TEAM NEWS: Another second place for Engel at Silverstone
TEAM NEWS: Maro Engel completed a strong weekend with another second place at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire this afternoon to reclaim second in the championship. 21 year-old Engel drove a faultless race to take his second podium position of the day. Alberto Valerio and Sam Bird both had eventful races, demonstrating some of the best racing seen all weekend. Niall Breen continued his consistent form to take another point scoring position in ninth.
Mario Moraes’ race was over before it begun after being penalised for a jump start and crossed the line 19th.
Fellow Brazilian Alberto Valerio had a lightening start, and was up to sixth by the end of lap one. By lap four, F3 rookie Sam Bird had also made up a number of places and was closing up on team mate Alberto Valerio. However, the young rookie soon had to turn his attention to a charging Stephen Jelley behind him. Valerio meanwhile was still looking ahead and had Sebastian Hohenthal in his sights, passing the Fortec driver on lap 11 to move up to sixth place. Demonstrating great race pace, Valerio was soon closing on Gonzalez, and after a close battle made his way past on lap 21 to take fifth place.
Speaking about his second place, Engel said, “I had a good start, a little better than Marko [Asmer] I think, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite good enough to get past him. I got very close to him in Becketts on the first lap, but couldn’t quite make the move stick. Then he just started pulling away and I didn’t quite have the pace to stay with him.
“Towards the end, Greg [Mansell] started to close up on me; I had a few problems making my way though the back markers, they just didn’t see me coming, which was very frustrating. I think Greg made up something like a three second gap in three corners! I think we have to be fairly pleased with this weekend, the team did a great job and gave me a good car to drive, but second is the best we could do today. We’ll be looking to get back on the top step at Thruxton.”
Valerio, who moves up to seventh in the championship, commented, “The start was quite difficult from the left hand side of the grid, but I got away from the line ok. It can be very difficult to overtake here, the high down force set up makes it difficult, but I finally managed to get past Hohenthal and then Gonzalez in Beckets. Unfortunately I spent too many laps behind other drivers and my front tyres were ruined. When I did have a bit of free track, I couldn’t get the most out of the tyres, but other than that the car felt good.”
Team Principal Trevor Carlin added, “I think we have to be happy with how this weekend has gone; this isn’t typically a good circuit for us, so to come away with two podium positions is a good result. Maro drove another strong and mature race. Alberto more than made up for the disappointment of this morning’s race with a great race this afternoon. Sam also had a good race to make up four places and finish sixth. Niall confirmed his position as the second fastest rookie with another point scoring position. Unfortunately Mario’s jump start and subsequent penalty put him out of contention early on. We’re looking forward to the next round at Thruxton; one of the team’s favourite circuits, where we’ll be aiming for race wins.”