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Buller storms to first win in chaotic Silverstone race
Carlin record double win on home soil in Round 4
Carlin’s William Buller claimed his maiden victory in GP3 today in a race that was full of drama and excitement until the very end! It concluded a fantastic weekend for Carlin after achieving their first win in the Series on Saturday with Antonio Felix Da Costa and then sealing a double victory at home in front of a massive crowd.
With light rain starting to fall as the drivers were on the grid preparing, strategic calls came into play and it was Carlin and Buller who made the brave decision to start on slick tyres as the rain fell. Pole man Kevin Ceccon made a good start but it was Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas who got the jump on front row man Alex Brundle (the latter starting on slicks). Also on the move was Series leader Mitch Evans who surged through from seventh to third. The battle was on as Felix Da Costa and the New Zealander fought over third place with the Portuguese star on a mission and finding a way through.
Ellinas was not content with second and soon set after race leader Ceccon and made his way to P1 by the end of the first lap. By lap 3, Ellinas had pulled a 3.2 second margin as the drivers got to grips with tricky and changeable conditions. The majority of the field started on wets and for some their tyres soon started to fade away as the rain that was expected to come down, didn’t.
Felix Da Costa moved up to P2 passing Ceccon, whilst Evans began to struggle with his tyres and was overtaken by Daniel Abt (Lotus GP) and soon had to defend from teammate Matias Laine. With the track drying it soon became evident that the quicker tyre to be on were the slicks, as demonstrated by Buller who began setting purple sectors and fastest laps. Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser and Robert Visoiu began their charge through the pack on the wet tyre and began to take advantage.
Ellinas remained in front ahead of Felix Da Costa, Niederhauser, Ceccon and Visoiu. Mitch Evans spun at turn 7 and at the midway point of the race came in for tyre change. Buller was climbing his way up to P6 at this point with Conor Daly (Lotus GP) also on the up. There was a new race leader after Niederhauser overtook both Felix Da Costa and Ellinas and looked in a dominant position in P1. Ellinas also pitted for slicks from P2 whilst Buller continued to set an impressive pace on slicks moving to P2. The Brit was all over the back of the Swiss for the lead and he grabbed P1 and pulled out a large gap.
The track conditions started to catch the drivers out with Alice Powell ending her race in gravel, soon to be followed by Abt. Before Abt could climb out of his car Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) joined him for a company, tapping the Lotus GP car after spinning off in the same place. There was drama still to come with one of the main contenders for the GP3 crown, Aaro Vainio (Lotus GP) hitting the back of Laine and sending his car up into the air. That was a premature end to the Finn’s race and no points.
Buller continued to increase his advantage over the front whilst Daly (who started on slicks) rose to P2 passing Niederhauser. The Brit crossed the chequered flag with an eight second lead to celebrate his maiden victory, with Daly enjoying a solid points score. Niederhauser hung onto the final spot on the rostrum after nursing his wet tyres home to finish ahead of Ellinas, Visoiu, Felix Da Costa and Ceccon. The final point went to Atech CRS GP new driver Fabio Gamberini making his debut here at Silverstone.
With the top two in the Drivers Standings failing to score points, Evans continues to hold his 11 point advantage over Vainio with Felix Da Costa closing the gap in third.

Formula One

Caterham F1 Team has confirmed that Reserve Driver Giedo van der Garde will be taking part in the City Racing Rotterdam event on 26th August in Holland.
Both the Caterham F1 Team race drivers have taken part in previous City Racing events, with Heikki Kovalainen driving a Renault F1 car in 2008 and Vitaly Petrov also in a Renault F1 car in 2010 in the Netherlands’ largest Formula 1 event.
Giedo is delighted to be taking part in such a big event in front of his home crowd: “For years I have been following City Racing Rotterdam and I’m delighted that the organization has invited Caterham F1 Team and me to take part. I will make sure that the huge crowd will not be short of excitement! Last weekend I took part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England and I am looking forward to showing all the fans the Caterham F1 Team car and we will make sure we put on a spectacular show.”
Rotterdam Racing is delighted Caterham F1 Team and Giedo will be at the event on 26th August. City Racing co-organizer Herman Vaanholt said: “We are happy to add Giedo and his team to our line-up. He is joining a list of Dutch drivers who have taken part in our previous events including Albers, Doornbos, Tung and Verstappen. We are proud that yet again a Dutch driver will be driving a Formula 1 car at a City Racing event and with Caterham F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas team also taking part, with Nico Rosberg driving, we are showing that even in challenging times for the event business City Racing keeps our standards at the highest possible level.”
Preparations for the eighth edition are in full swing and everyone associated with the event is working hard to put on a spectacular program. Besides Van der Garde and the Caterham F1 Team car a number of other names have already been confirmed including Mercedes AMG Petronas with Nico Rosberg. In addition to the Formula 1 cars stunt driver Terry Grant will be taking part and will again put on a spectacular show for the fans. More names will be added to the line-up in the next few weeks for the eighth edition of City Racing. For all fans who want to make sure they do not miss a thing, VIP and grandstand tickets are now on sale at www.cityracing.nl



