Gutierrez controls lead from start to finish in USA F3: Brianza

Pulse-pounding finish on last-lap pass caps race for Calderon

Formula 3 '06
USA F3: Brianza
ROUND 14
21 Dec 2007
PREVIOUS

21 Dec 2007 — Esteban Gutierrez started on the pole and led every lap on the way to a commanding victory in the USA F3: Brianza in the 14th and final round of the Formula 3 series.

Toni Calderon came from behind to beat Mike Erickson at the finish line by just 0.160 seconds and capture sixth place.

Gutierrez spent all of 14 laps total leading Steve Blankenship after originally being targeted by him on the first lap. Gutierrez controlled the race lead every lap from green flag to win.

Gutierrez finished the series second in the standings. Gutierrez made three starts and led 49 of his 49 laps while taking the victory three times.

Calderon drove the majority of five laps total pursuing Mike Erickson after originally targeting him on the first lap. Calderon got around Erickson and into sixth place by the hairline margin at the checkered flag.

Calderon finished the series 24th in the standings. He made one start and finished as high as sixth.

Making his 100th career start, Jim Barisoff captured a eighth-place finish.

Formula 3 series finished its season after 14 rounds spanning several months. A total of 73 drivers competed for points in the championship.

Steve Blankenship won the championship, leading 49 laps and taking three victories in six races. Esteban Gutierrez, Rob Ainscough, Peter Valkovic, and Les Lamont finished out the Top 5.

Barisoff ran the majority of seven laps total leading Toni Calderon after being caught by him on lap 7. Barisoff fended off an extended challenge by Calderon in the middle stages, staying just a couple turns ahead of him over a solid run of five laps. In the end Barisoff lost the spot on lap 12 and settled into eighth the couple laps running to the checkered flag.

Barisoff finished the series 11th in the standings. He made seven starts and finished as high as fourth.

Barrett Erickson won third place.

In the 100 career starts taken by Barisoff, he has driven the Formula 3 '06 eight times. This was the first time he matched the car against the circuit at Brianza. Barisoff has raced at Brianza two times in all with two different cars, his favorite being the Panoz GTS.

Erickson spent the majority of 13 laps total pursuing Kevin Inkman after originally targeting him on the second lap, coming from as many as three spots back. Erickson launched an extended challenge at Inkman early in the running, staying within a car length behind him and keeping pace over a continuous run of nine laps. Erickson got around Inkman and into third place on lap 11, and defended it against pressure by Inkman the remaining four laps to the conclusion.

Erickson finished the series 15th in the standings. He made one start and finished as high as third.

Kevin Inkman won fourth place.

Steve Blankenship won second place.

Mike Erickson took seventh place.

Inkman spent the majority of 13 laps total leading Barrett Erickson after initially being engaged by him on the second lap. Inkman fended off an extended attack by Erickson early in the running, staying just an apex ahead of him over a solid run of nine laps. In the end Inkman lost the spot on lap 11 and settled into fourth the few laps running to the conclusion.

Inkman finished the series sixth in the standings. Inkman made four starts and finished as high as fourth.

Les Lamont took fifth place.

Blankenship started the race in the seventh position and caught Rob Ainscough for second on the second lap. Blankenship cleared Ainscough and into second place on lap 2, and controlled it the remaining dozen laps to the finish.

Blankenship finished the series in front of the standings. Blankenship made six starts and led 49 of his 109 laps while taking the victory three times.

James Watson made his 10th start in the Formula 3 '06 and captured ninth place.

Erickson ran the majority of five laps total leading Toni Calderon after initially being targeted by him on the first lap. Ultimately Erickson settled into seventh the lap running to the finish, missing Calderon ahead by just 0.160 seconds at the line.

Erickson finished the series 20th in the standings. He made four starts and finished as high as seventh.

Lamont ran the majority of 10 laps total pursuing Steve Wood after initially catching him on the first lap, coming from as many as three positions back. Lamont passed Wood and into fifth place on lap 8, and held it the remaining half-dozen laps to the checkered flag.

