the second, Hayes improving later on after feeling that he had failed to make the most of his tyres during their peak of performance in the first session.

Pole positions for the Scholarship Class races were taken by Fred Goddard Racing twins Robert Doornbos and Robbie Kerr.


1 Takuma Sato (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 59.587s
2 Anthony Davidson (Carlin Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 59.837s
3 Andre Lotterer (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) 59.885s
4 James Courtney (Jaguar Racing Dallara-Mugen) 59.964s
5 Ryan Dalziel (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) 59.998s
6 Derek Hayes (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:00.018s
7 Bruce Jouanny (Promatecme Dallara-Mugen) 1:00.122s
8 Atsushi Katsumata (Promatecme Dallara-Mugen) 1:00.154s
9 Gianmaria Bruni (Fortec Dallara-Renault) 1:00.155s
10 Mark Taylor (Manor Motorsport Dallara-Mugen) 1:00.170s
Robert Doornbos (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault)


1 Davidson 59.708s
2 Jamie Spence (Duma Racing Dallara-Mugen) 59.818s
3 Hayes 59.849s
4 Sato 59.924s
5 Courtney 59.951s
6 Dalziel 59.966s
7 Lotterer 59.986s
8 Taylor 1:00.050s
9 Matt Davies (Team Avanti Dallara-Opel) 1:00.145s
10 Jouanny 1:00.347s
Robbie Kerr (Fred Goddard Racing Dallara-Renault)

shares
comments
RC left driverless after spate of musical chairs
Previous article

RC left driverless after spate of musical chairs

Next article

Race 1: Davidson nicks ahead of Sato

Race 1: Davidson nicks ahead of Sato
Ranking the 10 best drivers from F1's junior series in 2022 Plus

Ranking the 10 best drivers from F1's junior series in 2022

The ladder to F1 never gets any less slippery. But a strong cast of Formula 3 and Formula 2 aces proved sure of foot as they continued their climbs in 2022

FIA F2
Dec 24, 2022
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying Plus

Why the Formula 3 benchmark's 2022 season hinges on qualifying

Prema Racing has long dominated FIA Formula 3, taking the teams’ title in two of the past three seasons. But its start to 2022 has been trickier than usual, and the answers lie in its qualifying performance

FIA F3
May 27, 2022
How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape Plus

How the ultra-tight F3 title fight is taking shape

With just five points separating the top five after two rounds, FIA Formula 3 looks set for another thrilling season in 2022. But who stands the best chance of pulling away from that pack, and who are the contenders bubbling under?

FIA F3
May 3, 2022
The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path Plus

The F3 newcomer making good on his unusual career path

Joining the FIA Formula 3 grid as a rookie with a team new to the series could prove daunting for most, but then there aren't many drivers who have the extensive experience Franco Colapinto brings from his time racing sportscars. The Argentinian explains how his LMP2 experience is already helping him in 2022

FIA F3
Mar 27, 2022
The British trio hunting for F3 title glory Plus

The British trio hunting for F3 title glory

The 2022 FIA Formula 3 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain. British trio Zak O’Sullivan, Ollie Bearman and Jonny Edgar have all become proteges of Formula 1 teams, and are talents to watch this year

FIA F3
Mar 18, 2022
How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors Plus

How an outsider demolished a rank of F1 juniors

His career has been a slowburner but Gregoire Saucy trounced a collection of F1 juniors in Formula Regional by Alpine last year, and now he’s preparing to do it again in FIA F3. Here’s how the Swiss caught the world by surprise in 2021 and how he plans to do it all over again

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 F2 and F3 drivers of 2021

With a veritable feast of feeder series talent in 2021, FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 produced some of its most exciting racing yet. Although Prema Racing drivers once again dominated the respective series, drivers from other teams also stole the limelight to mark themselves out as stars of the future, or validate their highly-regarded standing

FIA F2
Dec 22, 2021