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Carlin leads British F3 field as the drivers head to Brands Hatch

Friday, June 22 2012

Crack Cooper Tires British Formula 3 squad Carlin head to Brands Hatch this weekend holding the first three places in the drivers' championship. Jazeman Jaafar, Jack Harvey and Carlos Sainz Jr have all taken turns at the top of the table but it's Malaysian Jaafar who has the upper hand as the season enters the halfway stage.

Jaafar has been very much the man in form, with early season consistency leading to wins in each of the last two rounds, whilst an appearance in the F3 Euro Series race on the Indy circuit in May yielded another victory. However the 19-year old is aware of the additional challenges of the Grand Prix circuit, particularly if the traditional British weather plays its part. "I love the track but the biggest challenge this year will be set-up because the track can often be wet in certain parts and dry elsewhere," he said.

Jaafar's thoughts are no doubt influenced by last year's races, which were held in changeable conditions, leading to a thrilling opening race with the field split on tyre choice as the track dried out. The Malaysian performed well in this and the following two contests that weekend and is confident this time around: "We know we have a good car so I'm looking forward to getting out on track. Racing at Brands Hatch is always a special event, it's a great circuit and the atmosphere is always amazing."

Despite a dominant win in the opening race of the season, Britain's Jack Harvey's form suffered an early season dip. However the championship's return to the UK has coincided with an upturn in fortune and his victory last time out at Rockingham was as emphatic as it was necessary to his assault on the title.

Benefitting from the excursions abroad was Red Bull-backed Sainz. Following in the footsteps of Jamie Algersuari, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne would be enough pressure for most, never mind having a legendary father to live up to. However the Spaniard's focus is firmly on the track: "I've never raced around the GP circuit before, only the Indy configuration, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the full track is like. I think we can do well this weekend, from what I know of the track it's great so I'm hoping for a good race and to collect more valuable points."

Also with the Calin fold is Rockingham winner Harry Tincknell. The Briton took his maiden F3 victory at last year's Brands Hatch round and a return visit to the top step of the podium here would be vital to his championship aspirations. He currently sits below Felix Serralles and Alex Lynn from his former team, Fortec Motorsport. Having started pre-season testing off the pace, the Daventry-based outfit had the measure of their rivals in the opening two rounds but have endured a victory drought since. Along with the once-strong T-Sport and Double-R squads they'll be aiming to ensure that the Carlin drivers don't have it all their own way this weekend.

Tickets for the British F3/GT Championships at Brands Hatch on 23/24 June are available on the gate from £13, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.