Tag Archives: Fortec Motorsports

British F3


Buller and King share the wins in wet Spa double-header- 
Honours were shared yesterday between Fortec Motorsports and Carlin as Will Buller and Jordan King took victories in race one and race two of the second round of the 2013 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. CF Racing’s Sun Zheng was the man to beat in the National Class, taking both race wins from the pair of chasing West-Tec entries.

Buller masterful in wet first race at Spa

Fortec Motorsports’ Will Buller showed his experience in a dominant display in race one of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Spa-Francorchamps, coming from the fourth row on the grid to take his second win of the season. Sun Zheng took his maiden National Class victory after a race long battle with West-Tec’s Jordan Oon. 
A heavy downpour descended upon the circuit an hour before the 30-minute race was scheduled to start and Buller seized the opportunity to increase his championship lead; pole-sitter Nicholas Latifi crashed out late-on after a collision with Carlin team-mate Jann Mardenborough at the famous Eau Rouge corner.
As is often the case at Spa, La Source, the hairpin first corner, was the scene of bunching of the ranks, and Felipe Guimaraes’s Fortec Dallara fell victim to this on the opening lap. A strong start from Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Gelael saw them progress from their grid positions, but the Italian went too deep at the hairpin, forcing Jordan King wide too as the Carlin man was on his outside.
Gelael nipped through the middle, following the line taken by Latifi, Buller and a pacey Mardenborough, but it was Latifi who lead into Eau Rouge, before a bold more off the racing line in the middle of the left-right-left corner, saw the driver from County Down take the lead of the race, a position that was never really challenged.
King, making his way through the field after a less than ideal start to his first lap was soon past Latifi and try as he might, King couldn’t achieve the same pace as Buller; the wet conditions not helping his cause, and the gap extended to over four seconds. 
NISMO athlete Mardenborough continued to impress in his maiden year of single-seaters, a good battle emerging between he, Gelael and Latifi in the middle of the race. Gelael was hot on the heels of the young Brit and after overtaking him for fourth, the Nissan GT Academy star was back past two thirds of a lap later.
On what would be the penultimate racing lap of the race, Latifi lost ground to Mardenborough and Gelael after a poor exit of the Bus Stop chicane. The two Carlin team-mates fought hard, with the British driver narrowly getting ahead on the run dow to Eau Rouge. The pair then collided in the middle of the high-speed corner, with Mardenborough taking off over Latifi’s rear wheel, landing upside down and sliding into the barriers at Raidillon. Both drivers emerged unhurt, quite unlike their cars. Mardenborough’s car was deemed fixable for race two, Latifi’s not.
A safety car period followed and the final racing lap was a procession to the flag, with Buller exerting the experience amassed in F3 over his rivals with aplomb. 
CF Racing’s Sun Zheng led the three-car National class battle from start to finish, the Chinese driver taking his first class win of the year ahead of Team West-Tec duo Jordan Oon and Chris Vlok. Oon did take the class lead briefly, but Zheng who admitted struggling with tyres temperatures throughout the race, re-took his lead shortly after.
Vlok had a brief battle with Giovinazzi after the Italian pitted to fix a faulty rear light, but spent the majority of his race chasing his team-mate as he learnt the circuit on this his first visit to Spa-Francorchamps. 


Will Buller #3 Fortec Motorsports (Race Winner)
“We had a difficult day yesterday with suspension issues. The race was good, I like the wet here and I’ve won here before, so I was feeling confident. I got into the lead and pulled out a nice gap. The car was great and I’m really looking forward to the race later, I think we’ll be strong now whatever the weather. I’ll start eighth in the next race, but I came from seventh in this one, so I’m pretty use to it!”

