James Rossiter: Podium Finish On F3 Debut James Rossiter's drive to third position on his Formula 3 race debut at Donington Park yesterday (Sunday) has been hailed has arguably the finest performance by a rookie in recent seasons. James also ...
James Rossiter: Podium Finish On F3 Debut
James Rossiter's drive to third position on his Formula 3 race debut at Donington Park yesterday (Sunday) has been hailed has arguably the finest performance by a rookie in recent seasons. James also starred in the day's second race, with a terrific comeback drive through the field to finish eighth in treacherously wet conditions -- despite a damaged car. Combined, the two results have put him in a strong fifth position in the British championship standings as he heads for his two home rounds at Silverstone in a fortnight.
James's two performances were an excellent way to celebrate his securing in the last week of substantial support from Silverstone's world-famous British Racing Drivers Club, in addition to that of regular backer Celerant.
"I showed all weekend I had good pace, although not as strong as we've become accustomed to, and I've beaten a lot of established drivers at my first attempt," said James. "I've learnt a lot from the weekend. A podium finish on my debut is very satisfying and the additional points in race two were a bonus after some problems at the start."
James went into the race weekend having already proved his pace by being fastest in the last four official championship tests in which he took part -- at Oulton Park, two days at Croft and Donington itself, on a wet track.
He qualified his Fortec Motorsport Dallara-Spiess Opel fifth -- as the highest-placed F3 rookie -- and 11th fastest respectively for the two races. He said: "First qualifying was reasonable, but in the second session we changed the car but it didn't work. I was certainly hoping for a wet second race to help me out.
In the first race, James showed no signs of buckling under pressure on his debut as he made one of his trademark excellent starts. With a brave move on the outside line at the first corner he took fourth and before the end of the first lap had moved into third. He then successfully held off second-year drivers Ernesto Viso and Alvaro Parente to make the place his.
In the second race, his wish for rain came true and he again looked to have made places as the field vanished into the first corner spray. James said: "I got a cracking start, but then Will Davison hit me and just spun me round -- I don't know, maybe he got caught out by the spray, but I would have thought he'd have known better with his experience. It was very frustrating."
Despite his car's handling being affected by a broken wing -- caused by the incident with Davison -- James determinedly set about making up the lost ground. He rejoined the race last but inside a handful of laps had broken into the top 10. By the finish, he had made that eighth and was only a whisker from improving another position as he took the chequered flag.
James is next in British Formula 3 action in rounds three and four of the championship at Silverstone, Northamptonshire on Saturday 17th/Sunday 18th April.
British Formula 3 Championship Points: 1, Nelson Piquet Jnr (BRA), 32 points; 2, Adam Carroll (GBR); 21; 3, Clivio Piccione (MON), 20; 4, Ernesto Viso (VEN), 16; 5, JAMES ROSSITER (GBR), 15, etc.