It was a weekend of what could have been for Michael Devaney as he was robbed of a podium position with engine problems on the final lap of race 1 of the International British Formula 3 Championship at Croft, UK. The weekend started well with a 4th position in qualifying 1 but that would be the only trouble free session Michael would endure for the rest of the weekend in his Ultimate Motorsport run Mygale-Mercedes.
The Ultimate Motorsport driver qualified 4th for race 1 in the closely fought session, only 2 tenths of a second off poleman Sergio Perez. The second Qualifying of the day for race 2 didn’t go as well as a suspension failure on his opening lap led to a long delay in the pits as it was repaired. The team got the car out for the final 8 minutes of the session only for it to be red flagged and because of the long delay the officials of the meeting decided to end the session. And with Michael not completing one lap it saw him line up 29th and last for race 2.
As Michael left the pits for the wet race 1 it was apparent that he had some kind of engine problem. Mercedes were called to the grid to try and repair the problem but with the short amount of time there was nothing they could do. Even so Michael got a good start to take 3rd on the opening lap. The engine misfire got worse as the race went on and later the data showed he was losing up to 1 second per lap from the engine. On the final lap the engine died completely and 3rd place slipped away, Michael’s car eventually rolled to a halt 2 meters past the finish line in 16th place.
“We knew we had an engine problem on our formation lap so I wasn’t expecting much from the race. But it just goes to show the pace we had as we could keep pace with the leaders and stay a comfortable 3rd until the last lap. I thought we were going to make it to the finish in 3rd but I couldn’t believe it when the engine cut out with 5 corners to go. The luck just wasn’t on our side all weekend. But we have to look at the positives from the weekend, we are now able to challenge Dallara with our Mygale chassis so it bodes well for the future.” Commented the Dubliner.
Race 2 was to be just as dramatic. After starting 29th after a suspension failure in Qualifying 2, Michael stormed through the field to 10th by lap 3. He was on for an unexpected points haul but again the Luck of the Irish wasn’t on his side as the same suspension failure reoccurred and sent Devaney straight into retirement.
Michael will be looking to get his title challenge back on track in Monza, Italy in three weeks time in rounds 5+6 of the International British F3 Championship.