The waiting is nearly over! On Sunday 12 October at Donington Park an Englishman, a Spaniard and a New Zealander will battle it out to see who will win one of motorsports most prestigious prizes and join the long and illustrious ranks of British Formula 3 Champions. The 2008 British F3 International Series has been one of the hardest fought championships anywhere in the world and has certainly been too close to call.
Britain’s Oliver Turvey has been the driver to beat for the second half of the year and the 21-year-old’s name is now being mentioned in the same breath as Lewis Hamilton as the next British hopeful. Like the McLaren Formula One driver, the Racing Steps Foundation driver has had to contend with immense pressure from a Spanish teammate and Turvey heads to the East Midlands circuit just twelve points ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, with forty-two still on offer in the final two races.
Alguersuari has been one of the most consistent drivers in the series this year, having only failed to score in three of the twenty races this year. The Red Bull sponsored driver has already seen the view from the top of the podium on three occasions this season, including the last race on the streets of Bucharest, and knows he will have to repeat the performance to close the gap to Turvey.
The third Carlin Motorsport contender for the title is Brendon Hartley, the second Red Bull backed driver in the line up. The New Zealander’s speed has astounded the critics this season and he would have been closer to the top of the leader board but for a couple of mistakes earlier in the season. However the 18-year-old from Palmerstone North is 30-points adrift of his rivals and knows that he will need a lot of luck if he is going to leave Donington Park as the new champion. However rest assured the five times race winner will be battling all the way to the final chequered flag.
The other driver with a mathematical possibility of lifting the title is Mexico’s Sergio Perez. The only driver to race with the Mugen Honda engine, Perez has been one of the revelations of the year. The reigning British F3 National Class champion looked to be on course to add the overall title to his collection but thanks to two non finishes in Romania, the Telmex sponsored driver has been left with a 39 point deficit to his rivals. Perez will be looking for a silver lining to his particular cloud at Donington and the four times winner will be looking to add some more silverware to his trophy cabinet.
So who will be crowned the 2008 British F3 International Series Champion and join the ranks of Mika Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Sir Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi? Whoever it is will know they have won the title in the hardest fought championship for many years and the new home of the British Grand Prix at Donington Park is a fitting stage for these future stars of Formula One.
The final round of the Avon Tyres British GT Championship will also take place on Sunday 12 October and with a combined power output of 10,000 horsepower the 25 car British GT grid of Ferraris, Vipers, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis, Ascaris and Ginettas will proved a powerful 120-minute finale as they battle for glory in the last race of the season. Matlock’s Guy Harrington will be looking for a better end to a difficult season and the 2007 race winner, and co-driver Ben de Zille Butler, will be hoping to finish the year on a high in the Team Modena Lamborghini Gallardo.Click here for the Official Team Modena web site - designed and built by Racecar