Ricciardo Wins First Cooper Tire British F3 International Title
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company’s first year of sponsorship of the British Formula 3 International Series has been completed, with Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo becoming the first driver to win the prestigious championship. The Cooper Tires brand took over title sponsorship of the series in 2009 as part of a three-year deal, and also took over the role of sole tyre supplier to the series from associate brand Avon Tyres.
Ricciardo, who took seven wins for the leading Red-Bull-backed Carlin Motorsport on his way to the title, led the standings from the start, and eventually clinched the title with two races remaining. In doing so he became the third Australian to win the British F3 title, following Tim Schenken in 1968 and David Brabham in 1989.
“This is everything I’ve wanted since the start of the season,” said Ricciardo, “and for it to come around a bit early makes it a bit sweeter.”
British F3 has long since been marked out as one of the most important championships for aspiring Formula One stars, with previous champions including famous names such as Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen, while Nigel Mansell, David Coulthard and Jenson Button all raced in the series on their way to the top. Last year’s champion, Jaime Alguersuari, has already graduated to F1 with the Toro Rosso team.
“If I can now follow in Jaime Alguersuari’s footsteps that would be great,” Ricciardo continued. “I’m not saying I’ll be in F1 next year, but I’d like to be there in the near future. That’s my dream.”
In the National Class of the series, for two-year-old cars, it was another Daniel – Daniel McKenzie – who came out victorious. Reading-born McKenzie took 11 National Class wins on the way to the title, and hopes to move up to the premier class of British F3 in 2010.