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It was a day of severe weather and dramatic conditions for Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team as they undertook both a wet qualifying and race with Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens in Paul Ricard today. The early morning qualifying session was delayed due to bad conditions which also blighted this afternoon’s race; however Magnussen made his way up the field to finish sixth while Stevens had another great start to finish the race just outside the points in 11th.

The early morning qualifying session today was delayed as the track was deemed too wet and windy to drive on. The session did get underway however it was called to a halt with the conditions not improving. The order of the day was to get a quick lap in early in the session, unfortunately yellow flags and track conditions made getting the optimum lap very difficult.

As qualifying progressed the track became greasier as it dried giving very few opportunities for drivers to move up the grid. However Stevens was one of the few who was able to, and he took the flag in 18th position. Team mate Magnussen had been lying in the top 10 for the majority of the session however as the times fell he took the flag in 13th.

With just a few minutes before the race began the weather took another turn for the worse with rain falling over the circuit. A quick change to wet tyres before heading to the starting grid and both Magnussen and Stevens were ready for what was inevitably going to be a tricky race.

As the lights went out both drivers had good starts and handled the ever changing conditions well. By the end of the first lap Magnussen had made his way up to ninth and a quick starting Stevens was in 11th. However as the race continued the track developed further with the positions at the front of the grid changing on a lap by lap basis.

For Magnussen and Stevens they were able to hold their positions in the race well. However in the final few minutes the rain fell heavier again seeing a couple drivers spin out of their positions and fall down the grid. Magunssen benefited from this and a great overtaking move on a struggling Robin Frijns saw him make up another position to come home in sixth. Team mate Stevens was just outside of the points after another strong race to finish 11th.

Kevin Magnussen said of the day’s action, ‘Qualifying was a little difficult for us this morning and I was disappointed to not have been higher up the grid. My start wasn’t the greatest however those around me lost positions and I could take the advantage and take places in the first lap. Towards the end of the race Robin [Frijns] was struggling so I was able to take a further position from him. It was a case of not taking any risks and just settling into the rhythm to take a good finish and more points.’

Team mate Will Stevens added, ‘Qualifying was tricky for everyone today – we hadn’t driven here in the wet and I didn’t get a lot of running yesterday anyway. The race was tough; I had a good start which I’m pleased with but the conditions were difficult despite the pace being good. Towards the end when the rain fell heavier it was a case of just concentrating on bringing the car home.’

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team in Paul Ricard today during collective testing in which Kevin Magnussen was the man to beat during the afternoon session, lying near the top of the time screens throughout the hour and a half test. However team mate Will Stevens found his afternoon disrupted after an engine related electrical problem left him sidelined and unable to complete a flying lap.

As the day’s running got underway Magnussen was forced to sit out the first 20 minutes following a post-race penalty handed to him last time out in Hungary however a red flag period during this time also brought the rest of the field into their respective garages. Stevens, who had already been out on track and set a handful of flying laps, joined his team mate in the garage before re-taking to the track and lying in 23rd place as the times began to fall.

When Magnussen was able to join the track he quickly began to move his car up the order however a right rear puncture briefly brought him back in to the pits. With the damaged tyre replaced he was then able to put in a flying lap to place him in 11th before dropping to 13th place as a second red flag period disrupted the session. In the latter stages Stevens was laying down rubber in the pit box and completing the test schedule in ahead of the rest of the weekend.

With Magnussen back on track he once again began moving up the order as the time began to count down, and when the chequered flag fell he crossed the line in fourth overall; while team mate Stevens was 25th.

For second practice Magnussen was once again immediately on the pace, his first flying lap was quick enough to see him head the field and stay there for the opening laps. Stevens however was unable to make his way out on track after an engine related electrical problem left him in the garage while the team worked to resolve the problem.

Meanwhile Magnussen was still making great progress and getting faster with each lap. Despite briefly losing position to Alexander Rossi, Robin Frijns and Antonio Felix da Costa the Carlin man was quick to take the place back in the last 10 minutes of the session where he stayed as the days running came to an end.

