Photo: Formula 3 Euro Series/Thomas Suer
German rookie moves well into title contention after getting his maiden victory in the third race of the Nurburgring weekend, as Juncadella and Marciello get in to trouble…
Formula 3 Euro Series
Daniel Juncadella boosted his championship lead in the first of the three races at the Nurburgring, taking an untroubled win from pole position. Sven Muller was a strong second with Pascal Wehrlein third ahead of his teammate Felix Rosenqvist. Guest driver Jazeman Jaafar was fifth ahead of title contender Raffaele Marciello, while Carlos Sainz Jr and single-seater returnee Alexander Sims completed the top eight.
That put Sims on pole for the reverse grid second race, having previously set the pace in Friday’s test in T-Sport’s Nissan-engined car. The Brit was forced to switch to sportscars as the start of 2012 when he lost his backing from Gravity Sports Management after failing to make their targets in GP3 last year, and was racing at the Nurburgring to qualify for the Macau Grand Prix later this year. He successfully converted his pole into a victorious Euro Series return. Marciello finished second to take maximum Euro Series points, ahead of Rosenqvist, Wehrlein, Muller, Tom Blomqvist, Jaafar and Juncadella. Sainz was third until he was handed a drive-through penalty for having his mechanics still working on the car after the time limit before the race
Juncadella was on pole again for race three but had contact with Rosenqvist heading towards the first corner that resulted in the Spaniard being given a drive-through. Wehrlein inherited the lead, going on to claim his maiden F3 win ahead of William Buller. Sainz was third until he was spun around by Sims – who needed to pit for front wing damage as Sainz dropped to the back. That gave third to Jaafar, ahead of Emil Bernstorff, Blomqvist, Michael Lewis and Luis Sa Silva. Juncadella and Sainz had fought back to eighth and ninth until Sainz forced his compatriot off track. Juncadella retired with damage, while Sainz was handed his second penalty of the weekend. Meanwhile, Prema teammates Marciello and Muller came together on the first lap, ending their races.
Juncadella remains in the lead of the championship on 150 points, but Wehrlein is up to second on 138 ahead of Marciello on 136.5 and Buller on 128.5. Round six of eight takes place at Zandvoort next weekend. Juncadella’s first race win gave him the lead of the FIA European Championship ahead of Marciello.
Formula Pilota China
Karting graduate Antonio Giovinazzi claimed his maiden cars victory in the first of the races at round three at Ordos. Shota Kiyohara, returning to the series after missing the previous round, was on pole but finished in third place behind Giovinazzi’s teammate Sean Gelael. Dan Wells qualified fourth, but stalled at the start before fighting back to seventh.
Giovinazzi was on pole for race two and converted that into a second win, with his Eurasia teammates Gelael and Parth Ghorpade joining him on the podium. Kiyohara was fourth, with Wells only making up one place to sixth.
The Brit turned his weekend around in race three, taking the lead from pole-sitter Gelael at the first corner and going on to win by nine seconds. Gelael retired with technical problems, with Ghorpade taking second and Giovinazzi completing the podium.
Giovinazzi’s two wins hand him the points lead on 114, with Wells on 100. The next round is at Guangdong on 15/16 September.
Formula Renault BARC
Josh Webster closed on points leader Scott Malvern by beating him to victory in the first race at Donington Park to record his fourth straight race win. Malvern fought back though by winning race two from pole, while Webster could only manage fourth behind David Wagner and Chris Middlehurst. Wagner scored his first win of the season from pole in race three ahead of Malvern and Seb Morris, while Webster was sixth. With just one round to go at Silverstone in October, Malvern leads on 324 points while Webster has 301.
PaddockScout Driver of the Weekend: Pascal Wehrlein – Another strong performance from the F3 rookie. Who had him down as a title contender at the start of the season?
Next weekend: A busy weekend of action, headlined by the Formula Renault 3.5 Series’ trip to Silverstone.