King victorious in Spa second race, as Zheng doubles up in the national class
The day’s earlier race was a similarly wet affair and Jordan King had to work hard for his second win of the Cooper Tires British F3 Inernational Series at Spa-Francorchamps. The Carlin racer battled from seventh on the grid to win and was engaged in a fascinating fight for the race lead until the flag. Sun Zheng asserted his authority in the National Class taking yet another convincing win from West-Tec’s Jordan Oon.
After making a rapid start in wet conditions off the reverse grid, King overtook a number of his rivals before La Source, but it was Double R Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi that took the lead from fourth on the grid, followed by a rejuvenated Tatiana Calderon, also a fellow Double R driver, with King third.
Race one victor and championship leader Will Buller started eighth on the grid, but was up to fifth by the end of lap one, tucked inside the third Double R Racing car of Indonesian, Sean Gelael. 
When the rain clouds moved on, race leader Giovinazzi’s tyres began to overheat and he was quickly picked off by first King, then Buller as they went on to battle closely over the final half of the race, with King narrowly holding off the Fortec man’s challenge, crossing the line just 0.5s ahead.
Behind them Giovinazzi held on to take his second podium of the season, ahead of team-mates Calderon and Gelael. Jann Mardenborough struggled in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin-Dallara after his earlier incident in race one, the Nissan GT Academy star is confident the car will be back to it’s best for tomorrow’s third and final race of the weekend.
Felipe Guimaraes had a lonely race after starting from the back of the grid. Having battled through the National Class entrants, the Brazilian set about chasing after Mardenborough’s Carlin machine, but he didn’t make the inroads he would’ve liked into his International Class rival.
For the second time today CF Racing’s Sun Zheng won the National Class with a storming drive after an early off at Poulon. The Chinese driver first got past pole-sitter Chris Vlok, before a more taxing scrap with Vlok’s West-Tec team-mate Jordan Oon. Once past Oon, Zheng marched into the distance, taking the flag eleven seconds ahead of the West-Tec pair.


Jordan King –  Carlin (International Class Winner)
“Starting seventh it was a bit crazy at the first corner. I got through the field and got into field, then second not as soon as I’d like, and then got an opportunity for the lead which I took. I don’t know if Will and I had different downforce, but it was so hard to pull away from him, so on a few ocassions I had to just park it on the apex. I’d pull away and he was straight back onto me. I knew he’d have a go on the last lap and I think we did touch, I had to go defensive, but it was fine and off we went. A second win, we’re moving forward.”
Sun Zheng – CF Racing (National Class Winner)
“The start was okay, but I struggled with the International class cars, I couldn’t see and I went off at Poulon. I rejoined last, but my speed was good. I had a few fights, but it was nice to get back ahead and take another win. Hopefully tomorrow holds another win!”
The final race of the weekend gets underway today (Saturday) at 11:50 CET and will be shown live across the Motors TV network in Europe. 
Third-race grid: Latifi – King – Mardenborough – Guimaraes – Giovinazzi – Buller – Gelael – Calderon – Zheng – Oon – Vlok


Marco wins WSR 3.5


Marco Sorensen today claimed his first pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, before driving to an impressive victory at the Red Bull Ring. The Dane finished ahead of Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) and Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), with the latter regaining the championship lead following the retirement of Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports).

Marco Sorensen (Lotus) took his maiden FR 3.5 Series pole this morning, qualifying ahead of fellow Dane Kevin Magnussen (DAMS) and Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing). The trio lined up on the grid ahead of Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing) and Arthur Pic (AV Formula).

In an eventful start to the race, Nigel Melker slipped through into second to wedge himself between race leader Marco Sorensen and third-placed Kevin Magnussen. A chaotic first lap saw Stoffel Vandoorne fall back to 12th, while Pietro Fantin (Arden Caterham), Mikhail Aleshin (Tech 1 Racing) and Nikolay Martsenko (Pons Racing) all had to retire.

The safety car was introduced on lap 10 to allow Riccardo Agostini’s car to be removed. The Zeta Corse man had spun and stopped on track during an attempt to overtake Matias Laine (P1 by Strakka Racing). The safety car was called into action again a short time later after contact between Norman Nato (DAMS) and Sergey Sirotkin (ISR). Stoffel Vandoone, meanwhile, returned to the pits and subsequently retired from the race.

Unruffled by events around him, Marco Sorensen eventually took victory ahead of Nigel Melker and Kevin Magnussen. Will Stevens finished fourth, followed by Arthur Pic and best-placed rookie William Buller (Zeta Corse). Buller finished sixth after overtaking Antonio Félix da Costa (Arden Caterham), seventh, in the closing laps. Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) and André Negrão (International Draco Racing) followed, with Jazeman Jaafar (Carlin) also finishing in the points after fighting his way from the very back of the grid.

What they said

Marco Sorensen: “I hope this victory can be the turning point for our season. We really didn’t have any luck at the start of the year. We need to finish the season in this vein, and work hard and do our best. I’m delighted with this win, which is my first since Spa last year.”

