CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS GO ASTRAY FOR MANOR AT PAU Dinnington based Formula 3 Euroseries team Manor Motorsport had a weekend to forget during the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2008 season at the Pau street circuit in the south of France -- potential...
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS GO ASTRAY FOR MANOR AT PAU
Dinnington based Formula 3 Euroseries team Manor Motorsport had a weekend to forget during the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2008 season at the Pau street circuit in the south of France -- potential points finishes all going astray in very unfortunate circumstances.
Away from its regular support slot on the DTM package, the F3 Euroseries competed alongside the World Touring Car Championship at the prestigious and challenging street circuit -- the first time the pan-European F3 category has raced at the Pyrenees situated venue since 2005.
Round five had two Safety Car periods after a number of accidents and incidents took place in tricky, drying conditions -- just 10 of the 30 cars which started the race actually made it through to the chequered flag.
Kazuya Oshima was the only Manor driver to finish the race, having started down in 28th on the grid he fought through to 10th position. Japanese countryman Koudai Tsukakoshi was classified in 11th place, Niall Breen was 13th and Sam Bird was forced to retire on his 18th lap after getting caught up in an accident ahead.
Manor team boss John Booth explains: "With just a few minutes to go everything looked rosy for us, we had three cars in the top eight and looked good for some points. The track was drying from the start so everyone was on slicks but off-line it was wet and a lot of drivers were caught out by that. With only 10 cars finishing, it shows what it was like.
"Sam was taken out by two cars crashing in-front of him, Niall went off on the bad damp patch that caught out a lot of front-runners and then Koudai had a problem with his brakes. Kazuya did well to come through from so far down the grid and to stay out of trouble. It was one of the most incident-packed races I've ever seen."
Round six was also badly affected by the weather and was actually started behind the Safety Car. Beginning and finishing in 10th place, Oshima was again Manor's best placed runner with Bird climbing from 16th on the grid to 11th at the chequered flag and Tsukakoshi slipping back to 18th position. Breen, meanwhile, retired on lap 15.
Booth added: "This weekend certainly wasn't one to remember but it was so full of incident, it was always going to be a bit of a lottery. We're looking forward to the next two rounds now where we aim to be back challenging for the podium. It's been a tough start to the year but we're remaining positive."
Rounds seven and eight of the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries will take place four weeks from now on 28th/29th June at the Norisring in Germany.
Full replays of the past weekend's two street races at Pau will be screened on digital satellite and cable channel Motors TV at 23.00 tomorrow, Tuesday, 3rd June. For further details of additional showings, please check listings.