Steele tames Anglesey International to grab victory in race one
12/09/2011 - The unique challenge of the Anglesey International circuit failed to stop Aaron Steele as he converted a pole position into a race win.
12/09/2011 - The unique challenge of the Anglesey International circuit failed to stop Aaron Steele as he converted a pole position into a race win in the first battle of the F3 Cup at the MSVR Races of Wales.
The former Formula Palmer Audi driver made the most of his pole position slot and he led home the in form Mark Terry and Mark Harrison, who recorded his first podium of the season.
Despite tricky damp conditions Steele continued to be the dominant driver in the F3 Cup as he secured pole position for both races in qualifying.
The 2.1 mile Anglesey International circuit proved to be a test for the entire F3 Cup field and the challenge was heightened by a rain shower minutes before qualifying. However, it was Steele, who mastered the conditions the best as he grabbed pole by 3.129 seconds. Fellow race winner Chris Needham was second fastest and he just edged out Mark Terry who was third quickest. Mark Harrison secured the remaining position on row two in fourth ahead of Mark Bailey Racing's Stuart Wiltshire. Dave Karaskas was sixth and the returning Stephen Clegg lined up in tenth.
The grid for race two was decided on the driver's second fastest times in the session which gave Steele pole from Needham, Terry and Harrison. Karaskas lined up fifth on the grid ahead Neil Harrison and Stuart Wiltshire. Phillip Austin, Nick Robinson, Clegg and James Ledamun rounded out the rest of the grid.
Steele produced a good start and immediately asserted his authority on the race as the field headed into the first corner. The best start went to Mark Terry as he leapt into second by out accelerating 2011 race winner Chris Needham. Steele, driving for the Welsh-based Grays Motorsport team, established a comfortable lead by the end of the first lap, but behind Terry and Needham were battling over second spot. Mark Harrison impressed on his return to the series occupying fourth position ahead of Mark Bailey Racing's Stuart Wiltshire and Dave Karaskas.
The attention soon turned to Karaskas, who was using all of his 37 years of racing experience to fend off the hard charging duo of Neil Harrison and Nick Robinson. However, by lap four Karaskas had settled into the race and managed to find a way around Wiltshire, while Stephen Clegg moved up to eighth place.
As the race entered lap five with Steele in a commanding lead, the order of the top three changed as a result of a spin by Needham. The Morecambe racer rejoined the race well down the field and Mark Harrison inherited third spot.
Steele's commanding lead was extinguished when the safety car was deployed for a spin by Robinson at the hairpin. Once racing resumed Aaron managed to keep the lead and push forward to recover some of his previous advantage. The recovering Needham was providing all the action behind for the final two laps as he surged through the field and a move at the final corner of the last lap gave him fourth spot.
Meanwhile at the front Steele cruised home to take yet another win from Terry, who kept his run of podiums going, and Mark Harrison.
After taking yet another victory a thoroughly pleased Aaron Steele said: "It was relatively comfortable from start to finish although I did lose my lead due to the safety car period during the race and had to build it up again. It's another win and it means I keep gaining the points in the Sunoco Grand Am 200 Challenge."
Following two podiums at the previous round on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, Terry was pleased to record another visit to the podium despite being unable to catch Steele. Terry said: "It is great to be back on the podium. I was just focussing on Aaron at the start and I managed to get away well and passed Chris Needham but unfortunately I was unable to keep up with Aaron."
Recording his first podium of the year, Mark Harrison was delighted with ther results after a difficult season so far. He said: "It good to be standing on the podium again. It is a reward to everyone who has worked so hard this year. We haven't been able to do many races but this result feels great."
For full Qualifying results please CLICK HERE.
For full Race One results, please CLICK HERE.