18 Aug Derani takes maiden podium finishes
17th -18th August 2013, Nurburgring – The FIA F3 European Championship was back with a bang at the Nurburgring this weekend. Fortec’s Pipo Derani had his best weekend to date, taking two podiums finishes and a top ten whilst team-mate Felix Serralles also had a strong race weekend.
Race one of the weekend saw Derani starting from fifth, with Serralles just behind in eighth. As the lights went out Derani’s start didn’t go to plan as he slipped back into sixth behind Lucas Auer (Prema Powerteam), whilst Serralles maintained his eighth place position.
As the race continued Derani pushed to take fifth, but with little room to make a move to overtake the young Brazilian focused on staying out of trouble. Behind, a battle was brewing for eighth as Serralles fought to defend his position from a chasing Sven Muller (Ma-Con). For Puerto-Rican Serralles the battle was to go in his favour as he held onto eighth place up until the chequered flag just behind Derani who crossed the line in sixth.
The second race of the FIA F3 European Championship saw Fortec’s Pipo Derani take the second step of the podium after a magnificent drive from third off the grid. Team-mate Felix Serralles took a strong eighth place finish.
Starting in third, behind championship contenders Felix Rosenqvist (Mucke Motorsport) and Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam), Derani knew a good start would be the key to success. As the lights went out Rosenqvist stalled on the start-line and Derani seized the opportunity to power through into second.
As the race continued Derani chased Marciello, and after a brief safety car period saw the field bunch up, the gap between the two was reduced. However it also saw Alexander Sims (Threebond with T-Sport) push from third and Derani needing to defend his position.
Derani soaked up the pressure of Sims, putting in a stunning performance to keep him at bay and maintain his second place up until the chequered flag.
The final race of the weekend saw another great result for Brazilian Derani as he took the third step of the podium. After a coming together on the opening laps, Serralles fought his way back up the grid to cross the line in twelfth.
Starting in fifth Derani had a great start, staying out of several incidents that saw numerous drivers retire. Serralles was not so lucky as he made had a coming together with Sims and Kvyat, sending him to the back of the grid. As a result the clerk of the course sent the safety car out, bunching the grid up together. However at the re-start Derani maintained third place and was on the hunt to chase down Auer in second.
Derani continued to hold his own in third up to the chequered flag, claiming his second podium position of the weekend and seeing him move into ninth in the overall championship standings. For Serralles a great drive from the back of the grid saw him work his way through the field to cross the line in twelfth.
Commenting after the race weekend Derani said:
“This weekend was great. The team have been working a lot on the car over the brief calendar break and have made some big improvements. We’ve been quick all weekend and we’ll keep pushing in the rest of the rounds. To be twice on the podium is really good, I’m really happy.”