13 Jul Fortec four make progress at Zandvoort
The FIA Formula Three championship took to the Zandvoort circuit in Holland this weekend to contest the next rounds. Fortec increased its number of cars to four, with Zhi Cong Li entering the competition after a short break and Wing Ching Chang joining the Fortec team. Progress was made by each of the drivers in all three races, despite more safety car interruptions.
The first race of the weekend was safety car free, ensuring plenty of race action. Pietro Fittipaldi, starting in twenty-second, made the top twenty by charging through the grid in order to progress to seventeenth. Similarly, Matt Rao went on to finish the first race in twenty-second having started from thirty-first on the grid, progressing an impressive eleven places throughout the race duration. Newcomer, Chang, after starting behind Rao in thirty-second, and gained twelve positions to finish twentieth on the grid. Li crossed the line in twenty-sixth after starting at the back of the grid in thirty-fourth.
Despite two safety car intervention periods, the progress continued with the Fortec four. The first of the safety car periods took place shortly after the race had begun after Stroll and Leclerc collided on the main straight as the race got underway. After racing had resumed on lap four, Leclerc crashed into the Armco barriers due to the damage caused by the previous collision, causing the second safety car to be deployed just two laps later. Once the safety car had gone in on the start of lap eleven, the racing could get underway. Fittipaldi progressed five places in the limited time available after starting twenty-fifth and finishing twentieth. Rao gained eight places during the race, including overtaking team-mate Chang from thirty-first to cross the line in twenty-third. Chang crossed the line in twenty-sixth after starting the race in thirtieth while Li finished in thirty-first after starting in thirty-third.
Race three saw three safety car intervention periods which again hampered race action. On lap three, Solomon spun into the gravel trap and got stuck. In order for his car to be recovered, the safety car was deployed. Within two laps after the restart, a crash by Jensen brought out the safety car once more. Racing resumed on lap eleven, but soon after, Menezes and Pohler collided, which triggered the third safety car intervention. After the third restart, there were only three laps remaining. Despite these interruptions, Fittipaldi was able to gain eight positions after starting twenty-eighth and crossing the line in twentieth while Rao finished shortly behind in twenty-first after starting thirty-third, gaining an impressive twelve places. Chang finished the race in twenty-sixth, closely followed by Li in twenty-seventh having started in thirty-third.