Stevens, who had spent almost the whole afternoon test in the garage, was able to get back out on track with just a few minutes to go however as a result he was unfortunately unable to set a flying lap during the session.

Reflecting on the day Kevin Magnussen said, ‘We had a good pre-season test here earlier in the year so we knew that the pace would be good. Overall today was a good day for us, we were quick in the morning session despite not completing a lot of laps and in the afternoon we were fastest to begin with and we were able to keep getting faster as we continued.

‘We’re looking likely to see rain this weekend but I’m hoping for a dry qualifying session tomorrow because I’m feeling confident with where the car is after today. Overall, I’m feeling good heading towards the rest of the weekend and I’m keen to get the win I missed out on in Hungary!’

Kevin Magnussen will start today’s Formula Renault 3.5 race in Hungary from the front row of the grid after a competitive qualifying session at the Hungaroring this morning. The Carlin racer held provisional pole for the final minutes of the session, before his best time was beaten by Robin Frijns by just 0.028 seconds. Will Stevens will start from 11th on the grid this afternoon after being blocked on his best and final lap.

Following one wet and one dry practice session yesterday, today’s qualifying session took place in dry conditions. Magnussen and Stevens built up the pace slowly on the low grip circuit as their Michelin tyres reached their optimum performance.

With 17 minutes to go, Magnussen demonstrated the pace that had seen him go second quickest in practice yesterday, as he went second on the timing screens in qualifying. The young Dane improved again next time round with the quickest first and second sectors of all to go just 0.027 seconds off Frijns’ leading time.

As the majority of the field entered the pits to change for new tyres, Stevens had the track to himself and improved from 16th to go fourth quickest.

At the half way point, the Carlin cars looked strong, with Magnussen still second and Stevens fourth. On returning to the track, Magnussen was determined to go one better and improved his time to set provisional pole. Magnussen’s former F3 team mate Carlos Huertas briefly stole the top spot, but Magnussen went quicker again to take back provisional pole.

Several drivers improved in the final seconds, but none could better Magnussen’s time, that is until championship leader Frijns put in his final lap to better Magnussen by 0028 seconds. With no time to improve that left Magnussen second at the chequered flag. Stevens looked to be on a good lap with his final effort, and was setting his personal best sectors, but the young Brit was blocked by Jules Bianchi which left him in 11th.

Reflecting on his session, Magnussen said, “It’s nice to be on the front row, obviously I would have liked pole and I wasn’t far off, but I’m happy to be at the front. From the front row a good start is possible and from there the win. I’m really focused on adding some good points this weekend. The car feels great and this is a really quick circuit, there are such fast corners; it’s great fun. I’m really enjoying driving here.”

Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series team have enjoyed a successful day of testing ahead of this weekend’s seventh round of the season at the Hungaroring. Free practice this morning was a wet affair for Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens however this afternoon the track dried giving the team a clearer indication of standings. Magnussen put the tribulations of Silverstone well and truly behind him, setting the second quickest time of the day. Meanwhile Stevens was also looking strong throughout the second session and finished in 10th.

After a wet Silverstone it seemed conditions were following the championship around as this morning’s Collective Test got underway on a wet track. Keen to learn valuable data both Carlin men made the most of the 1 hour 15 minutes session; with Magnussen spending most of it lying within the top 10 – finishing in seventh overall and Stevens 18th.

With the track drying ahead of this afternoon’s Collective Test the times immediately tumbled as the field scrambled to take advantage of the track time before qualifying tomorrow morning. From the off, Magnussen was fast and had set the quickest time of the session while Stevens was also comfortably lying within the top 10.

Soon enough a battle for position at the top began between Magnussen, Robin Frijns and Arthur Pic. Although Magnussen held on to the top spot in the early stages Pic took the position away as the Carlin man was sitting in the pits having come in for a few quick adjustments.

