Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch (GB) Volkswagen driver Mika Maki wins at Brands Hatch Wolfsburg (05 September 2009). The Finn Mika Maki celebrated his first victory of the season in Saturday's race of the Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands...
Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch (GB)
Volkswagen driver Mika Maki wins at Brands Hatch
Wolfsburg (05 September 2009). The Finn Mika Maki celebrated his first victory of the season in Saturday's race of the Formula 3 Euro Series at Brands Hatch. The driver from Volkswagen's partner team Signature thus improved to fifth place in the standings of the ultra-competitive junior series. With Brendon Hartley (New Zealand/Carlin Motorsport) taking eight place, another driver "powered by Volkswagen" finished in the points.
After starting from second place on the grid, Maki took the lead as early as on the first lap and would not relinquish it again up to the finish despite pressure form pole sitter Valtteri Bottas (Finland, Dallara-Mercedes). After 39 laps Maki had about a half-second advantage over his compatriot. Brendon Hartley fought some nail-biting duels in the field of the rivals chasing the front runners and saw the chequered flag in eighth place. This meant that the 19-year-old secured the pole position for the race on Sunday when the top eight of the first race start in reverse order. Carlin Motorsport team-mate Jake Rosenzweig (USA) finished the round on the tradition-steeped British circuit as the runner-up. Jean Karl Vernay (Team Signature) clinched 13th place after an unfortunate qualifying that saw him take merely 17th on the grid. The Frenchman continues ranking fourth overall in the Formula 3 Euro Series.
The 13th round of the Formula 3 Euro Series season was overshadowed by a severe accident between the leader of the standings, Jules Bianchi (France, Dallara-Mercedes), and Tiago Geronimi from Team Signature. The two drivers had collided at the exit of the first turn on the tenth lap and crashed into the tyre stacks. The race was stopped by red flagging after the incident. Neither of the drivers sustained injuries. "Tiago is fine. The rescue took a little longer because the marshals wanted to be on the safe side," said Signature team boss Philippe Sinault. After a four-hour interruption the race was re-started and Mika Maki safely took his advantage across the finish line. The Signature squad is now hoping to also be able to repair the damaged car overnight before the second race.
Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director:
"Congratulations to Mika Maki and the Signature team on this victory. After most recently clinching two podium places, at Oschersleben and at the Nurburgring, Mika deserves being all the way on the top of the podium. Brands Hatch is a good track for Volkswagen. Last year we already clinched a one-two victory in the second race here. With Brendon Hartley's pole position we've again got a good starting base for the race on Sunday."
#3 - Mika Maki (FIN) - Volkswagen Dallara F308 - Team Signature
Qualifying: 2nd place - race 1: 1st place
"Finally having clinched my first victory of the season is fantastic. I really want to thank my team, Signature, and Volkswagen. Unfortunately, I had to wait for a long time for this to happen. We were very unlucky in the first races of the season but now we finally broke our duck. I don't think that this will have been my last win this year. My tremendous start was the key to success. After that, I just had to make sure not to make any mistakes and to finish the race in a controlled manner."