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21st-22nd April 2012 - Cadwell Park

Justin Haler Trophy Goes to Francois Derossi

The 2nd Justin Haler Trophy for 1 Litre Formula Three Cars

Cadwell Park April 21st & 22nd 2012

A year on from a hugely successful pair of races at the Wolds Trophy Meeting at Cadwell Park, the Historic Formula 3 Series was back at the fabulous Lincolnshire track with a capacity 28-car grid and even a reserve or two. Once again the Cadwell races were for the Justin Haler Trophy and everyone was thrilled to see such a big entry for the first stand-alone races of 2012, with a particularly strong contingent of very welcome visitors from Europe.

Unfortunately, the meeting ran in the wettest April for decades and Saturday’s programme was badly affected as heavy rain through the afternoon forced the HSCC to abandon the programme with three races still to run, including the first HF3 race.

Hard work by the organisers had a revised programme in place for Sunday and HF3 were given two races during the morning to allow those with ferry commitments to get away as planned. Despite more rain, conditions were far better than on Saturday and some great racing from a bumper grid ensued.

In Saturday’s qualifying session, David Methley (Merlyn MK14A) snared pole position for the opening race after lapping a whopping 3.3s faster than everyone else. Nigel Bancroft and Francois Derossi were next up in their Chevron B17s, ahead of Peter Thompson (Brabham BT21) and Stuart Tizzard (Chevron B17). Tim Kary (Brabham BT28) wrapped up the top six, with his Brabham showing the name of Niki Lauda after recent filming.

In the opening race, Methley was beaten away from the line by Derossi as the Frenchman grabbed a lead he was never to lose. Methley pushed hard but slithered off the road at Park on the opening tour, his rallycrossing exploits dropping him to 13th place. That allowed Tizzard up to second from Thompson, but the star of the early laps was Ferdinand Gustafson. His ex-Ronnie Peterson Brabham BT18 scythed its way from 10th on the grid to third by lap two, while Methley’s recovery brought him up to sixth before he fell off again.

It wasn’t just Gustafson on the move: Dean Forward was in fine form, hauling his Brabham BT21B up to second ahead of Gustafson from 14th on the grid, while Roland Fischer (Tecno F3) started 22nd having arrived late for qualifying. He secured fifth on the final tour on his first visit to Cadwell Park. Class A went to Nigel Winchester in his Mallock U2 with Mauro Popocini (Cooper T76) taking second. Andrew Thorpe first time out in the Lotus 31 had a fine drive after handing his March 703 over to category debutant John Waggitt for the day. Waggitt will join HF3 later this year with a screamer engine installed in his Brabham.

The second 15-minute race ran without Forward, so Derossi jumped away from pole to lead Gustafson and Fischer, but Swede Gustafson retired on lap six allowing Christoph Widmer (Brabham BT18A) up to third. Fischer tried to catch Derossi, but admitted: “He was too quick today. I just couldn’t catch him.” Behind Fischer, Ian Bankhurst brought his Alexis Mk8 to third, the car having been damaged in a barrier-swiping moment in Saturday’s Classic Racing Cars thrash. Up from the back of the grid to grab fourth from Widmer came Nigel Bancroft (Chevron B17) after missing the opening race. Nigel Winchester topped Class A with Mauro Poponcini second again

Paul Lawrence and David Addison