JAKES & BUURMAN BOTH IN THE POINTS AT NURBURGRING British sensation James Jakes and Dutchace Yelmer Buurman both enjoyed points-scoring finishes for Manor Motorsport at the Nurburgring over the weekend, 1st/2nd September, during rounds 13 and 14...
JAKES & BUURMAN BOTH IN THE POINTS AT NURBURGRING
British sensation James Jakes and Dutchace Yelmer Buurman both enjoyed points-scoring finishes for Manor Motorsport at the Nurburgring over the weekend, 1st/2nd September, during rounds 13 and 14 of the Formula 3 Euroseries season respectively.
Following a lengthy five-week break since the previous two rounds of the campaign, the exception being the stand-alone BP Ultimate Masters event at Zolder which saw Chinese driver Cheng Cong Fu replace Swiss starlet Cyndie Allemann in the Manor camp, hopes were high for a strong outing this weekend at the famous German venue.
Saturday's 29-lap race proved to be a bittersweet event for the Dinnington squad as while Jakes raced to a strong fourth place finish, Buurman saw a potential points haul ripped from his grasp after being served with a drive-through penalty following a coming together with Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi.
Having qualified fourth for round 13, Jakes had hoped to challenge for a podium and eventually finished less than a second shy of third place. Starting seventh on the grid, Buurman too aimed for points but contact with Kobayashi, as a result of the ASM driver braking late, resulted in the race officials oddly deeming the Dutchman to be at fault.
Occurring just before mid-distance, the somewhat harsh penalty saw Buurman's race effectively ended although he did fight-back into 15th place at the finish. Frenchman Franck Mailleux, who started 12th on the grid for Manor, raced to a top 10 result while lady racer Allemann made good progress by climbing from 23rd to 17th place.
For Sunday's 14th round of the campaign, which sees the top eight on the grid determined by reversing the finishing order of Saturday's race, Yorkshireman Jakes would start from fifth place, Mailleux lined-up in 10th position, Buurman would start an uncharacteristically low 15th on the grid with Allemann just two spots further back.
Cyndie would unfortunately be involved in an off with another car on the opening lap of the race while Jakes didn't make the best of starts and slipped down to seventh place behind Buurman, the Dutchman having made an incredible getaway to scythe his way through eight positions on the first lap -- a truly awesome performance.
Mailleux slipped a couple of places to 12th after having to avoid a three-car collision at the chicane on lap one and only several tours later would it become clear debris had caused a slow puncture on the Frenchman's car. Forced to pit, the rookie F3 ace would eventually finish in 20th position, a lap down on the leaders.
Allemann also fell a lap behind after her own troubles, the Swiss racer ending round 14 one place ahead of team-mate Mailleux with both drivers hoping for a much more problem-free outing during the next race meeting three weeks from now.
Near the front, the battle between Buurman, Jakes and Dutch driver Renger van der Zande raged for the entire 28-lap race with some outstanding action. While Jakes ran close to the tail of his fellow Manor driver, the British ace came under incredible pressure from van der Zande which he soaked up amazingly.
On several occasions Jakes was forced to defend down the straight towards the first corner but the most pressurised moment came on the penultimate lap, the trio of cars running three abreast towards turn one.
Jakes was actually classified just ahead of Buurman into lap 27 but the latter managed to emerge at the front of the trio on the run to turn two, Jakes slotting back into seventh ahead of van der Zande who ran wide on the exit of the first corner. Buurman took the last championship point in sixth with Jakes just half a second behind in seventh.
Commenting on the weekend's action, Manor team boss John Booth said: "Yelmer had a great race today from 15th on the grid to sixth -- you can't ask for much more than that. It was such a shame he was given the drive-through in Saturday's race as he was going well in seventh, it wasn't a fair decision at all as (Kamui) Kobayashi just braked late.
"James had a good weekend, fourth yesterday was a great result and especially when you consider it's his first time at the Nurburgring. Today it was just the start which caused him problems but he had a terrific race with Yelmer and (Renger) van der Zande.
"It was a shame Cyndie and Franck ended the weekend on a low note, neither of them were at fault and both of them drove well. Franck picked up a puncture which we think could have been when he had to avoid the collision at the chicane on lap one. He got back out into the race but, like Cyndie, from a lap down there was nothing he could do."
The 15th and 16th rounds of the Formula 3 Euroseries season will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, three weeks from now on 22nd/23rd September.