The World Touring Car Championship looks a little forlorn at the moment. It’s chock-a-block with privateers that struggle to keep up with the RML Chevrolet power-house and it seemed that nobody other than Huff, Menu or reigning champion Yvan Muller would ever score a win. But in race two at Zolder Gabriele Tarquini muscled his way to a narrow victory in my race of the week.
The benefit that the Seat star gained from the reversed grid was far outweighed by the disadvantage of not being in a blue Chevrolet, so the Italian stalwart made sure his car was wide and wild. The speedy race one winner Rob Huff was brave enough to try to pass Gabriele, but the Italian defended hard and the resulting contact saw Huffy limping home. I’m not usually one for strong-arm tactics, but nobody can expect to beat the Chevy team in 2011 unless they push things to the limit or the blue cars take themselves out, as nearly happened in race one.
My not-very-coveted racer of the week award goes to Lucas Foresti for his dominant display around the leafy Oulton Park in round four of British F3. The Fortec Mercedes pilot notched up a first win for a non-Carlin car in 2011 as he tamed the gorgeous Cheshire track, taking the lap record along the way. By the end of the half an hour of racing he had a staggering 18 second lead over Felipe Nasr, his compatriot who is the favourite for the title.
While both Brazilians gave best to Riki Christodoulou in race two, it was Nasr who won the third race of the weekend from Foresti. Unlike Foresti, Nasr struggled to open up much of a gap over his rival despite the race being ten minutes longer than the earlier encounters. Although Felipe Nasr may well end up confusing the F1 commentators in the future, Foresti was the driver who appeared to truly master the majestic Oulton Park from where I was sitting. The last time I attended such a dominant F3 performance at Oulton was from one Jenson Button; you have to be packing talent to be able to humiliate your rivals around this most traditional of tracks.