Robert Doornbos Magny-Cours race report

A very cold Magny-Cours circuit welcomed the F3 Euro Series Circus for the penultimate round of the season 2003. Even if the championship title had already been assigned at Hockenheim to leader Australian Ryan Briscoe, the two French races...

A very cold Magny-Cours circuit welcomed the F3 Euro Series Circus for the penultimate round of the season 2003. Even if the championship title had already been assigned at Hockenheim to leader Australian Ryan Briscoe, the two French races promised to give the spectators and teams a very battled fight on track between the 30 drives at the wheel of their F3 cars.

With --2C air temperature the F3 drivers faced the qualifying for Race1 aware of the difficulty that they would have had to get their Kumho tyres up in right temperature. The 30 minutes of qualifying saw a strong fight for the top positions with some drivers caught by surprise by the icy track, like Pla who hit the tyres at the first corner. In these conditions, where was very easy to make mistakes, Robert put his Dallara-Mugen Honda in 15th position. For the all session "Boss" suffered of some braking problems, also after entered the pit-lane to change the pads. Things went better during the race and Robert was able to make a brilliant start passing 6 cars and finishing the penultimate race in 9th position, so close to the point zone. "My car was really better than in qualifying" commented Robert "It's just a pity that I didn't finish into the point zone, but me and the team had a misunderstanding and I didn't realize I was 9th. If I had known, I would have pushed harder to reach the 8th place. Anyway, I'm quite satisfied because with temperatures so low it was very easy to make mistakes and ruin the race or hit the tyres barriers".

Robert Doornbos could prove to be very fast in the first session of qualifying, valid for Race2, where "Boss" put in a perfect performance and qualified the team Ghinzani Dallara-Mugen Honda in a in a best 4th place, with some minutes to go, before being passed by 3 cars. With a time of 1:35.296 at the average speed of 160,552km/h "Boss" finally qualified himself in a 7th position (only 0,038 thousandths lower than Klien, 6th), first Mugen Honda driver on the starting grid for Sunday race. A very motivated Robert made a brilliant start and managed to gain as much positions as possible at the first corner where he had to battle with Premat on the left and Lapierre on the right side, but Robert pushed more and passed 4th despite his left wing ruined by a hit with champion Briscoe.

Passed in 3rd position "Boss" overtook the poleman Margaritis trying to chase the leader Timo Glock, 5 seconds ahead him. 5 laps after Robert was so close to him to think about the first place, he tried to pass him but finished on the grass and so he had to be satisfied with his 2nd position. "I'm really happy, especially for this second race. I finished the season as I begun it: on podium! The race was very battled and I managed to come out victorious against such a lot of good drivers, in a such competitive championship. I have enjoyed my season despite some ups and downs, like it happens in motor racing, and now I can concentrate on my future. In two weeks I'll be testing a F3000 car and then I'll be flying to Asia with Team Menu for the Macao and Korea International F3 races. I want to thank my team for the job done this year and my sponsors and fans for the support given to me".

Next week Robert Doornbos will be fully concentrating on training preparing for the TEST he will be facing on 5 and 6 November at Jerez (Spain) with Team ARDEN MOTORSPORT, champion of the International FIA F3000 title this season with Bjorn Wirdheim.

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Series F3 Europe
Drivers Robert Doornbos , Bjorn Wirdheim , Timo Glock