Sainz shines through the gloom at Snetterton F3 test

Dismal weather did its best to dampen proceedings at Snetterton for the second day of testing for the competitors of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.The first of the three timed sessions was a virtual washout and several drivers did not venture on to the circuit until the afternoon’s slightly drier conditions. Fortec’s new signing, Dutch driver Hannes van Asseldonk, was the bravest in the very wet, topping the session one and session two timesheets.Then Carlin’s new boy Carlos Sainz went top, the Spaniard setting a best-of-day 1m 53.749s towards the end of the test, this after a minor off-track excursion in which Carlos damaged his Dallara’s nosecone. Sainz’s time was a long way off the 1m 40.096s lap time set in the dry on Tuesday by his team-mate Jazeman Jaafar.The top British driver, and second overall today, was Exeter’s Harry Tincknell, who was six-tenths behind Sainz and just 0.019s ahead of Fortec Motorsport driver Alex Lynn (Harlow). Tincknell was pleased with his pace over the two days, a strong comeback after his hand-injuring testing accident at Spa late last year. “The hand is still not quite up to full strength – it’s a bit sore now – but I am happy with my pace. It’s good to come back after a long lay-off and be in the top three pretty consistently.”Jack Harvey (Bassingham), who completed only seven full laps, said: “Despite only seven laps I finished P5 and was only 0.2s off P2, so I’m very happy and confident with what we have…” Tuesday pacesetter Jaafar ventured out for only six laps. Less than a second covered the top seven today.The leading National class runner was CF Racing’s Hywel Lloyd, who is continuing in his role as team test driver ahead of a switch to management for the coming season. T-Sport’s Aussie rookies Nick McBride and Spike Goddard ran Lloyd close.The Cooper Tires British F3 test schedule resumes at Rockingham on Tuesday (13 Mar), where Nick McBride hopes to try his Nissan-engined T-Sport International class Dallara for the first time and the Double R Racing team is expected to return to the fray. The opening rounds of the 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series take place at Oulton Park over Easter (6/7 Apr).Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International SeriesOfficial test day 2 / Snetterton, Norfolk / 7 March 2012

Leading International class runners am1 / am2 / pm (quickest time in bold)1  Carlos SAINZ / ESP,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  no time / 1:58.678 / 1:53.7492  Harry TINCKNELL / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  no time / 2:01.083 / 1:54.4013  Alex LYNN / GBR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  2:19.060s / 1:57.617 / 1:54.4204  Pipo DERANI / BRA,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  no time / 1:57.621 / 1:54.4665  Jack HARVEY / GBR,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  no time / no time / 1:54.4956  Pietro FANTIN / BRA,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  no time / no time / 1:54.6427  Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED,  Fortec Dallara-Merc  2:12.322s / 1:56.334 / 1:54.7258  Felix SERRALLES / PUR,  Fortec Dallara-Mercedes  no time / 1:57.739 / 1:55.0249  Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS,  Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen  no time / no time / 1:56.144National class1  Hywel LLOYD / GBR,  CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda  no time / 1:58.608 / 1:56.1442  Nick McBRIDE / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda  no time / 2:01.567s / 1:57.6233  Spike GODDARD / AUS,  T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 2:16.267s / 2:03.397 / 1:59.292

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