Jamie Green wins heartbeat finale at Norisring

Nuremberg. The fifth DTM round at the Norisring ended with a bang. With his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, British driver Jamie Green crowned a great recovery with his first season win and mastered the constantly changing weather conditions. With three laps remaining, the 30-year old was still in third place. After that, he first overtook Canadian BMW driver Bruno Spengler and then caught reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (BMW) to claim his fourth race win in Nuremberg in five years

For his employer Mercedes-Benz, it was the tenth consecutive victory at Norisring. “I am so proud of my success. The race was hard, but I felt really well in the car. On the last ten laps, my tyres built up an immense amount of grip and that enabled me to win”, said an overjoyed Green.

Tomczyk, who took the chequered flag in second place only 0.687 seconds behind Green, said after the race: “It is quite annoying when you are leading the race for 75 laps, but still don’t win. But with Bruno and myself, there were two BMW drivers on the podium, which is a great performance.” His fellow BMW driver Spengler rounded out the podium after finishing third.

Points’ leader Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) came home in an impressive fourth place. On the opening lap already, the weather conditions caused a mass collision, in which several cars were turned around, including the Brit’s car. The 31-year old dropped back to 20th place, but with strategically well-planned pit stops and a faultless race, he was able to make his way back up to finish fourth. Paffett remains in the lead of the drivers’ standings with 95 points from Green (69) and Spengler (58).

Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver David Coulthard also had reason to celebrate. In fifth place, the Scot achieved his best DTM result to date. German Mike Rockenfeller ended up as the best-placed Audi driver in the only DTM race on a street circuit. “I started eleventh, so a sixth place at the end is not too bad. The DTM is tough, you have to take it as it comes”, the 28-year old said.

Brazilian Augusto Farfus (BMW) and Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi), who had started from third and fourth place respectively, were disappointed. They were also involved in the collision after the start of the race. Ekström immediately parked his car in the pits. Farfus still tried to complete the race, but had to give up on lap 16. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz) also was unable to finish a race that had been good up to that point. The German even led the field, but then had to cope with technical problems and retired on lap 46.

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “That was nothing for people with weak nerves, a real thriller. Jamie has done a really good job. I knew that he had the speed and I was hoping for a win. The tenth win in a row at the Norisring is making me very happy and proud. However, we remain on the ground, we will not start thinking that we are unbeatable here. I am also happy for Gary as he still made it home in fourth place, in spite of the accident after the start.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director: “Of course, for me, it was an emotional roller-coaster. Missing out on a 1-2 that seemed so certain so closely before the end of the race is annoying, but we have four cars in the top ten, two of which are on the podium. This is a huge success for BMW and I am more than happy. I am looking forward to the next event in Munich. The stadium is within an eyeshot from our headquarters.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Today, it was more than disappointing. For us, the race was basically over in the first corner after ’Eki’ was pushed into the car in front of him and almost all our cars were involved in the turmoil. Mike Rockenfeller made it through the corner unscathed, but he also has lost a lot of time in the first pit stop.”


Ice cold in the sweltering heat – Gary Paffett claims pole at Norisring

Nuremberg. Summerly temperatures of around 35 degrees turned qualifying for the fifth DTM season round at the Norisring to a hot battle. Points’ leader Gary Paffett remained the coolest with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé. The Brit completed his lap of the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit in Nuremberg in 49.139 seconds and will be starting from first place on the grid into Sunday’s race. The qualifying winner said about the 111th pole position for Mercedes-Benz: “That was close. I am totally happy, a perfect day. Tomorrow, I want my third victory of the season. Driving safely is not an option, I will give everything to win.” For Paffett, it is the tenth pole of his career and the second of this year.

