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Geoff UhrhaneDonington Park Grand Prix Circuit will host the championship finale of the 2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series next weekend, 29th/30th September, where Double R Racing aims to conclude the season on a high.

British star Rupert Svendsen-Cook, who made a welcome return to the series for the first time in 12 months during the previous event at Silverstone a fortnight ago, will once again pilot one of the Woking team’s Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 cars in the headline International Class.

Achieving a best result of fourth place last time out, matching Double R’s highest finish of the season so far, Svendsen-Cook should certainly be a factor during the championship’s annual visit to the East Midlands. With the benefit of some additional test mileage since, the Ipswich 21-year-old could well challenge for the former championship winning team’s first outright podium of the year.

International Class team-mate Geoff Uhrhane has been growing in confidence at the wheel of his Dallara-Mercedes throughout his rookie season, resulting in ever-improving pace and increasingly strong race performances.

At Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit two weeks ago, the 21-year-old Australian delivered some excellent performances in all three races and proved a handful for a number of more experienced rivals. If he can qualify inside the top eight, Uhrhane has proven he has the race pace to be able to battle it out for top six finishes in each of the Donington races.

“Qualifying will definitely be the biggest challenge for us”, said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “If Rupert and Geoff can put good laps together then we’re confident they’ll both be strong in the races and might spring some surprises.

“Rupert did a good job at Silverstone, especially when you consider how little racing he’s done in the last 12 months, and Geoff made a big step forward in the races which was really great to see. It’s always important to try and end the season on a high, hopefully that’s what we’ll be able to do at Donington next weekend.”

In the National Class for older specification F3 machinery, Double R’s Duvashen Padayachee is currently second in the championship standings and although 43 points adrift of the lead he does still have a mathematical chance of taking the title in his maiden season of Formula 3 racing.

With a total of six class victories to his credit this year at the wheel of his Dallara Mugen-Honda, the Australian 22-year-old has enjoyed a very strong campaign and has outperformed expectation on a number of occasions.

“Duvashen’s had a very good season, he’s improved throughout the year and has delivered some real stand-out performances – not least his National Class wins of course”, said Hieatt, “If he can end the year with another win or two it’d be fantastic and very well deserved. The championship will be tough to win, but you never know what can happen.”

Qualifying at Donington Park will begin at 12.20 on Saturday, 29th September, with round 27 getting underway at 16.40. On Sunday, 30th September, round 28 is scheduled to start at 11.10 with the final race of the British F3 season, round 29, taking place at 17.00.

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd26):
12th Geoff Uhrhane, 34pts; 13th Rupert Svendsen-Cook, 18pts

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd26):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 345pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Duvashen PadayacheeNational Class racer Duvashen Padayachee took his sixth win of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series for Double R Racing at Silverstone on Sunday, 9th September, as series returnee Rupert Svendsen-Cook claimed a best International Class result of fourth for the Woking squad.

Added to his excellent round 25 victory on the Grand Prix Circuit, two further podiums for Australia’s Padayachee mean he goes into the final event of 2012 at Donington Park on 29th/30th September, still with a chance of fighting for the National Class title – albeit with a 43 point deficit.

Svendsen-Cook, meanwhile, on his first weekend back in British F3 for a full year, gained pace and confidence throughout the weekend and performed impressively to spearhead the Double R attack in the headline International Class. First year F3 driver Geoff Uhrhane also delivered increasingly strong showings over the course of the three races with a hard-fought eighth place in round 26.

“Rupert has done a good job on his first weekend back in the championship for a long time”, said Double R Racing team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He obviously has a bit of rustiness compared to the others who have been racing all year but he chipped away at it and with a couple of test days before Donington, we’re sure he’ll be right in the mix there.

“This weekend was all down to qualifying, it’s difficult to overtake at Silverstone in F3 but Rupert finished within a couple of tenths of one of the championship leaders [Jack Harvey] in race three so it shows the pace was good. Geoff was great in all three races, we’re really pleased with the progress he’s shown and we know he can run in that top six in the races – we just need to qualify better.”

Hieatt added: “Duvashen’s had a strong weekend in the National Class, it’s been close between him and Spike [Goddard – class points leader] in qualifying and racing this weekend and he definitely deserved the win. Overall, it’s not been a bad event but we want much more at Donington.”

