Lee Finishes Fourth at Hockenheim In Italian Formula 3 Race SYOSSET, N.Y., June 23 - Americans have someone to cheer for and something to cheer about this year on the tough Italian Formula 3 circuit, a series which has produced several Formula 1...
Lee Finishes Fourth at Hockenheim In Italian Formula 3 Race
SYOSSET, N.Y., June 23 - Americans have someone to cheer for and something to cheer about this year on the tough Italian Formula 3 circuit, a series which has produced several Formula 1 drivers.
The American they can cheer for in that series is 20-year-old Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y.
What they have to cheer about is that Lee finished a solid fourth in a 28-car field in the series' recent race on the famous Hockenheim circuit in Germany. The accomplishment made many Europeans sit up and take notice of Lee, who Americans know from Formula BMW USA, Firestone Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic events.
Lee qualified fifth in the rain for the race in which he would later finish fourth. The race itself was held in dry conditions.
"They do standing starts and my start wasn't bad; I think I lost just one position," Lee recalled. "Then two guys crashed in Turn 3 to bring out a yellow. On the restart I was able to break away from the people behind me, and then I just stayed there.
"I didn't have the car to catch the three drivers ahead of me and the guy behind me wasn't catching me, so I just tried to be consistent and bring it home," Lee said.
"It was fun; the track was really nice. I liked Turn 6 a lot. It's a really fast right-hander," he added.
"I'm also pleased that we did so well on a track that I'd never seen before," he noted.
Lee has tested at all the other tracks he'll face this year on the circuit, including the one he'll visit next, Imola. He races there over the Fourth of July weekend.
The season opener was in Misano, Italy. Following Imola, subsequent races will be held in Mugello, Varano, Vallelunga and Monza. The series started in April and concludes in October.
"The tracks are in the middle of the towns in Italy, so we should get even more spectators there than we did at Hockenheim," Lee said. "I'm enjoying the series. I've been driving a Mygale. They're nice for a car that only has 220 horsepower. They go 140 on the straights everywhere."
Lee has been driving an orange and black car, No. 52, fielded by Alan Racing.
"The actual racing is a little different, because they have a little more defensive driving tactics over there than what is allowed in America," Lee noted. "The language differences haven't been a problem because at the track everyone speaks English. The test in France was tough though, because no one spoke English there. But there are a lot of racing fans in Italy. They have a lot of national pride, but they're treating me well. The races are televised in Italy, and they're on YouTube too."