Paffett’s fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Jamie Green completed the clean sweep of the front row for Mercedes-Benz by qualifying second fastest on Saturday afternoon. The Brit was only 0.032 seconds down. Brazilian BMW driver Augusto Farfus celebrated his third place like victory in qualifying: “For me, third place on the grid feel like being on pole. I am overjoyed. The performance of the car was just great. Even for me, as a Brazilian, it was too hot in the car today.”

Two times’ DTM champion Mattias Ekström was the best-placed Audi driver on Saturday. With his Audi A5 Coupé, the Swede ended up fourth in qualifying. “Of course, going into Q4 as the fastest driver, being only fourth on the grid at the end is very disappointing. But I am still on the second row of the grid and from there, anything can happen”, said Ekström.

Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes-Benz), who is celebrating his 37th birthday today, didn’t get any presents in qualifying. He was just 57 thousandths of a second short of making it into the fourth and final heat of the shoot-out qualifying. The German will be starting fifth. Reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk from Rosenheim will be lining up alongside Schumacher in sixth place with his BMW M3 DTM. His Canadian fellow BMW driver Bruno Spengler was seventh. German Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz), Brit Andy Priaulx (BMW) and Italian Edoardo Mortara (Audi), who celebrated his maiden pole and his first race win in the most popular international touring car series in the fourth DTM round at Spielberg, round out the top ten.

The two Audi drivers Miguel Molina from Spain and two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider had a setback. Classified 20th and 21st respectively, qualifying was over for them after the first heat already.

British Formula 3

Fantin & Tincknell take the wins; Harvey the series lead

Pietro Fantin and Harry Tincknell set the pace among the British Formula 3 field at the Norisring in Germany today, Fantin taking the British championship honours in the first of the day’s races after setting a blistering qualifying pace, and Tincknell winning outright the reverse-grid race, leading from pole position to chequered flag.

Jack Harvey meanwhile scored well in both races to overhaul Jazeman Jaafar for the championship lead, while in the National class there were twin wins for T-Sport’s Spike Goddard.

Fantin led the way among the British F3 runners in the delayed qualifying session, posting fifth-quickest time overall, two-tenths off the pace of pole man Pascal Wehrlein.

Qualifying had been due to take place on Friday afternoon, but high temperatures in Nuremberg led to the track breaking up at two corners, and the decision was made to postpone the session to this morning; repairs were effected overnight.

Fantin’s best lap of 49.328s was 0.166s better than that of his closest British F3 rival, Fortec Motorsport man Felix Serralles, to earn Pietro fifth on the grid for tomorrow’s 40-minute finale. Fantin’s second-quickest time was good also at 49.376s, earning him fifth position also in this morning’s 40-minute encounter.

“I like it here and my car is really good,” said Fantin. “It’s completely different to anything we have driven before: low downforce and heavy braking, so it’s really tricky. Here, the time is made under braking, so you need to risk it, and be on the limit all the time. The track is similar to some at home in Brazil because it is really bumpy, and maybe that suits me.”

Serralles’ Fortec team-mates Pipo Derani and Hannes van Asseldonk enjoyed strong showings also in qualifying, third and fourth among the British championship runners respectively, with Carlos Sainz and Jazeman Jaafar next up for Carlin.

Harry Tincknell, the British pacesetter in yesterday’s free practice, was baffled to be only eighth among his rivals today. “I don’t know what the problem is, but it’s a different car today,” said the Devonian. Brands Hatch double winner Jack Harvey will line up immediately behind Tincknell tomorrow; he complained of balance problems.

Round 15
Fantin scored his first British Formula 3 win of the season in the first 40-minute race, the 20-year-old Brazilian bringing his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen home in third place overall, surviving unscathed an incident-packed race which saw dramas for several leading championship contenders.

Fantin finished behind two of the Euro F3 series drivers in the combined British and European series event; the race was won overall by Carlin’s Will Buller following the exclusion of Prema Powerteam driver Daniel Juncadella after a series of controversial late-race clashes.

