British F3 Championship Gripped by Avon Tyres - Rounds 17 &
Thruxton, Hampshire, 16th & 17th August 2003
© Lynne Waite and Stella-Maria Thomas
- Rounds 17 & 18:
And once again it was all change in the world of British F3. We
have lost count both of the number of drivers some teams have had
this year and of the sheer numbers who have stepped in for one or
two races and have then vanished without a trace, leaving behind
nothing but bad debts in some cases.
At least this time it wasn't all new faces. Justin Sherwood (Performance
Racing) was back in the Scholarship Class after a number of weekends
away competing, for some odd reason, in the German F3 series. However,
Richard Antinucci was the surprise mover of the week, quitting Carlin
Motorsport to go to Promatecme F3 (last year he left Manor to go
to Promatecme, but at least he waited until Macau to do that. This
time, you had to wonder why he didn't go to Promatecme at the start
of the season, which was pretty much what we expected him to do.
As a result, there was a spare seat at Carlin, which was duly taken
by Michael Keohane. The Irishman left Promatecme in the first half
of the season, and in joining Carlin is now back in the team he
was with for most of 2002. Are you following all this? I wouldn't
blame you if you weren't.
At Team SYR things were even more confusing than usual (this after
all is a team fronted by Malaysians, but seemingly staffed mostly
by Brazilians who only speak Portuguese - well, Carlo claims to
speak English but it's not easy to understand him when he does).
Halfway through the week one of their spare cars was going to be
in the hands of a Brazilian driver, but suddenly at Friday's test
session a Japanese, Masato Shinoyama, turned up. Meanwhile, deputising
for the sickly Scott Speed, American Joel Nelson was driving the
number 2 car at Alan Docking Racing. As he has been racing in European
F3000, where there are normally only about 12 cars at each race,
this was not going to be an easy experience. When asked about it
afterwards he said it wasn't so much a case of stepping down and
of stepping into. We don't think he was trying to be complimentary.