Stevens rejoined the track after a pit stop himself and immediately began going quicker moving up to seventh position before then setting the fourth fastest time. However the track progressed which saw Stevens lose his position. On his final run the Carlin driver set a storming first sector, the fastest of anyone, before two strong final laps saw him finish the day in a solid 10th place.

Meanwhile Magnussen was still battling for the top spot however this time it was with Alexander Rossi, Antonio Felix da Costa, Marco Sorensen and Jules Bianchi. Despite the Carlin man setting the quickest time, the positions were changing on a lap by lap basis; and as the chequered flag fell it was Bianchi who came out on top with Magnussen a tenth of a second off in second.

Looking ahead to qualifying Magnussen said, ‘The car went well today, it was quick and we had a positive session. We have a little fine tuning for tomorrow’s qualifying but I think we can be strong here. The last time I was here was in a Formula Renault 2.0 car and it’s a lot quicker in the Formula Renault 3.5 car!

‘If it doesn’t rain tonight I think we can go even quicker tomorrow but I’m really enjoying the track and the car feels good.’

Leaving the heartbreak of Silverstone behind them Carlin’s 2011 Championship winning Formula Renault 3.5 team move forward to the seventh round of the 2012 calendar as they take on the Hungaroring – a track with happy memories for the team. Having already travelled as far afield as Russia and competed in at their home round at Silverstone the entire team, along with drivers Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens, look to capitalise on the speed which saw them take a great pole position with Magnussen at Silverstone last time out.

The last round at the Northamptonshire track was a tough affair for the whole team; Magnussen brilliantly put his car on pole position on Saturday morning for the first race of the weekend however after leading in the difficult wet conditions he hit a patch of water and skidded off track and into the barriers – a move many a driver would replicate over the course of the red flag affected race. Stevens had kept his car on track despite the adverse conditions and was leading the race however as things settled back into a rhythm he too fell victim to the difficult conditions putting him out of contention.

A great team effort to rebuild Magnussen’s car ready for the afternoon’s qualifying session ensured the Dane was able to qualify for race two – a feat that couldn’t be achieved by all teams in the pit lane with the amount of damage caused. Stevens came through the field during the second race of the weekend to clinch sixth position – his highest finish in the championship during his rookie season.

With the frustrations of Silverstone behind them, the team have high hopes for Budapest. The Hungaroring has been a happy hunting ground for Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team with last year’s Vice-Champion, Jean-Eric Vergne, taking both wins during a dominant display. The mass of points scored during the weekend moved the team into a position where they would be able to clinch the Team’s Title at the next round in the Championship.

The twisty 4.381 km Hungaroring circuit, located near the capital of Budapest will, as ever, hold two free practice sessions on Friday before the first qualifying session gets underway on Saturday morning in the run up to the afternoon’s race. Magnussen and Stevens will hit the track once again on Sunday for the final qualifying run and race two of the weekend.

After a tough showing last time out Kevin Magnussen said, ‘Silverstone was of course a difficult weekend for me but I’m looking forward to putting that behind me this weekend. The car certainly has pace as was proven by my pole position last time out and it’s something I want to replicate here and convert into a win.’

Team mate Will Stevens added, ‘Silverstone was definitely a step in the right direction for us. I had my best finish there, the pace was good and I believe that if we carry on in that direction we can have a strong weekend here. This is a track that I enjoy and feel familiar with. Two years ago I achieved a podium here in the Formula Renault 2.0 Euro Championship as a guest driver however last year was difficult for me – but it’s still a track I like to race at because it’s technical and a real drivers circuit.’

Kevin MagnussenStrong pace in the sixth round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series led only to frustration for Carlin drivers Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens in a chaotic day of running at the Silverstone circuit. Magnussen led race one this afternoon from pole before crashing out in treacherous conditions, with team mate Stevens doing the same after inheriting the lead several laps later. It was a race against time for the team to repair both cars for this afternoon’s qualifying session, when Stevens qualified eighth, and Magnussen 17th.