Nigel Melker: “I’m very happy to be back on the podium. After twice finishing third, I’ve now managed second place. We’re improving, and tomorrow should be an interesting day. We’re hoping to do well.”

Kevin Magnussen: “It was a difficult race. I lost a place at the start and pushed hard to try to catch up. But I soon realised there wasn’t a great deal I could do, other than finish the race and secure the points, as the championship is very tight.”

Formula Renault 3.5 Series – provisional championship standings: 1. K. Magnussen 148; 1. S. Vandoorne 136; 3. A. Da Costa 95; 4. W. Stevens 93; 5. N. Melker 82 […]


British F3


First spoils to Buller at Silverstone

Brit steers clear of trouble as Jones steals National class

Fortec Motorsports’ William Buller took the opening win of the 2013 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, with a solid eight second victory in race one at Silverstone on a sunny Saturday afternoon. 

It was Performance Racing Europe’s John Bryant-Meisner finished first on the road, but his invitation class status means the Swede doesn’t score points, despite taking the flag ahead of Buller.

Bryant-Meisner started from pole, but a slow start for fellow front-row starter Jordan King dropped the Carlin driver down the field, team-mate Nicholas Latifi taking up second place at King’s expense.

Canadian Latifi defended his position valiantly on the opening lap, but came under pressure immediately from Fortec Motorsport’s Felix Serralles. The Puerto Rican made a brave move around the outside through the high-speed Abbey corner, but the pair made contact at the loop when Latifi tried to respond, both dropping to last as they sat locked together in the middle of the track.

It was Buller that took up second place ahead of team-mate Felipe Guimaraes, but the latter was soon overpowered by both Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough and then King, who made an impressive recovery through the field following his slow getaway.

Twenty-year-old Buller then found himself under extreme pressure from the two Carlin drivers. GT-turned single-seater racer Mardenborough ran slightly wide following an attempt to overtake the former three-time British F3 race winner around the outside at Stowe corner; fellow F3 rookie King took full advantage and slipped through at Club. The battle continued as Mardenborough hung on through Village before fending off the Carlin driver’s next attack at Brooklands.

The battle between the two Carlin drivers ended prematurely following a move up the inside into the Village loop by King that resulted in contact; King retired to the pits while team-mate Mardenborough spun, retiring also with left-rear suspension damage.

Although now some ten seconds behind invitation class entrant Bryant-Meisner, Buller was a comfortable first in the International class ahead of his Brazilian team-mate, Guimaraes. Elsewhere, a drive-through penalty for Double R’s Antonio Giovinazzi for not respecting track limits dropped the Italian to fifth position, handing third to team-mate Sean Gelael and fourth to the third Double R Dallara-Mercedes of Tatiana Calderon who thrived amidst the surrounding pressure.

The race order remained that way until the chequered flag, Buller triumphing in the first race of the season from team-mate Guimaraes making it two Fortec drivers on the podium and a strong podium finish for Gelael, the youngest driver on the grid.

National Class pole-sitter Ed Jones survived a first-lap scare when a sideways moment sent him onto the grass exiting Becketts, but he recovered through to field to bring his West-Tec machine home first ahead of long-time race leader, CF Racing’s Sun Zheng, Jones dispatching fellow team-mate Cameron Twynham before snatching success from the Chinese driver in the dying moments of the race.

Mark Bailey Racing’s Alice Powell was another driver not to see the chequered flag, pulling off the race track with mechanical problems having battled with the National Class cars for much of the race.

The top eight finishers from race one will be reversed to decide the grid for race two tomorrow, . Sunday seeing two further 30-minute races, race two beginning at 12 pm while the third gets underway at 4:55 pm.

John Bryant-Meisner,  #51 Performance Racing Europe Dallara-Volkswagen (INV) (OTR Winner)
‘It’s a very good feeling. I made a great start, and then I was clear of the battles going on behind me, which meant I could get away. The car was exactly where I wanted it. Even without the boost the car was still quick, and actually felt more consistent.’

Ed Jones, #81 Team West-Tec Dallara-Toyota (NAT) (Class Winner)
‘It didn’t get off to the best start, coming out of Becketts I hit the kerb and that put me off onto the grass so I dropped more or less to the back of the field. I had some good racing with people from then; Zheng was hard to do much about as his car was fast in a straight line, but I managed to finally get a good run on him and got by.’

