Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Le Mans race notes

Dallara Mercedes driver Christian Klien won the 10th round of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Mans on Monday. The 20-year-old Rookie achieved his first victory in his 10th race in the championship, the second of the year for Mercedes-Benz....

Dallara Mercedes driver Christian Klien won the 10th round of the 2003 Formula 3 Euro Series at Le Mans on Monday. The 20-year-old Rookie achieved his first victory in his 10th race in the championship, the second of the year for Mercedes-Benz. His Mercedes-Benz colleague Bruno Spengler came home third behind Fabio Carbone (Dallara-Renault). In Sunday's race, Klien had finished second behind winner Nico Rosberg (Dallara-Opel). Christian Klien scored 19 points during the event and improved from fifth to third overall with a total of 37 points at the halfway point of the season. Ryan Briscoe (Dallara-Opel) leads with 65 ahead of Carbone with 38.

Race 1: Klien started from his second Formula 3 career pole position, but dropped to second after the start behind Rosberg. After 18 laps, Klien finished second 0.790sec behind the winner. The ASM team's Dallara Mercedes drivers Alexandre Premat and Olivier Pla had qualified sixth and seventh respectively. On the first lap, they changed positions and improved to fourth and fifth. They finished the race in the same positions. Their Canadian team mate Bruno Spengler ended up 11th. Markus Winkelhock (Team Mücke) improved by two spots from his tenth qualifying position and came home eighth. Team Kolles drivers Charles Zwolsman and Jan Heylen finished 10th and 15th respectively.

Race 2: At the start, Klien passed pole sitter Pla on the left side and improved from third on the grid to second. He drove side by side with Carbone, when the Brazilian made a mistake under braking and had a short off. Klien took the lead and retained it until the chequered flag after 18 laps. Spengler, fourth in qualifying, was passed by Briscoe at the start. When braking into the third corner, Spengler's and Briscoe's cars came together; the Australian went off and retired.

Spengler came home third. His ASM team mate Pla had qualified on pole position the second time this year achieving the sixth pole position for Mercedes-Benz in the 10th race of the season. However, he made a poor start and at the second corner he touched Spengler. As a consequence Pla suffered from a steering problem so that he dropped to eighth whilst his team mate Premat was fifth. On lap 16, they were seventh and eighth respectively, fighting in a group of five drivers, when their cars touched. Both went off and had to retire. Winkelhock collided with Rosberg on lap 1 so that both went off. Due to that incident, Winkelhock had a flat-spotted tyre and came home 18th. Zwolsman and Heylen finished 14th and 15th respectively.

Christian Klien (Mücke): "This was an almost perfect weekend with pole position and second place yesterday and my first win today. I'm really happy. It was very close at the start and I almost went off once. It was a difficult race in the heat, but I had everything under control."

Bruno Spengler (ASM): "I'm happy about my first podium finish in Formula 3. Unfortunately, braking into the third corner after the start, I could not avoid touching Briscoe. I apologised to him right after the race. In the end, I was faster than Carbone ahead of me, but before I was in a good position to attack, the race was over."

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Series F3 Europe
Drivers Ryan Briscoe , Nico Rosberg , Fabio Carbone , Bruno Spengler , Christian Klien , Olivier Pla , Jan Heylen , Alexandre Prémat , Charles Zwolsman