Breen takes points finishes in Oulton Park Formula 3 debutPosted by NB on 09/04/07
Dundalk's Niall Breen acquitted himself admirably during his first two races in the Lloyds TSB Insurance British Formula 3 Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday, finishing in the points in both races with ninth and 10th places respectively.
Competing with Carlin Motorsport in the Bar One Racing Dallara Mercedes, the 20-year old rookie qualified in a superb fifth place during Saturday's official qualifying for Monday's first race and ninth for the second race. In the second session, Breen was unable to get a clear lap to set a faster time.
Then he bogged down at the start of the first half hour race on Monday morning and was left to play catch up but a prolonged safety car period saw the cars circulating slowly for five laps.
With Breen's Carlin team mate Maro Engel in the lead, Niall spent the remaining 13 laps glued to the rear end of Atte Mustonen's Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara as he, along with Jonathan Kennard and Mustonen, were all held up by Rodolfo Gonzales. Kennard finally got by with two laps to go but the laps ran out before Breen could move up and as Engel took the flag for Carlin, Niall took a points-finishing ninth place in his first Formula 3 outing.
At the start of the second race on Monday afternoon, Breen who is assisted by Motorsport Ireland - was up to eighth but the race was red flagged and after a long delay was shortened to 10 laps in total. At the restart, Niall was creeping forward on the grid and it was noted by the Clerk of the Course and as the race started proper, Niall missed the start and found himself back in 11th.
On the damp track, law student Breen settled behind Gonzalez but on the fourth lap, the pair passed Esteban Guerrieri and Niall was up to 10th. There was little else that could be done in the remaining laps but Niall's lap times proved he was certainly on the pace.
Breen commented: 'I know I've got the speed and I suppose it wasn't too bad for my first races in Formula 3. At least I scored points in both rounds and I learned a lot. This is just the start of the season.'
The next two rounds are at Donington Park GP circuit on April 21/22.