Hitech Racing resumes its bid to retain the coveted British Formula 3 International Series crown when the championship resumes at Croft this weekend. Austrian Walter Grubmüller has shown an impressive turn of speed in recent testing, the 19 year-old looking to repeat his superb performance of the opening rounds at Oulton Park.
The rapid Austrian, in his second season with the Buckingham-based team, qualified third for the two races at the Cheshire track. A gearbox problem cut short his attempt for a podium spot in the opening race but he bounced back with a fifth place finish in round two. A hectic test schedule last week at Pembrey and Rockingham saw him on the pace and ready to do battle against a strong 28-car field.
His sensational team-mate, 17 year-old Max Chilton took second place for the team in Cheshire and followed that up with the second quickest time in Thursday’s test at Rockingham. The Reigate-based BRDC Superstar is also in his second season of Formula 3, having become the youngest ever driver in the series when he entered the second round last year aged 16 years and one day.
The reigning champions are keen to retain the title they won last year with a dominant display by Marko Asmer which secured the Estonian a Sauber BMW F1 test role. Last October, Croft was the track on which the David Hayle-led team clinched the series, with its tenth win from 11.
This weekend the team will be bidding for another victory as it looks to kick-start its 2008 championship charge. “It will be very strange going back to Croft as it’s the place we won last year’s title, said Team Principal David Hayle. “Marko dominated there last season, claiming two pole positions, a win and very nearly a second victory until a rare mechanical problem.
“We started this year in a strong position and in virtually every test we’ve been on the pace with both Walter and Max. We’ve spent a lot of time on developing the new car and we feel we’ve learnt a lot ahead of the next round. In every session both Walter and Max have improved and I’m confident they will continue that form into the testing and qualifying this weekend.”
The event kicks off with official testing on Friday prior to Saturday’s two 30-minute qualifying sessions at 10.55 and 14.38. The two races take place on Sunday at 13.08 and 16.41.
Once again the races will be televised on Motors TV at the following times: 10 May 17:00 and 23:59, 12 May 02:00 and 19:00, 13 May 14:00, 17 May 11:00, 18 May 19:00, 19 May 15:00 and the 28 May 18:00.