Race one results:
– John Bryant-Meisner / SWE, Performance Racing Europe Dallara-Volkswagen   31:07.288
1 Will Buller / GBR, Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes    +16.533
2 Felipe Guimaraes / BRA, Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Mercedes   +25.163
3 Sean Gelael / IDN, Double R Dallara-Mercedes   +39.513
4 Tatiana Calderon / COL, Double R Dallara-Mercedes    +40.142
5 Antonio Giovinazzi / ITA Double R Dallara-Mercedes   +51.888*

National Class result:
1 Ed Jones / GBR, Team West-Tec Dallara-Toyota   32:21.519
2 Sun Zheng / CHI, CF Racing Dallara-NBE   +5.734
3 Cameron Twynham / GBR, Team West-Tec Dallara-Toyota   +7.358
*Five-second time penalty added to their race time.

Provisional championship standings
1 Buller 25 points; 2 Guimaraes 18 points; 3 Gelael 15 points; 4 Calderon 12 points; 5 Giovinazzi 10 points.


FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 3, race 1, Hockenheim (D)

Raffaele Marciello dominates in the rain…

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) was unbeatable in the seventh season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Italian, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, could even afford himself a spin at the rain-soaked 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg and still won with a margin of 14.834 seconds from Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports). Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) was classified third. With his fourth season victory, Marciello extended his lead in the drivers’ standings to 57.5 points.

From pole position, Raffaele Marciello already took the lead at the start and returned from the first lap with a margin of over five seconds already. In the process, he also benefited from a spin from Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam) in the first corner after the start, after which the Austrian dropped back to ninth. Second-placed Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam) also spun on the opening lap and dropped to the back of the field. On the first lap already, Félix Serrallés emerged as the main rival of Marciello. That was not to change during the 19 laps of the race, the Fortec driver finished second in spite of pressure from Tom Blomqvist. 

Behind the drivers on the podium, Sven Müller (ma-con) ended up fourth in the rain race as the best-placed German in the 29-strong field. Halfway through the race, he overtook Harry Tincknell (Carlin) and safely brought fourth place home. For Müller, this was his best season result to date in his home race. Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsports) finished sixth ahead of Auer and Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), who is still second in the drivers’ standings. William Buller (ThreeBond with T-Sport) and guest driver Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) rounded out the top ten. 

Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) 
“Personally, I don’t care whether I am driving in the rain or on a dry track. However, I think that our car is particularly good in the rain. I had a hairy moment when I spun at the first corner. I was lucky not to hit the wall and to continue without any problems. I have a pretty comfortable lead in the drivers’ standings, but the season is still long and nothing has been decided yet.”

Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports)
“It was a good race and I am very happy with my maiden podium finish of this year. I reckon that we, as a new team in the series, first had to get used to the tyres. Now, we definitely are working into the right direction. Nevertheless, Raffaele was much too fast for me today.”

Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational)
“I am happy with third place. Of course, I was slightly lucky as well that two drivers spun in front of me. After that, I think that I was slightly faster than Félix, but I didn’t find a way past.”



Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) has been in impressive form since breaking into Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and the Portuguese served further notice of his talent on Saturday, making a late dart past Sam Bird (ISR) to snatch his third win of the season. Having made a perfect start, the Briton had to settle for second, while Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) took third to move into the points lead, ahead of Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), who suffered a last-lap mishap.

The yellow and red flags were out in force during a stop-start qualifying session, though the interruptions did not prevent championship leader Jules Bianchi from seizing his fifth pole of the campaign, ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Sam Bird. Second in the standings at the start of the day, Robin Frijns could only qualify in sixth.

Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a slow start by Jules Bianchi to grab first as the lights went out, though Sam Bird was in the right place at the right time at turn one and promptly relieved the Portuguese of the lead. Right behind them in third was a surging Robin Frijns, with Kevin Magnussen fourth and poleman Jules Bianchi suddenly down in fifth.

While Antonio Felix da Costa clung on to Sam Bird’s tail, Robin Frijns pulled away from Kevin Magnussen, who had in turn pulled out a gap over Jules Bianchi. Behind them Will Stevens (Carlin) and Kevin Korjus (Lotus) diced it out for sixth.

