So close in Sicily. Red Bull Jr. Team driver Joel Nelson and Team John Village Automotive showed a strong presence at Enna-Pergusa, Round 3 of the European F3000 Championship. Unfortunately disappointment struck on the first lap of the race...
So close in Sicily.
Red Bull Jr. Team driver Joel Nelson and Team John Village Automotive showed a strong presence at Enna-Pergusa, Round 3 of the European F3000 Championship. Unfortunately disappointment struck on the first lap of the race when a clutch failure stopped the car while in 3rd place.
Nelson had been 2nd quickest in the Friday practice session behind Agusto Farfus, current championship leader.
"We made great progress with the car and I was on a lap that would have put us at the top of the timing, but a red flag in the final sector ended the session before we could complete the lap. At least we know we have one of the quickest cars here. Qualifying should be good", explained Nelson.
Nelson and team patiently watched from the garage as qualifying began, waiting for the track to be cleaned and rubber put down by the other cars. Nelson took to the track and immediately posted the quickest time on his first lap. On his next flying lap he encountered traffic and had to abort. With 15 min. to go Nelson was in position 3 when he took to the track on his final set of tires. Again on his first flying lap he was immediately on pace and up until the very final chicane he was on a lap quick enough for 2nd place. It was then that he spun the car at the final chicane leading onto the front straight. With nothing damaged on the car Nelson set off to complete the next lap when an electrical failure brought the car to a stop.
"As I approached the final chicane I could see that I was on a lap that would have put us P2 and our tires weren't even up to optimum operating temps and pressures. I am confident that on the next lap I could have challenged for pole position. Unfortunately I got greedy, tried to use too much of the kerbing and spun within sight of the finish line. The tires were still very much within their optimum window and as I set off to try again we had a total electrical failure," said Nelson.
It was then in the final few minutes of qualifying when cloud cover cooled the air and allowed the cars to go quicker that Nelson was knocked back to P4.
In the race Nelson made another great start but was blocked by 3rd place qualifier Roman Rusinov into the first corner. Later in the lap while driving past Rusinov on the straight the clutch failed and the Red Bull car lost drive and rolled to a stop. Agusto Farfus went on to win from pole position followed by Nick Pastorelli and Nelson's teammate Peter Boss respectively.
Nelson said, "It was of course a disappointing weekend but I am trying to look at the positives; we were on the pace all weekend and could have legitimately challenged for the pole and race win. I am pleased for my teammate Peter to have finished on the podium. He and his engineer will have collected data that will help the team at the next race at Monza. I look forward to a good result for the team there."