Team Goddard win all three Sentul AF3 Pacific Races – May 18 07
Date posted on May 18, 2007 · Published by Mark Goddard
Team Goddard, a Eurasia Motorsport associate team, made it a clean sweep at the Sentul, Indonesia round of the Asian F3 Pacific Series. Henri Karjalainen took the top spot after qualifying and won all three races recording fastest lap in all three races. He was ably backed up by team mate, Moreno Soeprapto, who went home with two second place and one third place trophies. Team Goddard’s Paul Ip won all three Promotions Class races.
Karjalainen is now only three points behind Series leader, Dillon Battistini, and must now be favourite to take championship honours, and the prize drive in Macau, with one round remaining in Zhuhai on June 23-24th. “He is behind because of the disaster as Melbourne when he was taken out in the first race by the eventual race winner. That meant he started from 28th place for the next race and really put us on the back foot. Henri dominated the first AF3 Pacific event in January at Zhuhai and I see no reason why he can’t do it again” reported a team spokesman.
The Sentul event started well when Karjalainen qualified on pole from Battistini and Moreno. Henri made a good start and was never headed whilst Moreno had a good battle with Battistini which ended in the latter’s favour. The second race of the weekend was a far more dramatic affair with Henri being beaten off the line by Dillon. The Finn made an attempt to take the lead at turn three, ran wide and found himself in third behind Moreno. It took a few laps to find a way past Soeprapto into the final turn and he hounded Battistini for several laps with Moreno in close company. Karjalainen took the lead at the final turn after forcing his way into a gap under braking. The rivals rubbed wheels but Henri was past and Moreno was also able take advantage of the compromised exit speed of Dillon to draft past into turn one. That’s how it finished a great one-two for Team Goddard.
The third race again saw Battistini take the lead from Henri and a fast starting John O’Hara. Moreno has been left standing with too much wheel spin and came round in fourth place. Henri soon found a way past Battistini and was followed by O’Hara. Out of the final turn Henri ran wide allowing O’Hara to take the lead after slipstreaming him into turn one. The Finn immediately retaliated and re-took the lead at turn three. O’Hara retired to the pits for repairs to an electrical malady whilst Moreno was now hounding Battistini. It was not long before he was past into second place and that’s how the race finished.
Paul Ip won all three Promotions Class races although he was pushed hard throughout by Don Tacos who seemed glued to his gearbox. The Hong Kong driver never put a foot wrong and took three accomplished wins.
Robin Tato was a new addition to the team and he belied his lack of experience by finishing all three races and becoming ever more competitive each time he sat in the car. “We are genuinely impressed” reported his race engineer, Martin Quick. “He has a lot of natural talent and he listens to the team and puts our words into actions. I am sure he has race winning potential if he continues in AF3”.
Next and final race of the 2007 AF3 Pacific Series will be held at the Zhuhai Circuit in China on June 23-24. The Denso Pan Delta AF3 Pacific Cup promises to be a ‘must not miss’ event and hopefully will see Henri and Paul crowned as AF3 Pacific Champions.