LYNN FLIES TO SPRINT RACE VICTORY
When the lights went out the Williams tester was gone: Lynn easily claimed the lead of the race into Turn one from the front row when poleman Antonio Giovinazzi was slow off the line, pushing Pic wide into the first turn as Oliver Rowland slid inside for P2 and Gustav Malja squeezed inside his teammate for P4, with Sirotkin moving up two spots from 8th ahead of a fierce battle between countrymen Raffaele Marciello and Luca Ghiotto for the final points positions.
As the race shook itself out Pierre Gasly, who started last on the grid after being disqualified from yesterday’s Feature Race due to a fire extinguisher failure, was already looking to claw something back from his weekend and was up to P14 by the end of the first lap. Just ahead of him Norman Nato and Nabil Jeffri were squabbling for position, with the pair clattering together over the kerbs, with the Frenchman out on the spot and the Malaysian limping back to the pits as the first VSC period commenced.
The top six were nose to tail as the race ran live on lap 8, with Lynn easing away as a train formed behind Rowland: eventually Giovinazzi had a go at Turn 5 but lost his front wing components on the back of the Briton’s car and didn’t have enough downforce to avoid the gravel trap, prompting another VSC period to remove the Italian’s stricken car. When the race ran live again on lap 15 Lynn had a big enough gap to easily hold the restart, but a train had formed behind Malja, now up to P3 on track.
Sirotkin tried in vain to get by at the restart and was soon biding his time for his tyres to make a difference: four laps later he ran around the outside of the Swede at the hairpin and was on the podium and looking for more. The Russian threw everything he had at Rowland, who was equal to the task until lap 23, when Sirotkin faked an outside move on the Briton before slicing inside and through at the hairpin, running side by side with Rowland until they reached the final complex where the Russian finally made the move stick.
And with the race coming to an end tyres were impacting the order up and down the race, but Lynn sailed on serenely: the Briton eased off late in the race to win by 3 seconds from Sirotkin, whose win and second place promoted him to the top of the drivers’ standings. Pic rounded out the podium by following in the Russian’s wake as he forced his way forward, with Ghiotto in P4 after a number of late race overtakes. Rowland held on despite tired tyres for 5th, ahead of a barnstorming drive by Gasly for P6, and Marciello held on for 7th ahead of Malja, who ran wide at Turn one late in the race and paid a high price but grabbed the final point at the expense of Artem Markelov, who had a time penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
A stunning weekend by Sirotkin and a disappointing penalty for Gasly saw the drivers’ standings shift once again, with the pair both on 113 points: the pair both have 2 wins and 2 seconds, but an extra third place give the Russian bragging rights going into the summer break, with Marciello third on 102 points from Giovinazzi on 100 and Rowland on 99. In the teams’ standings ART Grand Prix have closed the gap to leaders PREMA Racing, 213 points to 171, ahead of RUSSIAN TIME on 167 points, Racing Engineering on 161 and MP Motorsport on 105 points as the paddock recharges ahead of the next round at Spa-Francorchamps.
ALBON CLAIMS POLE IN HOCKENHEIM
THE RAIN CAN’T STOP LANCE STROLL
Event: 07 Spa-Francorchamps
Session: race 1
Track: Spa-Francorchamps / Belgium
Pole position: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Race winner: Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam)
Weather: rain, 16.3 °C
17-year-old Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam) remained unfazed by the initially heavy rain at the 7.004 kilometres long Spa-Francorchamps circuit and won the 19th race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season. Behind the Williams Formula 1 team junior driver, Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) took the flag in second place, followed by Ben Barnicoat (Hitech GP), who was the best-placed rookie driver in third place. With his seventh season win, Stroll extended his lead in the drivers’ standings. The Canadian now has 63 points more than his nearest rival, Maximilian Günther. In the rookie standings, Ben Barnicoat took the lead from Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam) after his third overall podium finish of the year.
Due to the heavy rain, the race got underway behind the safety car. On lap six, the drivers were allowed to take on the Formula 1 circuit in the Belgian Ardennes at racing speed. Leader Lance Stroll immediately pulled a gap. A little bit further down, Ben Barnicoat came out on top with a strong manoeuvre in the battle for third with Nick Cassidy (Prema Powerteam). One lap later, George Russell (HitechGP) overtook Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) for fifth place.
Although rain became less intense as the race went on, conditions remained difficult. However, the young drivers from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship generally showed a rather disciplined race. On lap ten, Weiron Tan (Carlin) spun and hit the tyre stacks with the rear of his car. To allow for his single-seater to be removed from the track, the safety car was deployed and led the field until the end of the race after twelve laps.
Thus, Lance Stroll claimed victory from his team-mate Maximilian Günther, Ben Barnicoat, Nick Cassidy, and George Russell. Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) finishes sixth, the best FIA Formula 3 European Championship result to date for the British rookie driver. David Beckmann (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Ralf Aron (Prema Powerteam), Ryan Tveter (Carlin), and Alessio Lorandi (Carlin) rounded out the top ten.
