Home Formula 3FIA F3 Championship Novalak sets the pace in Spa FIA F3 practice

Novalak sets the pace in Spa FIA F3 practice

by Sam Williams

Photo: Formula Motorsport Limited

Trident’s Clement Novalak set the fastest time late on in the free practice session for the fifth round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship at Spa-Francorchamps.

Alex Smolyar set the pace early with the ART driver topping the timing screens early on.

There were some promising signs from both Charouz newcomers, with Zdenek Chovanec and Hunter Yeany both sitting comfortably inside the top half of the field early on, before Chovanec later spun at Les Combes and continued.

Just past the halfway point, the overcast conditions were met with light drizzle. The change in conditions didn’t faze Trident’s Jack Doohan, who moved to the top. 

Campos Racing driver Lorenzo Colombo and then HWA’s Oliver Rasmussen went quickest, but it was Novalak who would climb to the top at the chequered flag with a time of 2m05.330s.

The French-Swiss driver was 0.495 seconds ahead of Rasmussen, with Colombo and Doohan the last drivers within one second.

Jak Crawford found time in the final minutes to move up to fifth for Hitech, with ART duo Frederick Vesti in sixth and Smolyar seventh.

The rest of the top 10 was closely knitted together, separated by only 3 tenths, with Hitech’s Roman Stanek eighth, Prema’s Olli Caldwell in ninth, and Jenzer’s Johnathan Hoggard 10th.

Championship leader Dennis Hauger was 13th, one place behind Matteo Nannini who was close to a colliding with David Schumacher at the Bus Stop chicane.

Slowest of those to set a time, Amaury Cordeel twice got into strife at the same part of the circuit, nearly taking Jonny Edgar with him when he dived into the pits in the early stages, and coming to a halt on track after the chequered flag having missed the pit entrance, earning him an investigation by the stewards.

Jenzer driver Filip Ugran did not get out onto the track.

Practice results
Pos Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Clement Novalak Trident 2m05.330s 14
2 Oliver Rasmussen HWA Racelab 2m05.825s +0.495s 15
3 Lorenzo Colombo Campos Racing 2m06.100s +0.770s 13
4 Jack Doohan Trident 2m06.257s +0.927s 13
5 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 2m06.359s +1.029s 13
6 Frederik Vesti ART Grand Prix 2m06.392s +1.062s 16
7 Roman Stanek Hitech GP 2m06.448s +1.118s 12
8 Alexander Smolyar ART Grand Prix 2m06.709s +1.379s 16
9 Olli Caldwell Prema 2m06.781s +1.451s 16
10 Johnathan Hoggard Jenzer Motorsport 2m06.798s +1.468s 16
11 Ayumu Iwasa Hitech GP 2m06.813s +1.483s 12
12 Matteo Nannini HWA Racelab 2m06.841s +1.511s 15
13 Dennis Hauger Prema 2m06.888s +1.558s 16
14 Arthur Leclerc Prema 2m06.944s +1.614s 16
15 Victor Martins MP Motorsport 2m07.062s +1.732s 16
16 Logan Sargeant Charouz Racing System 2m07.175s +1.845s 14
17 Caio Collet MP Motorsport 2m07.187s +1.857s 16
18 Juan Manuel Correa ART Grand Prix 2m07.241s +1.911s 15
19 David Schumacher Trident 2m07.468s +2.138s 15
20 Hunter Yeany Charouz Racing System 2m07.497s +2.167s 17
21 Calan Williams Jenzer Motorsport 2m07.661s +2.331s 17
22 Rafael Villagomez HWA Racelab 2m07.738s +2.408s 16
23 Laszlo Toth Campos Racing 2m07.748s +2.418s 16
24 Zdenek Chovanec Charouz Racing System 2m07.904s +2.574s 17
25 Tijmen van der Helm MP Motorsport 2m08.204s +2.874s 15
26 Jonny Edgar Carlin 2m08.332s +3.002s 15
27 Ido Cohen Carlin 2m08.415s +3.085s 16
28 Amaury Cordeel Campos Racing 2m09.493s +4.163s 16
29 Filip Ugran Jenzer Motorsport No time