DRIVER NEWS: Maro Engel continues his 2007 British F3 campaign at the Donington circuit in Derbyshire this weekend, two weeks after winning the season opener at Oulton Park.
The 21 year-old German dominated proceedings in the first race of the season; taking pole position and leading the race from start to finish after just two days of pre-season testing. With a victory in race one and a fifth place in race two, the Mercedes backed driver heads to Donington second in the championship, with a total of 28 points.
The Derbyshire track holds special memories for Engel, as it was the venue of his first British F3 podium position last year. The Donington circuit is one of the faster tracks on the British F3 calendar. It is also a high downforce track which means overtaking is difficult on the long straights. Cars lose large amounts of downforce when following the car in front too closely, so overtaking has to be well planned with the track’s slow corners a favourite spot for passing.
Speaking about his first race of the season Engel commented, “We went to Oulton Park fighting for a win, but even so it was extremely rewarding to win the first race. I think the fact that we took pole position and led the race throughout showed that it wasn’t a fluke and that we have the pace to challenge for the championship.
“Donington is quite a fast circuit, with some flowing corners. Like Oulton Park, it’s important to get a good exit from each corner, as that sets you up for the next bend, so it helps to be consistent and smooth. It’s also a low grip circuit, so set-up plays a very big part in getting the most from the tyres. After suffering with our tyres in race two at Oulton, this is something we will be focusing on this weekend.”
Despite a great start to his season, Engel is no rush to think about championship standings. “I’m taking the season race by race. We’re looking for two podium finishes at Donington and should be capable of fighting for race wins.”
Engel will be on track for first qualifying at 11.20 on Saturday, followed by qualifying for race two at 15.40. Racing action will commence at 12.30 on Sunday and 15.50 for race two.