Canadian open wheel racer ends the 2010 rookie season with two top tens and his best results of the year St. Catharines, Ontario - Gianmarco Raimondo, Canadian formula car racer, completed an amazing weekend of racing action at the...
Canadian open wheel racer ends the 2010 rookie season with two top tens and his best results of the year
St. Catharines, Ontario - Gianmarco Raimondo, Canadian formula car racer, completed an amazing weekend of racing action at the world re-known Monza Circuit located near the town of Monza, Italy, home to the 2010 Formula One Italian Grand Prix. Raimondo had a stellar weekend that began with pre-event official testing the week before. The Italian Formula 3 series has become a hot bed of incredible racing featuring huge grids and amazing competition. The Lucidi Motors driver shook off two up and down weekends to post a fantastic run on the ultimate weekend of racing on the 2010 calendar. Official series pre-event testing for the final round went very well for Raimondo, his first trip to the legendary facility. Gmo would see the longer, faster track run much like the Circuit de Gilles Villineuve, in Montreal. The lower aero on the car makes it a lot more challenging and the drivers can really see the true mechanical grip of the F3 car, which is quite impressive.
"I have quickly learnt that drafting plays a big part on the time sheets at Monza. However for one to draft properly, you need to be extremely lucky because it has to be timed well with your pace and traffic ahead," comments Raimondo. "I am very excited to race here because I am able to pass at almost every corner and the draft gives us 10km/h more down the straights. I am also excited because it is the most famous circuit in Italy and one of the most famous tracks in F1. It was be a privilege to drive and race on this track."
Heading into the race weekend Raimondo looked to take the momentum from testing into the race weekend. In official weekend practice he would go 11th quickest in session one and then 12th quickest in session two. Following practice, the team prepped for qualifying, confident that Raimondo could better his practice times. In qualifying Gmo would step up to run quicker and secure a top ten in qualifying position with a tenth place result on the time sheets.
"I managed to obtain my best qualifying position of the year with a 10th, however was held up on one of my best laps in the last corner, the Parabolica," states Raimondo. "In the end it all comes down to the race and in Monza the grid will be a lot different from the beginning to the end."
And two great races would be in the works for the young driver. Looking to cap off a solid rookie campaign in European formula car racing, Raimondo completed race one in fantastic fashion making the most of every opportunity to close in on the lead group in the latter stages. In the first race Gmo went from 10th to 12th and finally to fifth for most of the race. On the last lap, Raimondo got caught up in between two other drivers in the last corner, the Parabolica. Gmo was then forced to give up one position to make the corner, however he still made contact with the driver on outside. It was a drag race to the line for 5th. At the line Gmo would cross in sixth place, his best finish of the season. Heading into race two with loads of confidence and new found experience Raimondo ran a great race to take a second top ten on the weekend and cross the stripe in 8th place.
"Monza was my best weekend of the season by far, top ten qualifying and finishing well in the points for both races and getting my 3rd place in the rookie championship as a result," smiles the St. Catharines native. "It was also a weekend where I had one of the best and hardest races of my life. The second race was a bit disappointing for me even though I placed well, as I had a lot of potential. I was losing too much straight-line speed due to excessive aero. Unfortunately we didn't anticipate the racing situation well enough to prevent it."
With 16 rounds of racing action completed over eight weekends at some of Italy's most famous tracks, Raimondo would settle into 16th in the Overall Championship among nearly 30 runners. In the coveted Rookie Championship Raimondo would hit the top three taking third in the final tally.
"It's a shame the season was finishing right when I was starting to move up the grid," comments Raimondo. "This weekend will give me a lot of motivation towards next year and confidence knowing I can compete with the top group. It was an incredible learning year."