With a 28-car field on a tight, bumpy and twisty street track, incidents came thick and fast. The turn one hairpin produced an opening-lap clash between British F3 title protagonists Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar, Racing Steps Foundation driver Harvey colliding with the rear end of his Carlin team-mate’s car, sending Jaafar spinning into the path of the field which resulted in front-end damage for the Malaysian and necessitated a pit call.

“I tried to go up the inside of Jaz, and he covered a bit,” said Jack, “and at that point I just couldn’t stop it. I was on the ‘marbles’ and in dirty air, and couldn’t stop.” Race officials penalised Harvey, then running eighth overall, with a drive-through penalty.

Fortec’s Alex Lynn was caught up in the first-corner melee also. “It’s just so tight here,” said the Essex man. “I just got squeezed out and into the inside wall. I was lucky to be able to keep going.” Lynn was forced to the pits for a new nosecone.

Later on the opening lap it was the turn of Carlos Sainz to strike trouble, or more specifically the wall; the Spanish Carlin driver retired to the pits with suspension damage.

Despite an average start, Fantin was away and running in sixth overall, with a Euro car between himself and his closest championship rival, Pipo Derani, with Felix Serralles next up from Harry Tincknell.

Fortec man Derani ended his race on lap seven, when he was tapped into a spin by Prema Powerteam’s Michael Lewis. Derani’s team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk got caught up in the fracas. “I got hit from behind and my wing broke,” said the Dutchman, “I lost a lot of places and then I got a flag to come into the pits and the team pulled my wing off.”

Double R’s Fahmi Ilyas joined Sainz and Derani in retirement on lap seven when the Malaysian damaged his suspension on one of the Norisring’s unforgiving retaining walls.

With Juncadella and Mucke Motorsport’s Pascal Wehrlein disputing top spot, Fantin held a secure sixth with a lead of around 5s over Serralles, and Harry Tincknell – minus his rear wing in a radical attempt to boost his straightline speed – up to third.

Fantin was bottled up behind ma-con Euro runner Emil Bernstorff but dared not risk his British series lead by attempting to pass. “My start was not really good,” said Pietro after the race. “I lost one position there, but my position compared with the British cars was really good. I needed this win, so I didn’t risk anything by trying to pass the Euro Series guy. I did try to have a go one time but I ran wide and Felix caught up a little with me. I had good pace today, the car was really good and I am really happy.”

Fantin crossed the line 1.3s ahead of Serralles, with Tincknell a further 8.8s behind in third. “I started with no rear wing,” said Harry. “It was a tactical decision to try to help me pass people – it didn’t really pay off until later in the race when I got used to it.”

Australians Geoff Uhrhane and Nick McBride were next up for Double R and T-Sport respectively. “It was chaos out there,” said McBride. “I got hit and lost quite a few spots as a result. We are still paying the price for our qualifying performance when we had too much understeer.”

Harvey returned to the fray after his drive-through penalty to finish sixth among the Brits and the last unlapped runner. Spike Goddard was seventh for T-Sport to win the National class – his eighth class win of the year – ahead of pit-callers Jaafar, Lynn and van Asseldonk, with Duvashen Padayachee completing the finishers in his Double R National class car.

Juncadella crossed the line first overall but was later excluded from the results for his part in closing-laps collisions with his team-mate Raffaele Marciello, as well as Wehrlein.

Round 16
Harry Tincknell led the 20-minute Norisring reverse-grid race from start to finish this evening to rack up his second British Formula 3 win of the season. After struggling in qualifying and finishing the first race eighth overall, the Devonian started from the pole and took full advantage of it.

Tincknell was shadowed from the beginning by Fortec’s Felix Serralles, the Puerto Rican making a superb start from fourth on the grid to slot into second on the opening lap, ahead of Euro F3 runners Felix Rosenqvist and Pascal Wehrlein.

Serralles chased Tincknell as hard as he dared, never allowing the leader’s advantage to extend beyond one second, but had in the end to settle for the second step of the podium.

As with the day’s earlier race there were incidents galore, including wall-bashing early on from Double R’s Fahmi Ilyas and T-Sport’s Nick McBride. Ilyas retired to the pits but McBride was able to continue after a pit call. A brief Safety Car period did little to disturb Tincknell’s composure.

