MORTARA FLIES AT NOGARO!
Signature Team driver Edoardo Mortara, the winner of race one at Barcelona just over a week ago, followed this up with another strong performance in Nogaro: the penultimate round of this year's Formula 3 Euroseries. After finishing sixth in race one, he led race two and set fastest lap, before eventually ending up eighth. Nogaro, in the southern region of France famous for foie gras and Armagnac, is a tight and twisty technical circuit where overtaking is very difficult. This placed a particular importance on qualifying strongly, by preparing for the race well.
The French-Italian driver spent Thursday's official test getting to gather more mileage on this circuit, and he did not use any new tyres. On Friday things got more serious, but the session was cut short due to lack of helicopter cover. This did not help Edoardo, who is only in his second year of racing cars and needs all the experience he can get. Nonetheless, he did a good job to post ninth-quickest time and prepare for qualifying well. There were no mistakes from him during the qualifying session and he lined up an excellent seventh on the grid for race one.
Edoardo did not make the best of starts once the race got underway, but he quickly recovered to make up a couple of places and gain sixth coming out of turn two. Weather conditions remained threatening throughout the race, but despite a few drops of rain Edoardo hung onto his sixth position -- finishing as top rookie.
This meant that he started race two third on the grid, and this time he made a fantastic start. He took the lead through the first corner, and gained nearly a second over his rivals per lap. With 10 laps gone, he had virtually a 10-second lead. Unfortunately, the race stewards judged that his car had moved slightly on the grid prior to the start so he was hit with a drive-through penalty.
Having served the penalty, Edoardo rejoined eighth but continued attacking to the finish. He came away with fastest lap, having maintained eighth place in the overall championship and second in the rookie championship -- just two points behind the leader.
The 20 year-old commented: "Once again the team did a fantastic job this weekend and the car was awesome. The penalty in race two obviously compromised our progress -- and it was not for something that I was even aware of -- but rules are rules and I have to accept this. The most important thing is that our race pace was right up there, and now I hope to end the season on a high at the final round of the Euroseries in Hockenheim."
The German race meeting, which marks the conclusion of this year's Euroseries, will take place from October 12-14.