Lamont finished the series fifth in the standings. Lamont made five starts and finished as high as second.

RESULTS Click driver name for individual report
1 Esteban Gutierrez Scuderia Internazionale 14 24:54.365
2 Steve Blankenship UK-NL Racing 14 25:32.812
3 Barrett Erickson Bad Voices Racing 14 25:45.601
4 Kevin Inkman Critical Mach 14 25:49.515
5 Les Lamont Thirteen Twenty Motorsports 14 26:01.230
6 Toni Calderon 14 26:38.878
7 Mike Erickson Bad Voices Racing 14 26:39.038
8 Jim Barisoff E Racers Anonymous 13 24:55.483
9 James Watson E Racers Anonymous 13 25:05.783
10 Steve Wood 13 25:07.164
11 Rob Ainscough Team Venom Racing 13 25:23.897
12 Mark Pollardi 7 DNF
13 Nick Johnston R4R Motorsport 2 DNF
14 David Martinez 0 DNF
POSTRACE

INT
–38.446
FIN
2
Q
7
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Steve Blankenship at 04:38 AM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

Finished that one way better than I was, just due to not making any big errors.

I'd been thinking of passing on the race since the series was wrapped already, but figured I'd try to put some points up for the team. Not a very good outing on my part really; showed up with no prep and a setup from Laguna. Had way too much downforce so I took some wing off after practice, but really didn't know what was what and it showed. Was well off competitive pace and just looking to see what I might luck into. 2nd as it turned out; go figure.

Don't know what was going on with everyone tonight, but at times it looked like people were just going off in all directions, like there was oil on the track or something.

Started when Mark P. looped it at the start blocking Barrett, which gave me 2 spots straight off. Got another one when I outbraked myself into T1 and got away with it. Ended up getting by Toni, but was really lucky not to have made a real mess there - not pretty. Toni was a lot quicker and looking impatient to get back by right away. He stuck his nose inside at 1st Lesmo, but he was too far back and when he backed off, he got into me and spun since his rears were unloaded. He should've just been a bit more patient, as I was expecting him to get back by out of the 2nd Lesmo and wouldn't have contested it.

That put me in 4th, then 3rd when David went off up ahead, apparently on his own. That slowed Rob up, who I got by into the T1 chicane for 2nd. I figured he'd come back by too, but then saw him spin off the 1st Lesmo behind me. Didn't appear to be close enough for any contact, so I guess it was just a spin. While looking in my mirrors I saw Nick J do the same thing right after Rob and was wondering what the heck I missed - seemed a normal enough corner! ;-)

After that it was just watch the gap behind and run it out in 2nd, since Esteban was on another planet and clearing off. I'm wondering if guys were just running too little wing, especially on the rear, and losing it in the corners. I was at 10F/20R and getting killed on the straights, but not crashing in the corners!

INT
–1 L
FIN
10
Q
8
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Steve Wood at 05:22 AM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

These cars just don't feel right to me. If I could get the car to drive like an F1, but just with less HP then I would be happy. But, it feels too loose even with lots of wing and wobbles around in the straights even. Another big difference between the F3 and the F1 is that the F3 needs braking help from downshifting...something that I only realized during the last 10 minutes of practice, but when I carried the technique through the race it gave me a false impression that I could take every corner faster and thus lost it and spun several times.

Sadly...If I had just kept my cool I would have had a 5th place finish, but I had a lot of fun.

INT
–51.236
FIN
3
Q
6
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Barrett Erickson at 06:10 AM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

Damn, Steve, 10/20 on the wings? I was running 1/7. No wonder in practice i was able to (occasionally) keep pace with Esteban in sector 1, only to get killed (by more than 2 seconds) in sector 2! Never occured to me to test higher wings 'cause the car felt great thru there.

'grats to you on the season championship and to Esteban for another outstanding run.

