Last weekend during the Masters of Formula 3 at the Zandvoort circuit, Henki Waldschmidt proved to be a thoroughbred racedriver. After a respectable free practise (P11) and an even better performance during qualifying (P10), the SG Formula driver...
Last weekend during the Masters of Formula 3 at the Zandvoort circuit, Henki Waldschmidt proved to be a thoroughbred racedriver. After a respectable free practise (P11) and an even better performance during qualifying (P10), the SG Formula driver clearly demonstrated to be one of the most promising young autosport talents in the Netherlands by fighting his way forward to sixth place. His boldest move without doubt was overtaking Jean Karl Vernay at the Tarzan corner (on the outside!) succesfully. Only too bad that both drivers locked their wheels thereafter, eliminating them both out of the race. Yet despite this mishap, the 20-year old driver from The Hague could leave Zandvoort with his head held high, having been the aboslute crowd favorite and the relevation of the weekend!
FREE PRACTISE AND QUALIFYING
With only half an hour between practise and qualifying sessions, Waldschmidt wisely decided to get to grips with the especially for this event fabricated Kumho Tyres. Since their composition and therefore performance was so very different from the ones used in the Formula 3 Euroseries, it was obvious that the key to good performance of the car would be with getting to know this particular compound as well as possible. As it was, Waldschmidt entered the double qualifying run with an eleventh fastest time during free practise, so he was quite positive in mind-set.
In his 18-person strong group of even-numbered drivers, Waldschmidt enthralled everyone by lapping the fifth fastest time during the half-hour session. In the course of the following A-qualifying (the 18 fastest in both groups) Waldschmidt seized a tenth spot on the starting grid of the prestigious event which returned to the typical dune circuit of Zandvoort after a two year lapse.
TANGO MASTERS OF FORMULA 3 RACE
Starting from tenth off the grid, Waldschmidt had a very good start which brought him before fellow country-man Renger van der Zande into the first corner. Though the 4,307 kilometre long circuit is not known for having many overtaking points, Waldschmidt clearly demonstrated that overtaking is indeed possible. Within a few laps and in full view of a score of international camerateams and thousands of spectators, he overtook three more competitors. But the icing on the cake really was his daring and succesful outbraking of Jean Karl Vernay in the famous Tarzan Corner. Around the outside! More the pity that in the next corner the wheels of both cars got locked, causing them both to spin off and out of the race. In Waldschmidt^Òs case big time, as his car literally torpedoed into the barriers. Henki could step out unscaved though and was able to receive the applause and appreciation of the crowds as partymaker of the Tango Masters of Formula 3 they deemed him to be!
HENKI WALDSCHMIDT: Of course I am disappointed to have dropped out of the race, but still I think I can look back with pride. The team and I tried to get to grips with the tyres as well as possible in order to maximalise our performance in qualifying. So I was satisfied with a tenth spot on the grid, though I do think we might have improved a bit more. After a terrific start, I could put full pressure on the guys in front of me and outbreaked them one after the other in the Audi curve. Which is one of the few overtaking points here. I admit that my overtaking move on Vernay was daring, but very possible. I was already in front of him exiting Tarzan, but still we hit each other going into Gerlach. End of story! Getting onto the podium was not possible, but I do think I might have progressed quite nicely. I would reckon that this race was a nice calling card!