Home Featured Roundup: Auer, Serralles and Lynn share Timaru wins

Roundup: Auer, Serralles and Lynn share Timaru wins

by Peter Allen

Photo: Toyota Racing Series/Bruce Jenkins

European F3 racers steal the show in round two as Auer claims points lead, while ex-GP3 man Felipe Guimaraes wins the F3 Brazil Open at Interlagos…

Toyota Racing Series

Having been the quickest man at the season opener at Teretonga last weekend, there was further good news for Lucas Auer before he arrived at Timaru with the announcement he will race for Prema in European F3 this year. When the action got underway he was on the pace again, topping both qualifying sessions to claim a double pole position.

In race one he claimed a comfortable four second win over defending champion Nick Cassidy with Bruno Bonifacio claiming his first podium finish of the campaign in third. Rookie Steijn Schothorst continued his fine form in fourth ahead of Damon Leitch and Felix Serralles, who had led the standings coming into the round.

Report: Untouchable Auer takes victory in race one at Timaru

Serralles was able to fight back in race two and reclaim the points lead from his Austrian rival. Starting from the reverse grid pole position, the Puerto Rican led from lights to flag ahead of Leitch. Schothorst’s podium hopes ended with a black-and-orange flag for a broken front wing, allowing Cassidy to come through and grab a second top three finish – banking points in the knowledge he had only qualified ninth for race three. Bonifacio, Auer and Alex Lynn completed the top six.

Report: Serralles fights back with race two win at Timaru

Lynn had experienced a quiet weekend up to this stage but took full advantage of qualifying in second place for race three by beating Auer into turn one. The pair were nose-to-tail for the rest of the race but Lynn held on for his first win of the campaign. Serralles took third but saw Auer surge back into a six point lead in the standings. Schothorst, Leitch and Nicholas Latifi rounded out the top six finishers.

Report: Lynn holds off Auer for race three victory at Timaru

Formula 3 Brazil Open

The fourth running of the annual Formula 3 Brazil Open at Interlagos saw a lacklustre grid of only six cars as the category continues its decline on the South American continent.

Former GP3 and A1 Grand Prix driver Felipe Guimaraes claimed pole position and won the first of the two heats from Hitech Racing Brazil teammate Robert La Rocca. An electrical issue forced Guimaraes out of race two however, allowing La Rocca to win.

Report: Guimaraes in control in race one of Formula 3 Brazil Open

Report: La Rocca eases to victory in race two as Guimaraes hits trouble

The Venezuelan therefore started the pre-final from pole position but was beaten into the lead at the start by Guimaraes from alongside on the front row. The Brazilian’s lead wouldn’t last long though as he stopped with engine failure before the end of the first lap. La Rocca won comfortably ahead of the scrap for honours in the B class for 2001-spec cars between Eduardo Banzoli and Formula Renault regular Gustavo Lima.

Report: La Rocca benefits from more Guimaraes woe in pre-final

The tables turned in the final however with the mechanical issues befalling La Rocca instead, forcing him to start from the pits and finish five laps down. Despite starting last, Guimaraes was into the lead on the first lap and claimed a comfortable victory. Over a minute down the road was another GP3 racer, Russian Dmitry Suranovich, while Banzoli finished third overall as the victory in class B. La Rocca – who aims to race in GP3 this year – was classified fourth while Raphael Raucci and Gustavo Lima retired.

Report: Guimaraes triumphs in F3 Brazil Open as La Rocca runs out of luck

PaddockScout Driver of the Weekend: Lucas Auer – The top scorer in TRS this past weekend, it was difficult not to give the Austrian the award for the second consecutive week. Guimaraes was the fastest man in Brazil when his car was working, but he was also the most experienced.

Next weekend: Round three of the TRS comes from former A1GP venue Taupo.