As the laps went by, the front two pulled ever further away from Frijns, Magnussen and Bianchi, who were engaged in an increasingly tight scrap, the Frenchman getting right on the tail of the Dane and the Dutchman, with Will Stevens and Kevin Korjus not very far behind either.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Sam Bird were treading much more carefully up ahead, though with 12 minutes remaining the Portuguese dived past the Briton on the final chicane and sped off to make it three wins for the season, with Bird settling for second and Robin Frijns doing likewise for third.

To their rear Jules Bianchi was doing all he could to grab fourth from a determined Kevin Magnussen, the Frenchman making a last-lap assault on the Dane that ended with the two of them spinning off. Both were able to resume, however, Magnussen coming home in fifth and Bianchi seventh, the Frenchman now trailing new championship leader Robin Frijns by four points heading into Sunday’s title-deciding race.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This win is reward for all the work we’ve been doing with the team since I came into Formula Renault 3.5 Series. I don’t want to get involved in the championship race, and I’m just trying to stay out of trouble and not hit anyone. I got past Sam (Bird) fair and square, which is the important thing.”

Sam Bird: “My tyres went after three laps. Antonio could see that and he waited until the time was right to make his move. The championship could have been all over for me today, but I’m still in with a chance of clinching the title tomorrow. We now know who the top three are going to be. We just have to wait and see what the order will be.”

Robin Frijns: “I needed a good getaway from sixth and that’s just what I got. When I realised I couldn’t keep up with the front two I just focused on Kevin Magnussen. I made sure of my place at the end of the race and I’m on top in the standings again, though there’s still all to play for tomorrow.”



While all eyes are on the championship duel between Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) and Sam Bird (ISR), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) are in no mood to make up the numbers on the final weekend of the season. The Dane and the Portuguese shone in the dry and the wet in Friday’s two collective testing sessions, while the three leaders in the points went about their preparations for the final push of the campaign.

Rain was falling when the 26 drivers arrived for the final two Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing sessions of the season. Among them was Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, who is making his return for BVM Target. Competing on their last weekend in the category are Franco-Russian outfit Team RFR, who will make way for AV Formula on Monday.

Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) and Sam Bird were the first to settle in the wet conditions, though the session was soon interrupted by a red flag when Daniel Abt (Tech 1 Racing) went off.

On the resumption, Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a clear track to set a fastest lap of 1:51.961, putting him ahead of Sam Bird and Nico Muller before the red flag came out again, this time when Yann Cunha (Pons Racing) and Tamas Pal Kiss had grassy moments. The Portuguese stayed out front in what remained of the opening session, leading the way from Sam Bird and Nico Muller, with Will Stevens (Carlin) and Arthur Pic (Dams) rounding off the top five.

Slicks were the only option in the afternoon, by which time track conditions had improved considerably. Kevin Korjus (Lotus) set the tempo before a short neutralisation period triggered by Arthur Pic grinding to a halt on the track. Antonio Felix da Costa was at it again on the restart as he went fastest in a time of 1:31.481, with Kevin Magnussen second, just 0.040s off the pace.

Kevin Korjus then barged in front, while Antonio Felix da Costa collided with the track barrier, prompting the red flag to put in another appearance and leading to the Portuguese’s fastest time being wiped, in accordance with the regulations. Then, with just a few seconds to go before the chequered flag, Kevin Magnussen went top of the times with a lap of 1:30.736, the day’s quickest. Completing the top five behind him were Kevin Korjus, Sam Bird, Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (Carlin).

What they said:

Kevin Magnussen: “I’d rather be involved in the title battle with Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. All the same, this is the type of weekend where there’s always something going on. All in all it’s been a disappointing season because we’ve shown we’ve got the pace and we’ve had the means to do well in the overall standings. We’ve just lacked consistency and success, which is all part of the learning process at the highest level. Even so, I really want to finish the season on a high note.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “The car went very well in the wet this morning. It started the afternoon well too, but I came across a wet kerb as I was overtaking some slower cars and just lost it. Luckily there wasn’t too much damage. I’m going to drive the same way as I have at other weekends, racing my race without bothering about what everyone else is doing and trying to avoid any kind of contact.”

Jules Bianchi: “I need to look on this as just another weekend and not put any extra pressure on myself. There’s no point in that. We went about our work today the same way we usually do, though I’m still not that happy with the car this afternoon. We need to work out why that is. It’s good to be in the lead, but my main objective is to have a competitive car for the rest of the weekend.”