Cassidy holds of Gunther for maiden European F3 win

Autosport

Nick Cassidy finally took his maiden Formula 3 European Championship race win after holding off team-mate Maximilian Gunther all the way.

The New Zealander, last year’s Japanese F3 champion, got a better start than polesitter Callum Ilott that allowed him to edge to the Briton’s inside on the run to Tarzanbocht.

Ilott attempted to cling on around the outside, but his lost momentum allowed Gunther into second position.

The leading Prema Powerteam pair, who were both using new tyres all-round, extended an advantage over Ilott, who was on four used Hankooks.

But just as Gunther narrowed the gap to within half a second at quarter-distance, so Ilott began to close on Gunther so that the trio ran in relatively close formation.

At midway Ilott’s Van Amersfoort Racing car began to fall away again as his tyres faded, while Cassidy finally got his leading advantage out to over a second with six laps remaining.

“To nail the start was a pretty cool feeling,” said Cassidy, “but from Turn 1 it wasn’t an easy race.

“Maxi was very fast and could keep up for the first half of the race and then some.

“It was a case of not using up the tyres so I had enough to push at the end.

“It [the first win] feels well overdue – this one’s for the team and all who’ve stuck by me; ever since I came in at the end of last year we gelled really well.”

The second VAR machine of Anthoine Hubert gave vain chase to the top three throughout, the Norisring winner netting a comfortable fourth place.

Carlin’s Alessio Lorandi continued his strong weekend with fifth.

Lorandi initially had to keep Prema rookie Ralf Aron and Mucke Motorsport’s David Beckmann at bay in the early laps, but the Italian drew away into a lonely race.

Beckmann rarely gave Aron respite, but the Estonian hung on for sixth.

Hitech GP pair Ben Barnicoat – who had a strong first lap from 11th on the grid – and George Russell circulated in tandem throughout and the British pair gained on Aron and Beckmann in the closing stages to make it a quartet, before they dropped back again in the last couple of laps.

Force India Formula 1 tester Nikita Mazepin completed arguably his best F3 race yet to claim the final point and complete a Hitech 8-9-10 on the road, but a five-second penalty for being out of position on the grid elevated Joel Eriksson to the final point.

Championship leader Lance Stroll ran behind fellow penalised back-row starter Sergio Sette Camara – the duo 17th and 18th in the 20-car field – for just over half the race, before retiring to the paddock with a damaged diffuser from running wide just after he had dropped to 19th behind Guan Yu Zhou.

RACE TWO RESULT

PosDriverTeamCarLapsGap
1Nick CassidyPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes2335m01.732s
2Maximilian GuntherPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes231.136s
3Callum IlottVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes234.800s
4Anthoine HubertVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes237.106s
5Alessio LorandiCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2316.559s
6Ralf AronPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes2320.982s
7David Beckmannkfzteile Mucke MotorsportDallara/Mercedes2321.352s
8Ben BarnicoatHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2322.050s
9George RussellHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2322.809s
10Joel ErikssonMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2326.701s
11Niko KariMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2327.285s
12Harrison NeweyVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes2327.974s
13Mikkel Jensenkfzteile Mucke MotorsportDallara/Mercedes2329.003s
14Ryan TveterCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2329.420s
15Nikita MazepinHitechGPDallara/Mercedes2330.257s
16Pedro PiquetVan Amersfoort RacingDallara/Mercedes2330.279s
17Sergio Sette CamaraMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2330.859s
18Guan Yu ZhouMotoparkDallara/Volkswagen2336.910s
19Weiron TanCarlinDallara/Volkswagen2340.270s
Lance StrollPrema PowerteamDallara/Mercedes15Retirement

Cassidy holds of Gunther for maiden European F3 win

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