MAILLEUX & BUURMAN CLIMB HOCKENHEIM PODIUM FOR MANOR Manor Motorsport enjoyed a double podium celebration at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend, 21st/22nd April, with Frenchman Franck Mailleux and Dutch driver Yelmer Buurman both starring in...
MAILLEUX & BUURMAN CLIMB HOCKENHEIM PODIUM FOR MANOR
Manor Motorsport enjoyed a double podium celebration at Hockenheim in Germany over the weekend, 21st/22nd April, with Frenchman Franck Mailleux and Dutch driver Yelmer Buurman both starring in the curtain-raiser to the 2007 Formula 3 Euroseries season.
The Dinnington-based squad, owned and run by the inimitable John Booth, began the weekend well with Mailleux and British star James Jakes looking particularly strong in Friday practice.
During the opening qualifying session it was BRDC Rising Star Jakes who emerged the quickest of the Manor drivers with a lap of 1m 33.967 seconds (175.236km/h) placing him on the front row for the opening round. Mailleux, meanwhile, was just over two 10ths of a second adrift with the third best time.
At the beginning of Saturday's round one, Mailleux made an excellent getaway to move ahead of team-mate Jakes into second position but the Yorkshireman had contrasting fortunes, slipping down to fifth place as the field headed through the first corner and eventually ending a very eventful outing in 11th position.
Buurman had a better opening lap, gaining a couple of spots to move into eighth place, and although slipping to ninth as the race progressed he did manage to move back inside the top eight before the race's conclusion.
The championship's sole female competitor, Cyndie Allemann, improved four places on her qualifying position of 19th place to finish round one in 15th spot during her first race in Manor colours.
As the 25-lap encounter entered its closing stages, Mailleux looked good for second position but an unfortunate spin, and subsequent remarkable save, three laps from home saw the experienced Formula Renault racer have to settle for third place -- still a superb result on his Formula 3 debut.
"This is a great day for me", said Franck, "Not even in my dreams had I thought about making it onto the podium my debut in F3 Euroseries. The reason for my spin was my lack of experience in a Formula 3 car but being on the podium is a great result."
Jakes enjoys better run during round two With the grid for the second race of a Formula 3 Euroseries weekend determined by the finishing order of the earlier round, Cyndie would line-up 15th on the grid for round two with Jakes starting in 11th place. The top eight, however, is reversed so Buurman would take his first F3 Euroseries pole position and Mailleux would start from sixth place.
Due to oil on the track from an earlier race ahead of Sunday's encounter, the organisers took the decision to commence round two with a rolling start, line astern, and Buurman made sure he got away well at the front as team-mates Mailleux and Jakes both enjoyed good opening laps and gained positions.
With second-placed Romain Grosjean pressuring Manor's Dutch ace more and more as the race approached a conclusion, Buurman lost the lead on lap 19 but was still happy to achieve a podium finish.
Jakes did well to finish ahead of Mailleux in fifth place, the team-mates split by just seven 10ths of a second at the chequered flag, while Allemann took the chequered flag in 18th place.
Speaking on his round two result Yelmer said: "Second place is not a bad result, it was all I could do today. The rolling start was annoying but we couldn't change that and we were lacking speed this weekend so therefore I am happy with second."
Mailleux currently leads the 'Rookie' standings with 15 points while in the overall driver's championship the Frenchman is Manor's best placed runner in fourth position on seven points, one point ahead of Buurman in fifth who, in turn, is four points clear of
akes in ninth position. In the team standings, Manor holds third place with 14 points.
Manor and James Jakes, the sole British challenger in this season's F3 Euroseries, now look forward to rounds three and four which will take place seven weeks from now on 9th/10th June at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent. As support to the DTM, the race meeting is expected to attract one of the UK's biggest motorsport crowds of 2007.