Parente Feels 'Close' to Title

Alvaro Parente believes he is 'close to the end' in quest to wrap up the British F3 International Series

Parente Feels 'Close' to Title

Parente currently has a 64-point lead in the series over Carlin Motorsport teammate Charlie Kimball, having won five of the last six races.

If he can stretch that gap out to 84 points during this weekend's two races at the Nurburgring, he will be crowned champion four races early.

"I just need some good results now and I feel I'm close to the end," Parente told Autosport-Atlas. "Charlie has been going well but I have been going better. I'm not relaxing yet because Charlie is a strong competitor and although he is my main rival for the title there are many other quality drivers in the series.

"Charlie would have to have a bad weekend at Nurburgring and I would have to have a really good one for me to win the title this weekend, so I'm not focusing on that yet."

Parente's has taken nine victories this season, and his dominance has been surprising because he wasn't one of the favoured runners at the start of the season - he wasn't even on the entry list.

He missed the opening round at Donington Park while the Carlin deal was being negotiated and had to watch former teammate Danilo Dirani take a 41-point lead in the championship, having romped home with two victories and a pole position.

"Watching the first race from the pitwall was odd," Parente said. "Before the season we weren't sure what I should focus on and then we organised the deal late. I thought I would focus on race wins and see what happened. But I didn't think I could fight back so quickly and be in the lead by Knockhill. Dirani had some bad races but he back up there now."

Parente, who has been signed up as A1 GP Team Portugal's second driver, has only raced Formula Three cars so far in his career. He started with a season each in Spanish F3 and F3 Euroseries before switching to the British series in 2004.

He added: "In a way it is surprising I am leading the championship because I didn't do any of the pre-season testing and preparation that everyone else did. But then I have the experience of the British series and the British tracks and I knew it would be easy to get up to speed quickly."

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Series FIA F3
Author Tim Redmayne
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