Svendsen-Cook makes outstanding start to Silverstone weekend
In testing on Friday, 7th September, Svendsen-Cook made a big impact with the third fastest time overall for the day on his first competitive outing in a British F3 car in almost 12 months. Qualifying on Saturday, 8th September, though wasn’t as fruitful where he posted the ninth fastest time.

Uhrhane was 12th quickest in qualifying, as he was in testing, but Padayachee had to settle for third on the National Class grid for the weekend’s opening race having originally set the class pace during practice the day before.

At the start of Saturday’s 24th round, Svendsen-Cook had to take immediate avoiding action from his starting slot of ninth in order to negotiate his way past the stalled car of Felix Serralles – the resulting loss of momentum meaning the racing returnee couldn’t capitalise.

Uhrhane did move up a place due to Serralles’ problem getting off the line but, along with his new team-mate, the Australian spent the majority of the race frustratingly bottled up behind slower cars. Stuck behind Pietro Fantin and Nick McBride respectively, Svendsen-Cook and Uhrhane clearly had greater pace but were unable to carve open an opportunity.

Both did though profit from retirement for Hannes van Asseldonk on lap seven and then a drive-through penalty for Pipo Derani to move into seventh and ninth respectively into the second half of the race. An unfortunate last lap tangle with Nick McBride resulted in a non-finish for Uhrhane but this enabled Padayachee to move up the overall order into 12th, third in class.

Post-race, a 30-second jump-start penalty for third placed Jack Harvey enabled Svendsen-Cook to move into sixth on the amended classification – the second highest of the Mercedes engined cars – and therefore secure a second row start on the ‘reversed grid’ for round 25 on Sunday.

Although bundled back to eighth on lap one of race two, Svendsen-Cook passed Carlos Sainz Jnr on the second tour and then benefitted from a retirement for Derani to move into sixth. Reeling in the group ahead, closing down a 2.5 second gap to nothing by lap eight, the Double R man then grabbed fifth on the final tour following a spin for second placed Alex Lynn.

Uhrhane, meanwhile, moved into 11th on lap one ahead of McBride and then took 10th following Derani’s dramas. Piling on the pressure to Harry Tincknell ahead, the Australian was noticeably held up behind the Briton until Tincknell took a drive-through penalty at the end of lap four.

Then turning his attentions to challenging van Asseldonk for eighth place, Uhrhane raced superbly and tried everything he could to find a way past the Dutchman but had to settle for ninth a mere 0.2 seconds back. Post-race though, another 30 second penalty for Harvey meant Svendsen-Cook moved into fourth on the amended classification – matching Double R’s best of 2012 – with Uhrhane eighth.

Padayachee secured his sixth National Class win of the year with an excellent performance in his Dallara Mugen-Honda. Leading the way initially after an excellent start to the first of Sunday’s races, the Australian did unfortunately slip behind Pedro Pablo Calbimonte on lap two but remained close in the wheeltracks of the Bolivian.

On lap five though, Calbimonte went off the circuit at Maggotts while under serious pressure from Padayachee and so the Double R man resumed the lead of the class before going on to claim a richly deserved victory by two seconds. With Harvey’s time penalty, Padayachee was also 10th overall.

In the third and final race of the weekend, round 26, Svendsen-Cook and Uhrhane were both able to run strong pace but were again frustrated to be stuck behind slower cars – especially Uhrhane who had to spend the majority of the race staring at the rear of Derani’s Dallara.

Pressuring lap after lap, in the face of some stern defence, Uhrhane finally made the breakthrough to get into the points-paying top 10 on lap 14 and immediately pulled clear to end the race over 13 seconds clear of the Brazilian just six laps later.

Svendsen-Cook ran in ninth position throughout, glued to the rear of Harvey’s car at the finish, while Padayachee took his third National Class podium of the weekend with second place – just 0.5 seconds shy of Goddard having reeled him in during the closing stages.

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd26):
12th Geoff Uhrhane, 34pts; 13th Rupert Svendsen-Cook, 18pts

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd26):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 345pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography

Rupert Svendsen-CookDouble R Racing is delighted to confirm multiple Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook will drive for the squad during the eighth event of the season next weekend, 8th/9th September, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire.

Marking the Ipswich 21-year-old’s first appearance of the year in British F3, having finished fifth in the championship in 2011 with two victories and a total of nine podiums to his credit, the talented Briton will pilot the Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 previously raced by Malaysia’s Fahmi Ilyas.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have done a deal with Rupert to race with us at Silverstone”, said Double R Racing principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “He’s a very quick driver, a proven winner in F3 and fantastic to work with – we can’t wait to get out there next weekend.

