More points for Henkie, best qualifying time for Andrea The SG Formula team has acquired the pleasing habit of giving us something to cheer about at every meeting of the highly competitive Formula 3 Euro Series, in the process cementing its ...
More points for Henkie, best qualifying time for Andrea
The SG Formula team has acquired the pleasing habit of giving us something to cheer about at every meeting of the highly competitive Formula 3 Euro Series, in the process cementing its position as one of the favoured outsiders for the championship. At Zandvoort, Henkie Waldschmidt staged a great recovery in the first race, bagging three points for coming in sixth. Unfortunately, he moved off before the starting lights on the race 2 grid went out when he was sitting in third place. His team mate Andrea Caldarelli returned from the Netherlands with the satisfaction of having for the first time hoisted himself into the Top 10 during qualifying.
Both SG Formula Dallara-Mercedes showed themselves to be competitive in the qualifying trials, witness the brilliant 10th best time set by the rookie Andrea Caldarelli. The Italian had already recorded the 19th best time at the Lausitzring and the 17th best time at the Norisring, so this was clearly a step up. Henkie Waldschmidt on the other hand just could not get going and his 13th place was not up to his usual standard. Happily, he was to put this poor performance behind him by producing a faultless race No 1 in front of his home public.
In Saturday afternoon's race, he got away to a good start, avoiding the pile-up at the first "Tarzan" turn, and quickly established a lead over Rosenzweig before comfortably passing the chequered flag. His 6th place saw him placed in the second row on the reverse grid for race 2. Andrea knows only too well the agony of having to abandon a race, having been caught up in the pile-up involving Maki, Coletti and Geronimi. Since its rookie driver was in desperate need of actual experience in race conditions and in the light of his 22nd place on the grid, the team decided, by agreement with the management of Toyota Driver program, to allow him to start from the pits for race 2.
Andrea was thus able to avoid any risk of early collision and set off with the sole aim of acquiring race experience. His recorded 7th best time in the race is proof of his driving potential and that of his single-seater. Henkie had quite something else in mind that Sunday morning; he was aiming at his first F3 podium appearance and the first of the 2009 season for his team. This hope evaporated when he moved before the start. The penalty in such cases is a drive through, meaning in his case relegation to the 17th place in the standings. "Andrea's race performance led us to believe that, in starting 3rd, Henkie could really achieve something big", team manager Stephane Guerin said ruefully.
The winding East German Oschersleben circuit will mark the end of the first half of the season (1stand 2nd August).