Having qualified on pole this morning, Magnussen headed the field for race one as the drivers lined up on slick tyres in dry conditions. The Carlin driver made the perfect start to maintain the lead as the lights went out and break away from the field, just as the rain started to fall around the Northamptonshire circuit. Within a lap the conditions had deteriorated, with one side of the circuit dry and the other dangerously wet.

Magnussen did well to lead the pack, who were all shod with slick tyres, and with nearly a three second gap was looking on strong form. However, as the conditions deteriorated, the young Dane was caught out and flew off track at Becketts and into the barriers. With substantial damage, Magnussen was out of the race.

Stevens meanwhile had made a lightning start and had moved up to ninth place on lap one from 15th on the grid. The British racer stayed on track as almost half the field aquaplaned off at Luffield, until the Carlin man led the race as the safety car was deployed.

With insufficient recovery vehicles to collect the several cars off track at Luffield, the race was red flagged with the much depleted field returning to the grid. Stevens made the most of the stoppage to change to wet tyres, and led the cars away behind the safety car when the race restarted. The FR3.5 rookie did well to hold the lead after the safety car pitted, but spun off after being the first car to hit standing water at Stowe just a few corners later. Despite both Carlin cars leading the race, the team were left without points from the first race of the weekend.

As support series to the FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend, it was a quick turnaround for the FR3.5 teams this afternoon, with qualifying for race two just a couple of hours after the chaotic race one. The Carlin mechanics worked against the clock to repair both cars in time for this afternoon’s qualifying session, making good the particularly heavy damage to Magnussen’s car.

The team’s efforts were rewarded early on as Stevens went quickest in the first minutes of qualifying, with Magnussen also competitive on his first set of tyres, going quickest before Nico Muller relegated the Carlin man to second.

After the field pitted for new tyres in the second half of the session, the times suddenly started to drop in the final minutes. Stevens continued to fight back and repeatedly set times in the top ten, while Magnussen struggled to make his way back to the top of the time sheets. At the chequered flag, Stevens had qualified 8th for race two, while Magnussen was 17th.

“The circuit felt completely different this afternoon,” said Magnussen. “I felt like I had both oversteer and understeer, but even so, my best lap didn’t feel like it should have been only 17th. It’s really frustrating after being on pole this morning.”

Team mate Stevens added, “There wasn’t much I could do in race one, I wasn’t even pushing that hard, I was being careful, but still aquaplaned off. I was relieved we had a dry qualifying session this afternoon, although there was oil everywhere, so it was easy to be caught out. The car felt good, but I think there is still more time to be found, which we’ll focus on before the race tomorrow.”

Team boss Trevor Carlin said, “The team should be very proud of their work so far this weekend. As well as a gearbox change last night, they had a lot of damage to repair today and did a fantastic job to get both cars – particularly Kevin’s – back out for qualifying this afternoon. It was a great team effort.”

Race two will conclude this weekend’s FR3.5 action at 9.40 tomorrow morning.

British race team Carlin have enjoyed a successful start to the 2012 season, with the team’s British F3 and GP3 squads topping the time sheets in pre-season testing. Carlin’s GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 teams have also clocked up times in the top three to mark a strong start to the season over the last two weeks.

British racer Harry Tincknell topped the timesheets in the second day of British F3 testing at Rockingham today, as the team continued to develop its Volkswagen powered 2012 Dallara F3 car. Tincknell’s time was the fastest of the test overall, after fellow Carlin driver Jack Harvey set the pace at Rockingham yesterday. The Carlin men have locked out the top five positions at both the Rockingham and Snetterton pre-season tests, with their team mates Jazeman Jaafar, Carlos Sainz and Pietro Fantin over the last two weeks.

While the British F3 team finished two days of testing at Rockingham today, Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team brought to a close two days of collective testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens both completed a successful test in the brand new FR3.5 car, with Magnussen setting the third fastest time of today’s running.

The Carlin GP3 team also enjoyed a successful outing this week, with Portuguese racer Antonio Felix da Costa setting the quickest time of the official two day test for Carlin. Will Buller was also in the top ten while Alex Brundle continued to make big improvements ahead of his first season in the series.

