Paul Ricard: Laurens Vanthoor race report

Mixed emotions for Laurens Vanthoor PAUL-RICARD, 11-04-10. Laurens Vanthoor finished the first weekend of the Euro Series F3 with mixed feelings. "I've got the speed, and I'm convinced that I can play up front with the top, as proven by my ...

Mixed emotions for Laurens Vanthoor

PAUL-RICARD, 11-04-10. Laurens Vanthoor finished the first weekend of the Euro Series F3 with mixed feelings. "I've got the speed, and I'm convinced that I can play up front with the top, as proven by my second place in qualifying and my strong climb back up in Sunday's race", the reigning German F3 champion commented. "But the retirement on Saturday, the result of an electronic management problem, put a spanner in the works. Not only did the first race come to a premature end, but I was also obliged to start from the back of the grid for the second race, a definite disadvantage. But my climb up through the pack on Sunday and my fifth place prove that I am competitive."

Laurens Vanthoor did not miss out on his debut in the Euro Series F3. On the Paul Ricard circuit, where the opening meeting of the season was being held, the RACB National Team driver drove to an excellent second spot on the grid for race 1. Vanthoor was the best VW driver, just ahead of his team-mates Witmann and Mortara.

"I clocked up my best lap during the second run, as the slipstreaming in the first run hadn't really paid off. My second attempt was good, with a second place on the grid as outcome. For me this is confirmation of the test work carried out earlier in the season and it has given me the necessary confidence for the future."

Unfortunately the Signature VW driver was unable to cash in on his second start place in the first race of the Euro Series F3 in Paul Ricard. During the warm-up lap he experienced electronic problems and was unable to defend his chances.

"During the warm-up lap I felt that something was wrong ", a disappointed Vanthoor remarked."The car's electronics let me down and any chance of a good race debut went out of the window. It appeared to be a problem with an electronic control unit of one of the cylinders and there was no point in going on. On top of that, as the result of my retirement this morning I have to start from the back of the grid, not really an advantage."

Race 2 obviously was not an ideal assignment, but Laurens Vanthoor did what was expected of him. He took an excellent start, was up in the top-10 after the first lap and then systematically climbed up through to finish in fifth place. As such he leaves France with two points in the championship.

"It goes without saying that I would have preferred being up on the podium, and I believe that had it not been for the bad luck I experienced yesterday this would have been possible. But there's no point in crying over spilled milk and I focussed fully on today's race, and I'm reasonably satisfied with that fifth place. I drove the race without making the slightest mistake, my lap times were good and I still managed to grab a few points. As the result of a lack of race kilometres I did discover that my set-up was not as yet ideal, and by the end of the race my front tyres were completely gone. But taking into account my performance during the pre-season tests, the qualifying here and my climb back up during the second race I can state that I have reached the level I was hoping to achieve. So bring on the rest."

The second meeting of the Euro Series F3 is taking place on 24th and 25th April on the Hockenheimring (Germany).

-source: laurens vanthoor

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Series F3 Europe
Drivers Laurens Vanthoor