“In testing last week Rupert was fast and liked the car so we’ve got high hopes for three strong races from him. The deal is currently just for Silverstone but we’d obviously like to run Rupert to the end of the season and also at Macau. We’re confident he’ll put Double R back where we should be.”

After one season in Formula BMW UK and two years in Formula BMW Europe, Svendsen-Cook graduated into British F3 in 2010 and made a sensational series debut at Oulton Park by winning only his second race. He went on to conclude his maiden campaign seventh overall.

Due to budget limitations he has only contested two races so far in 2012, in the European F3 Open, but starred on his maiden weekend in the category with a podium finish at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in mid-July. In the meantime, while not actively competing himself, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star has been working closely with Double R during the year as a driver coach.

Australian duo aiming for strong continuation to rookie season
Double R regulars Geoff Uhrhane and Duvashen Padayachee will continue their rookie F3 campaigns at Silverstone next weekend, in the International Class and National Class respectively, and the two ever-improving Australians will be aiming to continue that trend.

The team’s best result of the season so far, fourth place in round 15 at the Norisring in Germany, came courtesy of 21-year-old Uhrhane and while facing a massive step from Formula Ford into the aerodynamic-driven world of Formula 3, the Gold Coast driver has shown his undoubted potential.

Padayachee, meanwhile, has won five races in the National Class so far in his maiden season and will arrive at Silverstone second in the championship, just 34 points shy of the lead. Like his compatriot, the 22-year-old from Sydney has developed strongly throughout his debut season in Formula 3 and will be keen to add to his victory tally next weekend at the wheel of his Dallara Mugen-Honda.

“Geoff and Duvashen have both improved massively since the start of the season, and we’ve been making big steps forward with the car as well, so we’re very positive ahead of Silverstone”, said Hieatt, “Year one in F3 is always a huge learning curve but they’ve both done a great job so far.”

Following officially timed testing at Silverstone next Friday, 7th September, qualifying and round 24 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will take place at 10.40 and 15.15 respectively on Saturday, 8th September. Rounds 25 and 26 will follow on Sunday, 9th September, at 10.30 and 16.15.

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series Driver Standings (after Rd23):
11th Fahmi Ilyas, 48pts; 12th Geoff Uhrhane, 30pts

2012 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series ‘National Class’ Standings (after Rd23):
2nd Duvashen Padayachee, 297pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

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.”

Jazeman Jaafar, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Huertas took more solid points in this morning’s sprint race at Oulton Park, in round five of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 Series. In a 20 minute sprint around the Cheshire circuit, Jaafar finished fourth, just ahead of team mates Nasr and Huertas. Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Jack Harvey also finished in the points in eighth and tenth receptively, while pole sitter Kevin Magnussen endured a frustrating race after stalling on the grid.

With today’s grid set by the finishing positions of race one – with the top eight reversed – it was Kevin Magnussen who lined up at the front of the field for race two this morning. The young Dane stalled on the grid however, and by the first corner was faced with a fight back through the field.

Ahead of him, Jazeman Jaafar had made a good start from his seventh placed grid slot and had passed team mate Huertas and was challenging fourth place man Harry Tincknell into Cascades but couldn’t quite get close enough and slotted into fourth place ahead of team mates Nasr and Huertas.

With overtaking difficult around the twisting Oulton Park circuit difficult, the order remained unchanged to the chequered flag with Hitech’s Riki Christodoulou taking the Sprint win. Carlin’s Jaafar added to his already impressive points tally with a fourth place, with Nasr fifth to consolidate his place at the top of the championship standings. Huertas held off Foresti for sixth, Svendsen-Cook was eighth, with Harvey completing the top ten

Reflecting on his race, Jaafar said, “I started sixth, which isn’t the best place to start as it’s on the outside with less grip. I didn’t have the best start but I managed to pull up level with Carlos [Huertas] and managed to overtake him. Unfortunately Kevin [Magnussen] stalled as well so by the first corner I had already made up two places. I caught Tincknell by Cascades and was right on his gearbox but unfortunately its quite hard to find a safe overtaking opportunity at Oulton Park. But I’m happy that we’ve scored more good points, and I had a really good feeling about the car this morning.”

Race three of the weekend will take place 14.45 at with Carlin’s Felipe Nasr on pole.