Preparing for the 2012 GP2 Series, Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto were out on track last week, at the Barcelona circuit in Spain. A consistent front runner in pre-season testing, Chilton set the second fastest time on the first day in Barcelona while Haryanto was seventh. The Briton and Indonesian continued to put in a strong performance in the final test before the season opener in Malaysia later this month.

Reflecting on a positive start to the 2012 season, Trevor Carlin said, “With 12 cars to prepare for the 2012 season across four championships, it’s a great testament to the team that all four squads have had such a strong start to the season. To finish each test within the top three is extremely encouraging and shows the hard work that has gone in over the winter period.”

British F3 Champions Carlin have announced that they will be taking four drivers to the prestigious 58th Macau Grand Prix next month. Newly crowned British Formula Three champion Felipe Nasr will be making his second appearance at the famous event. Joining him will be Carlos Huertas and Jazeman Jaafar who both tackled the street circuit last year and Macau rookie Kevin Magnussen. All four drivers have had a successful year in British F3 with Carlin.

Nasr won the 2011 British F3 title with races to spare, the 19 year old quickly took the lead in the championship after a consistent start to his season, taking seven wins and 14 podiums so far this season. The young Brazilian stamped his dominance on the championship and stayed at the top throughout, carefully building a points gap over the rest of the field.

Nasr will have a challenge on his hands at the street circuit in the form of his British F3 team mates. Colombian Carlos Huertas finished in a strong tenth position on his first visit to the 3.8 mile circuit last year. The 20 year old has already taken seven podiums in the British Formula Three Championship and is currently lying second overall.

Jazeman Jaafar will also be representing the team; the young Malaysian drove for Carlin last year in the Chinese enclave and crossed the line twelfth. His 2011 BF3 campaign has seen him walk away with four podiums to date. As his only race on his home continent, the Petronas backed driver will have high hopes ahead of this year’s event.

Making his Macau debut this year will be 19 year old Kevin Magnussen. The Dane is the youngest in the Carlin line-up and goes into this race after a successful season which provided him with six wins and sees him currently lying third in the championship. His all or nothing racing approach should provide some great action around Macau.

Having enjoyed a hugely successful British Formula Three campaign in which he became champion Felipe Nasr said, “Macau is a hugely important race on the F3 calendar and it’s a very special feeling to be able to participate with Carlin. I know the team extremely well, and I know we have a great car – I feel as though we can be right up there.

“Having won the British F3 title I feel super confident and can’t wait to go to Macau and it would really round off a great season if we do really well there.”

Kevin Magnussen heads to Macau for the first time this year, looking ahead to the event he said, “Having never been there before I don’t know what to expect. I’ve been told it’s the best track in the world – and it really does look amazing! I think it will be a great challenge for me and knowing that Carlin have had great results here in the past makes me think we can definitely be right up there.”

Trevor Carlin added, “Macau is a highlight of the season for us and this year we go with a fantastic driver line-up. Felipe, Carlos and Jazeman all have previous experience of Macau, while Kevin is just the right type of driver to be able attack Macau at the maximum level from the outset. It is one of the most challenging events of a drivers’ career and a proving ground for the teams as well, so we can’t wait for the event to get underway.”

Kevin Magnussen won a dramatic Feature Race at Donington Park today, in round 27 of the Cooper Tires British F3 Series. The Danish racer fought a lengthy battle with team mate Jack Harvey, who led at the start and later ran in second place before retiring through a technical problem. Rupert Svendsen-Cook took third place to complete a strong weekend for the British driver. Carlos Huertas was the next driver across the line in fourth place. Felipe Nasr was ninth after an eventful race, just ahead of Jazeman Jaafar who 10th after a spin in what had been a strong race.

The drama in the final race of the weekend started before the drivers even left the grid, as heavy rain hit the circuit just before the start, prompting the front five runners (all Carlin drivers) to make a last minute switch to grooved rubber. Jaafar followed his team mates, pitting for wets as only 10 cars were happy with their tyre choice and took to the grid after the green flag lap.

