04 May Mixed results in Hockenheim
The FIA Formula 3 European Championship held its second round in Hockenheim this weekend and Fortec Motorsports driver Mitchell Gilbert was delighted to post his first points of the season. For teammate John Bryant-Meisner it was a weekend of misfortunes. The Swedish racer was left frustrated after more than his fair share of bad luck at Hockenheim, he was forced into a wing change in two similar incidents in Race 1 and 3, effectively ending both races early.
For Mitch Gilbert a great start saw the 19-year old finish sixth in the first race and secure eight championship points. For teammate Bryant-Meisner the race was not to go his way. Off the start the young racer went into the back of the driver in front of him after he slowed down sharply at the hairpin. His front wing was badly damaged and he was forced to go in to change, leaving him in last place by the end of the race.
Gilbert began race two in 13th place and again got off to a great start. He was 9th until the penultimate lap and catching up to the battle for sixth, when the safety car came out. He was overtaken soon after and in 10th place with a lap to go. Unfortunately, he became stuck in first gear and just dropped out of the points, finishing 11th. For Bryant-Meisner race 2 was much better, however problems with his brake and grip left him unable to really get going, seeing him cross the line in 13th.
The third and final race of the weekend saw Gilbert began race 3 in 14th place, gaining great pace and sitting in eighth around the half way mark. However large number of the drivers, including Gilbert, were given a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits. This left him in 21st place, so he was pleased to finish 14th by the end of the race.
Teammate Bryant-Meisner got off to a great start in race 3, but he and two other drivers touched on the first corner and he was left with another collapsed wing that forced him to go in to change once more. He finished crossed the line in 19th, but some brilliant lap times saw something positive to take away from the weekend.
Reflecting on the weekend Bryant Meisner said: “The weekend was pretty tough, generally the speed was good. We had really good speed in practice and the qualifying, but we couldn’t get clean races unfortunately. In 2 races we damaged the front wing on the first lap after running comfortably in the top 10, and in the other race we struggled a lot with the car. It was a tough weekend that didn’t go as we wanted it to really but we’ve found quite a bit of pace since the testing and the first race!