Gabriel Rossouw and Gert James made it a double AGBS victory of the 2016 SA simF3 Series double sprint 17 lap race round at Algarve.
The qualifying session for Round 1 produced a surprising result as Jason Holden-Jones placed #97 H-J eSports entry on pole position ahead of Rossouw and James. After Rossouw felt he had unfairly beaten James to second position after slip streaming James, Rossouw insisted that he start from third and so in a true act of sportsmanship Rossouw moved aside for James during the pace lap to assume third for the start. This much to the confusement of the race video commentator, who repeatedly called out James as Rossouw during the opening four laps.
Holden-Jones started race one well to hold of both AGBSs until the start to lap 4, when James earned the inside line to Primeira. A lapse in judgement from Holden-Jones saw him move across on James resulting in the two spinning off and falling back down the field, Rossouw also lost positions avoiding the incident. This left The Real McCoy DP’s Clifford Needell to inherit the race lead ahead of Zero Point Racing’s man on debut Gerrit Crafford. It took just one lap for Rossouw to finally pass Crafford, after Crafford briefly took the position back from Rossouw initially. Then Lap 8 saw both Rossouw and James move up positions, Rossouw made the move on Needell for the race lead and James passed Crafford for third position, both moves pulled off at Primeira.
The mid stage of the race saw two exciting battles develop, M2 Racing Amrish Seunarain had just gifted HRT’s Mark Henebury with fourth position to immediately fight back, and The Real McCoy DP’s Ian Watkins started to challenge Crafford for sixth position. Seunarain and Watkins winning their battles in the end.
After he passed Needell for second position on lap 12, James followed Rossouw across the finish line, to make it an AGBS 1-2. Needell completed the overall podium to also win the F3-AM class.
The start to race two saw the two The Real McCoy DP’s trailing the leading AGBS cars. AGBS comfortably able to extend their race lead while holding station, Rossouw showing more
pace than James, however happy to stay behind him. Seunarain continued his stunning performance from race one to chase down, over four laps, and pass Holden-Jones for fifth position.
With eight laps remaining, Holden-Jones came under attack from Henebury and Crafford for sixth position, both of them finding their way passed an ailing Holden-Jones down the long main straight.
AGBS were left unchallenged to make it a doub1e 1-2 victory for the day, Needell completed the podium to make it a double F3-AM class victory.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Rossouw now leads James by 12 points and in the Teams’ Championship, AGBS leads The Real McCoy DP by 48 points.
Race 1 Results:
Race 2 Results:
Drivers’ Championship Standings:
Teams’ Championship Standings: