Open Winter Series: Racing Engineering race notes

Borja Garcia - hot driver in cold conditions! This weekend the Open Formula 3 Winter Series took place at the circuit of Albacete and Racing Engineering participated with its three drivers Borja Garcia (ESP), Maria de Villota (ESP) and Emmanuel...

Borja Garcia - hot driver in cold conditions!

This weekend the Open Formula 3 Winter Series took place at the circuit of Albacete and Racing Engineering participated with its three drivers Borja Garcia (ESP), Maria de Villota (ESP) and Emmanuel Piget (FRA). The first race, won by Rosberg, who was competing with a Euro F3 car, which is more powerful than the Spanish Formula 3 Toyota cars, saw Borja Garcia in an excellent second place. His teammate Emmanuel Piget finished fifth, Maria de Villota in seventh position. In the second race that was held under wet conditions, Borja Garcia again went on the podium as second whereas Emmanuel Piget and Maria de Villota did not finish.

Race 1:

Borja Garcia, the young Spaniard, went into the race from third position as he lost precious time in the 20 minute qualifying session in the morning when he had to come into the pits to change a punctured tyre. Borja's goal for this weekend was to finish the race right behind Rosberg and therefore he kept pushing throughout the race. In lap fourteen, Borja overtook Alvaro Barba. He finished the race in second place and crossed the finish line before any other Spanish F3 car.

Emmanuel Piget, the Frenchman, who didn't drive a Formula 3 car before and didn't know the Albacete track, impressed everyone with his great start into the race from position eight. He overtook three cars and finished lap one already fifth, the position he kept throughout the entire race. Racing Engineering is very happy about the debut of this young talent.

Maria de Villota, who's very clear goal for this weekend was less the results on the timesheets than the work done together with the team, went into the first race from ninth position and kept this place at the start. In lap six Maria overtook Villa and gained position eight. Maria, who showed a solid performance, moved up another position two laps before the end when Marco Barba spun in front of her. Maria finished the race seventh.

Race 2:

Shortly before the race heavy sleet started and therefore the race was declared a wet race. Borja Garcia, going into the race second and knowing about his qualities in the wet, was already looking forward to another good performance in direct competition with the two Formula 3 Euroseries drivers starting from first and third position.

Borja immediately overtook Rosberg, who had a problem at the start, and took over first position. Borja could defend the lead until lap 5, when Rosberg, driving a more powerful car, overtook him. He impressed everyone by keeping the gap to Rosberg minimal and even marking the fastest lap time in the race in lap fifteen. Zuber, the other driver in a F3 Euroseries car finishing in third position, was more than 40 seconds behind Racing Engineering's Borja Garcia, who repeated his amazing result from race 1 and finished second.

Emmanuel Piget started into the race from fifth position and gained one place at the start. He ran in fourth position until Barba overtook him in lap 7. Emmanuel went off the track and got stuck in the gravel in lap 11 and therefore could not underline his talent with a result as good as in race 1.

Maria de Villota was sixth on the starting grid and went off the track in the first lap. With her car stuck in the gravel she could not continue the race.

After the Sunday qualifying sessions and races Maria de Villota stated, "In the first race I had a driver in front of me who made me slow down. Like this the group of drivers running in fifth and sixth position could increase the gap. I could then reduce the gap, but there were not enough laps left to improve the results. In the second race I went off, but I am already looking forward to the tests we will have during the next weeks."

Emmanuel Piget after his first outing in a Formula 3 car said, "For me this was the first time I drove on this on this track and with a Formula 3 car. It is very different from a Formula Renault car, so had to learn while racing. This is a really, really good car, it is a real race car! I am content with the result of the first race. In the second race I pushed too much and touched the grass beside the track with the tyres and went off."

Borja Garcia after a successful weekend announced, "In both races I had a very good start and in race one I stayed behind Barba in third position. But with each lap my car went better and faster. I overtook Barba and kept second position until the end. I am very happy with my mechanics. They did a great job on Saturday when they had to change the engine of my car and worked all night. I am also very happy with my engineer, who supplied me with a great car.

"Sadly during the qualifying sessions as the engine was new, it did not yet perform at its best. In race two I also had a very good start and was first. I immediately pushed very hard and tried to get away from my competitors. Rosberg was the only one who could follow me and passed me in lap five at the end of the straight. I was always close behind him and actually marked the fastest time in the race in lap fifteen. I am very happy about these two second places as I met my goal being the fastest of all Spanish Formula 3 drivers. I was very close to Rosberg, and I was ahead of his teammate Zuber -- and they are both running a newer and more powerful car."

Alfonso de Orleans, president, stated, "I'm amazed by Borja's talent! I knew he was good, but not this good. The team did an excellent job. Also Maria and Emmanuel did quite well, sadly the rain caught them off guard. I really like Maria's driving style."


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About this article
Series F3
Drivers Maria de Villota , Borja Garcia , Marco Barba
Teams Racing Engineering