American driver Camren Kaminsky secured the first podium finish of his maiden season in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship at Thruxton on Sunday, 17th August, after a strong drive from fifth on the grid during the third and final race of the weekend for Double R Racing.
Rookie team-mate Max Marshall, making his F3 debut with the Woking team, delivered some impressive performances and claimed a brace of top four finishes in the first two contests at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes. For his outstanding efforts, the North Kilworth 20-year-old was named the Mobil 1 Service Centre Master of the Weekend.
“We’re absolutely delighted for Camren to have taken his first F3 podium”, said team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He’s been chipping away all year so it’s fantastic to round-off the Thruxton weekend on such a high. Hopefully, this can mark a real breakthrough moment for him and a major confidence boost.
“Max has really impressed us, as we knew he would. He delivered very good pace all weekend and produced a great debut, being presented with the Mobil 1 award was well deserved. It’s not easy to leap from Formula Ford directly into F3 but he’s done an excellent job.”
Round 13 on Saturday afternoon wasn’t what the Double R team had been hoping for when a very unfortunate start-line tangle, after Marshall stalled, resulted in Kaminsky being eliminated on the spot. Frustratingly, the American had made a good launch from fifth on the grid but as he jinked left to try and avoid his team-mate’s stricken car the right-rear made contact.
Triggering a short Safety Car period, Marshall – who had qualified third fastest for the race – did manage to recover to the pits and after the team replaced a punctured rear tyre, the F3 debutant went on to finish the 24-lap contest just under four seconds shy of the podium in fourth position.
Beginning the first of Sunday’s two races from pole position on a damp-but-drying track, Marshall had to tuck-in to second place behind a fast-starting Martin Cao off the line before being edged back to third on lap two. Remaining in the podium fight until the fifth tour, Marshall was then pushed back to fourth when team-mate Kaminsky started to close in.
Running close behind the sister Double R car, the American passed Marshall for fourth on the seventh tour and the pairing then embarked on an entertaining battle which was resolved on lap 14 when the F3 rookie moved back ahead.
Pulling away from fifth-placed Kaminksy over the final 10 laps, with the Arizona native encountering gearbox troubles costing 0.5 seconds per lap, Marshall posted the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour which was ultimately the second best of the race – a time of 1m09.977 seconds.
Fully dry conditions returned for round 15 with Marshall and Kaminsky lining-up fourth and fifth on the grid respectively. Making an excellent start, Kaminsky surged into third place and although under significant pressure from his team-mate for the first five laps, thereafter he stamped his authority to claim his maiden British Formula 3 podium with an almost fault-free performance.
Marshall ran in fourth place for the duration, having initially looked well placed to challenge for the podium himself. In the end, the series debutant took the chequered flag on lap 26 just over four seconds adrift of Kaminsky.
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, Double R Racing’s local track, will host the penultimate three rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship season a fortnight from now on 30th/31st August.
Provisional 2014 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship Standings (after Rd15):4th Andy Chang, 103pts; 5th Camren Kaminsky, 99pts; 9th Roberto Merhi, 39pts; 10th Max Marshall, 31pts