Magnussen showed his intent early with a lightning start from the fifth place to catapult to second behind pole man Nasr. The competitive duo unfortunately made contact for a second time this weekend, following a clash at the Esses on lap one. Both drivers struggled to recover, which allowed rookie Harvey to steal through into the lead, with team mate Svendsen-Cook following him through to take up second place.

Following their accident, Magnussen was now third, while Nasr had dropped to 10th. Magnussen was keen to make up the positions though and was putting Svendsen-Cook under pressure, with the Brit withstanding the pressure well until a small mistake in the increasingly wet conditions allowed Magnussen through into second with Svendsen-Cook dropping to fourth behind Double R’s Pipo Derani.

Despite the deteriorating conditions, Magnussen was still on a charge and started to close in on Harvey. The F3 rookie put up a convincing defence for several laps to keep the Dane behind him, but after a prolonged attack Magnussen finally took the lead on lap nine.

Harvey was still on for a strong finish in second place, until a battery failure caused his race to come to a premature halt robbing him of a certain podium finish. That elevated Svendsen-Cook to third, and Huertas to fourth.

Nasr meanwhile was still busy recovering from his incident with Magnussen and was ninth after an action packed race which also feature a couple of spins, while Jaafar was just behind in ninth after a spin late on in what had been a solid outing for the young Malaysian.

Reflecting on his sixth victory of the season, Magnussen said, “It was a vey difficult race today and required a lot of concentration in the very bad conditions. As the weather got worse, it was really about not making any mistakes and bringing the car home. It is an important stage in the season now and these points are important for the fight for second place in the standings.”

Felipe Nasr (BRA) Carlin Dallara VolkswagenCarlin’s Felipe Nasr set the pace in both free practice tests at Snetterton today, ahead of rounds seven, eight and nine of the Cooper Tires British F3 Series. Team mate Rupert Svendsen-Cook was also a consistent front runner and was second quickest in both sessions. All of the Carlin drivers made good progress today, with Kevin Magnussen third quickest in this morning’s session and Carlos Huertas also in the top seven this morning. Jack Harvey continued his learning curve in his rookie season, whilst Jazeman Jaafar lost out on track time due to a technical problem.

Both practice sessions were dry at the newly configured Snetterton 300 circuit today, with the Carlin drivers on the pace from the outset. The 2.99 mile circuit attracted positive comments, with a combination of slow, mid speed and fast corners creating a new challenge for the British Formula 3 drivers.

It was Felipe Nasr who got the most from his Volkswagen powered Dallara in the first session, although both Svendsen-Cook and Magnussen briefly took the top spot. Jaafar endured a troublesome first session, completing just three laps following a gearbox problem.

Session two allowed the drivers to work further on their qualifying set-up, with Nasr once again going quickest. The championship leader was most closely matched by Carlin team mate Svendsen-Cook who confirmed his pace around his local track. Magnussen completed the day sixth quickest overall, with Carlos Huertas eighth. Jack Harvey was 15th, while Jaafar was 16th as he recovered from his earlier problem.

Pace setter Nasr said, “Today went very well. I think for sure we have strong pace as we were quick in the morning and afternoon. In the morning we just used old tyres so we were expecting to gain a bit more in the afternoon. I managed a good time on the new tyres and the balance of the car was really good. We made a few changes to the car which seemed to work very well; it just felt great to drive. I think we have a good car for qualifying tomorrow.”

Local hero Svendsen-Cook was also on a charge today and was second quickest in both practice sessions. The Monza race winner is happy with his pace so far, but feels there is more to come in tomorrow’s qualifying session.

“I’m very happy with how the day has gone; we were quick on old tyres and new tyres which is a good sign for qualifying and the races,” said Svendsen-Cook. “I was second in both sessions, so I’m pleased with the consistency I’ve shown today. I made a few mistakes in the second session so I think there’s a bit more to come. We will keep pushing for qualifying.”