Round Six; Donington Park, England: The sixth round of the Italian Formula 3000 Championship took place this weekend at the site of the 1993 European Grand Prix, Donington Park, in Northern England. Derek was teamed up with Scottish-driver and...
Round Six; Donington Park, England:
The sixth round of the Italian Formula 3000 Championship took place this weekend at the site of the 1993 European Grand Prix, Donington Park, in Northern England. Derek was teamed up with Scottish-driver and 1999 Donington pole-sitter, Mark Shaw, at Team Da Vinci.
Having been up to sixth place in the race, Derek eventually finished in eighth. Qualifying had produced mediocre results as the team struggled to find grip on Donington's characteristically slippery surface. Derek secured 12th place on the grid having out-qualified his teammate by three positions.
"Qualifying showed promise in the beginning when we were sitting comfortably around the 6th and 7th spot after throwing on the new tires. We than made some changes to the car that didn't improve the handling. Unfortunately, we didn't gain on the second set of tires whereas many of the others did," Derek commented.
In the race, Derek made a superb start and was in 9th position by the end of the first lap. On the third lap several cars had a coming together at the last corner bringing out the safety car and catapulting Derek into 6th position. After the restart Derek challenged the fifth place car of Thomas Biagi going into the first corner and down through the Craner Curves. Right on his gearbox, Derek had slipped wide on the exit after running over some gravel that had been kicked onto the circuit, allowing two cars to pass. Having closed back on the seventh place car on several occasions and holding off a last lap challenge by teammate, Shaw, the Donington race was exciting to watch for the team and supporters.
"Derek made what was probably his best start so far in Formula 3000. It's good to see him racing aggressively and keeping it on the track. We were very close to scoring points this weekend, which would've been more than we could've expected having started 12th on the grid. This championship is very competitive this year and should be teaching Derek all he needs to make a strong move into the International F3000," commented team manager Andy Chisholm.
Race Results (16 finished out of 22): 1. Ricardo SPERIFICO (BRA) 2. Warren HUGHES (GBR) 3. Manuel GIAO (POR) 4. Rodrigo SPERIFICO (BRA) 5. Thomas BIAGI (ITA) 6. Gabriele LANCIERI (ITA) 7. Sacha BERT (GER) 8. Derek HILL (USA) 9. Mark SHAW (GBR) 10. Michele SPOLDI (ITA) 11. Gabriele GARDEL (SUI) 12. Danilo ROSSI (ITA) 13. Leonardo NIENKOTTER (BRA) 14. Yann GOUDY (FRA) 15. Salvatore TAVANO (ITA) 16. Viktor MASLOV (RUS)