Great result for me tonight, although it didn't start that well. Dodged a big one on the grid. Avoided a major pileup in T1 by jumping on my brakes and letting Nick J get away with dive bombing me from the outside and then slamming the door on me (guess he just had to have one more position from the back of the grid by T1 -- i can see from the replay that i could have been much more in his way approaching this turn -- i'll try to remember this next time i have one of the "fast guys" behind me on the grid). Survived a tap from behind in the second Lesmo which ultimately cost me two more spots at the end of the back straight.

I tell you, after surviving lap 1 i was congratulating myself on still having pretty good reflexes.

Anyway, it was only one lap later that i was chasing Kevin for P3! It was quite inspiring, and kept me tightly focused, as he was driving well. Then i made my one large mistake on lap 9, getting too deep into the second chicane, locking up, and having to coast thru, losing a couple seconds there and another one during the rest of the lap as i adjusted my brake bias and made sure things were OK again.

My pit crew decided to harass me at this time with false pit in requests as well. But eventually we go that sorted out when i just left them standing there waiting as i blew by them on the front straight.

So i resumed the chase that now seemed futile, but was able to gain a little here and there. Then, too my surprise, found Kevin sideways, apparently having suffered some throttle oversteer coming out of the first chicane, and i inherited P3.

From there it was just one of those DON'T SCREW IT UP LIKE YOU'VE DONE SO MANY OTHER TIMES things.

Had some great racing and was happy to have had the opportunity to run this last F3 race at R2P.

INT
–55.150
FIN
4
Q
9
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Kevin Inkman at 07:14 AM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

Barrett I was thinking the same thing when i was ahead of you. :) But my nerves got the best of me and i lost it coming out of the first chicane. You put in some good laps and i couldn't cut down the gap between us. Congrats to the podium.

INT
–1 L
FIN
11
Q
4
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Rob Ainscough at 10:53 AM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

That was a strange race. David M. was a good distance in front of me in 2nd place and I was in 3rd. Got to the last turn before main straight he disappears then re-appears sliding sideways in front of me all locked up (that was some bizarre and huge lag)?? Can't believe I didn't hit him, but lost a ton of momentum which gave Steve the opportunity to take me on the front straight.

After that it was just a stupid mistake that put me into the tire wall a few turns later. Too bad I had a good race car, just pushing too hard too soon.

After my pit stop for damage repairs, I spent the rest of the race driving around with a wheel at 45 degress off center and a car that was ALL over the place, repairs doesn't appear to include and fixes to toe/camber damage.

Hoping I could pick up a few spots but only spot was my teammates DNF, dooh!

Oh well, next time.

Congrats to podium.

INT
–38.446
FIN
2
Q
7
REP
 
CLASS
Formula 3
CAR
Formula 3 '06
Posted by Steve Blankenship at 04:00 PM on Fri Dec 21 UTC

@ Barrett - actually I think it was 11/20. Like I said, I was pretty much totally unprepared, and just started with a Laguna set and started dropping wing. Didn't have enough time to get far with that so I just ended up running that much. As you'd expect, it helped in the corners and sucked down the straights. For example, when I caught Rob after he got slowed up behind David's off, I tried to draft by him on the S/F straight but was losing ground in his draft! The saving grace was more grip under braking which is how I got by.

Had even more than that on when I won Indy; these cars present a really interesting aero setup challenge; I tend to go for more downforce as it saves the tires and helps prevent PIE. (pilot-induced-error!) Kind of ashamed at it though as if I had my way no real-world racecar would be allowed more than about 10-20% of it's weight in downforce. Ruins racing imho. Just watch some motogp and think of what F1 could be without boatloads of aero grip...

Enough of that rant - @Rob, that off of David's definitely looked lag-induced. In my local replay you were never close enough to contact him either before or after his lag, but I'm thinking at his end it probably felt like a big dropkick. One of the oddities of online racing unfortunately - sometimes you get totally unpredictable and unavoidable glitches like that.


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