“I knew that I had to get off the line and get into the first corner first,” said Harry, “because that would make my life quite a bit easier. Then the safety car came out and I had to make sure I had a good restart. From there it was a question of controlling the race.

“We went quite radical in race one with no rear wing; we went back on that for this race. The team have done a great job for me; to qualify 15th and to have had a third and a win – in F3 on a street track – makes it a really special day and I am really happy for all the guys. I got my confidence back at Rockingham with my win and things are just getting better and better.”

Serralles was pleased with his performance also: “I started fourth and got another great start, picking up two places. It’s a great result. Fortec did a fantastic job and I’m happy with all the points I have scored today. I couldn’t catch Harry – he was quicker in some places and me in others – but that’s the way racing is.”

Jack Harvey made major gains from the chaos of the opening lap, leaping from 13th overall on the grid to eighth, and third in terms of the British championship runners. Racing Steps Foundation driver Harvey picked up a further place when Euro man Sven Muller retired on the seventh lap and held on for the duration of the race to claim the final step of the British podium.

With that prize for Harvey went the championship lead: erstwhile points-topper Jazeman Jaafar endured a torrid time, brushing the wall and suffering contact with another car. The Malaysian finished 14th overall, and seventh in the British class.

Fourth of the British series contenders was race one victor Pietro Fantin, who would have been closer to the sharp end but for losing a lot of ground on the opening lap, with Fortec’s Alex Lynn fifth, ahead of his team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk. Double R’s Geoff Uhrhane took eighth behind Jaafar, with Pipo Derani ninth from the back of the grid after his race one retirement. McBride recovered from his early damage to 10th in class, a lap in arrears.

In the National class, Spike Goddard ran home the winner for the second time today for the T-Sport team, beating his Double R rival Duvashen Padayachee to the line by 10.4s.

Carlos Sainz suffered his third no-score in as many races, the Carlin man retiring after 18 laps with gearbox problems.

Speed Euroseries

Davide Rigon on the podium at the Speed Euroseries

Amazing week end for Davide Rigon. Making his debut in the Speed Euroseries behind the wheel of a Tatuus PY 02, the talented driver from Veneto, has left his mark on the Imola track by collaborating closely with the constructor’ staff to the development of the prototype and conquering a fabulous second place in race-1.

After the 2 hours practices, thank to which he became familiar with the car, Davide arrived on track for qualifying session and was well determined in putting the work done into practice to achieve a good result. At the end of the one-hour session, the driver from Lugo slowed down his performance marking a second time.

In race-1 he makes a good sprint and keeps himself bottled up behind Bellarosa, whom he overtakes at the Variante Alta  in the following laps, becoming the race leader. At that time Rigon imposes his speed on his rivals, running 1 second faster than them and leading the race by 11 seconds, before the mandatory pit stop. The trick comes out when the Wolf team driver pits. His pit stop time, in contrast to regulations, is shorter than expected, and relegates Davide to a second place.

“ Collaborating with such an important constructor for the development of a car, is always a great pleasure. Despite It was an unknown category for me, everything was alright. During free practices we made several tests to adapt the car to the track and in qualifying we made a great step forward. I made a good start and, at the Variante Alta, I inherited the lead, thus giving race a good pace. Everything was good just until the pit stop, where a 45 seconds stop is mandatory. After going back to track I was just bottled up behind rivals and only later I realized that Bellarosa hadn’t followed the rules. Despite penalty, which was imposed only after the race, he scored a win. Following this unpleasant event, the team decided to recede and not to take part in the second race, finishing the week end in advance.”, says Davide Rigon.

After the race in Imola, It’s time to think about next race, on programme next week end on the French track named Paul Richard, where the third round of the Blancpain GT Endurance will take place. After the races in Monza and Silverstone, Davide will be again behind the wheel of  his Ferrari 458 of Kessel Racing Team. “ I’ll go back to GT. We’re well prepared and hope to have a good performance, even if we’re conscious that we have problems in refuelling. In comparison with Silverstone, the climate will be so different and temperatures higher. It’s a modern track and  I know it since GP2. Pitch is abrasive down there, so we have to be careful with tyres consumption ” ends Rigon.