Lance Stroll (Prema Powerteam): “The start behind the safety car was basically justified, because initially, it was really wet. Then, however, the track dried out and I reckon that the safety car could have come in one or two laps earlier as well. Once we were in racing conditions, I was able to pull a gap straight away. I had huge confidence in my car from the very beginning.”
Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “Just like Lance, I reckon that the safety car could have come in earlier, but when there are any doubts, it is better that the safety car stays out too long rather than too briefly. All in all, my race was good, I made no mistakes and I am happy with my podium finish and the points I have scored.”
Ben Barnicoat (HitechGP): “It seems as if things always seem to be going pretty well for me in the rain. I think that my lack of Formula 3 experience doesn’t play such a big role in the rain. Shortly after the safety car had pulled in, I was alongside Nick Cassidy going through the Raidillon. I really wanted that third place and I admit that I was a bit nervous at that moment, too, but I pulled it off and I brought third place home, with which I am very happy.”
CLARK AND NASIR ARE NOW BECOMING CYNICAL AND BITTER OVER THE BIZARRE RULES IN FORMULA ONE…AND WE GO OVER THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX RESULTS. WE ALSO HAVE AN INTERVIEW FROM SILVERSTONE WITH LANDO NORRIS
Norris started his racing career at the age of seven where he claimed pole position at his first national event and is still to this date the youngest driver to achieve pole position at a national meeting. In 2013, Norris won in the World Karting Championships held in Bahrain, the WSK Euro Series and the CIK FIA European and CIK FIA Supercup titles. The following year, Norris won the CIK-FIA KF World Championship thereby making him the youngest karting world championship winner.
In 2014, Norris made his debut in Ginetta Junior Championship where he finished third overall, winning the Rookie Cup in his first year racing cars. For 2015, Norris signed with Carlin Motorsport to drive in the newly established MSA Formula series. Norris would win the series with eight wins, ten pole positions and 14 podiums. He also made occasional appearances in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship and the Italian Formula 4 Championship with Mücke Motorsport where he enjoyed even more successes, picking up six podiums from eight starts in the former and a single podium in the latter.
For 2016, it was announced that Norris would be driving for M2 Competition in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. Norris achieved six wins throughout the season, including the New Zealand Grand Prix and won the championship on his first attempt. Norris will take part in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series driving for Josef Kaufmann Racing as well as embark on a campaign in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship with Carlin.
ALPINE COMPLETES VICTORY HAT TRICK
Following back-to-back triumphs in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans 24 Hours, Nicolas Lapierre, Stéphane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes have tallied their third consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 class victory at the Nürburgring. Midway through the 2016 campaign, this latest success has further increased the N°36 Signatech-Alpine crew’s advantage at the top of the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers. The N°35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine piloted by Nelson Panciatici, Ho-Pin Tung and David Cheng similarly scored points in Germany in seventh position.
Even before they climbed onto the top step of the podium at the Nürburgring, Nicolas Lapierre, Stéphane Richelmi and Gustavo Menezes’ weekend had already been a rollercoaster ride of emotions! At the start of the opening free practice session on Friday morning, a mistake by Nicolas gave Signatech-Alpine’s crew of mechanics an early challenge to repair the car in time to allow its three drivers to return to the track and begin their preparations that afternoon.
On Saturday morning, both Alpine A460s were on the pace, with the N°35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine entry and the N°36 Signatech-Alpine lapping respectively third and fourth-quickest during the final free practice session. Richelmi and Menezes proceeded to qualify the N°36 second on the grid amongst the LMP2 class protagonists, with Panciatici and Cheng posting the tenth-best time in the sister car.
Today’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring got underway at 13:00 under sunny skies. Richelmi maintained second position in the early stages, as Panciatici gained a spot to run ninth. It was not long before the N°35 crew adapted its strategy, with Cheng taking over behind the wheel. Once the field began to space out, Nelson returned to the cockpit while Menezes similarly replaced Richelmi in the N°36.
After battling against two rivals for the LMP2 class lead, Gustavo seized the advantage just before mid-distance and notwithstanding repeated ‘Full Course Yellow’ interventions, Signatech-Alpine stuck firmly to its plan and the American ended his stint still in front. Lapierre was the last of the trio to jump into the N°36, with just over two-and-a-half hours remaining to the chequered flag. Remaining mindful of the gap to Bruno Senna behind, he managed the margin to perfection to bring the car home for its third consecutive triumph. Chinese ace Tung was behind the wheel of the N°35 for the final two hours and produced a solid performance to climb to seventh place.
The result has enabled the N°36 Signatech-Alpine crew to extend its championship lead to 38 points over its closest pursuer. The N°35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine trio sit tenth.