16 Jul Solid result for Fortec at the Norisring
13th-14th July, Norisring – The FIA Formula Three European Championship held their sixth event of the season at the Norisring, Germany last weekend. Fortec Motorsports Felix Serralles and Pipo Derani had a strong weekend, both qualifying in the top ten for all three races and having solid races to take home more points towards the championship.
Serralles, who is still recovering from a back injury sustained in an incident at the Silverstone round, got off to a good start in race one. The young Puerto Rican started in third whilst team-mate Derani slotted into ninth from tenth off the grid.
As the race played out Serralles continued to run a strong race in fourth. Derani pulled off some great moves and had moved up into seventh, just as a safety car was called out for an incident between Mitchell Gilbert (Muke Motorsport) and Sean Gelael (Double R Racing).
On the restart, Derani pulled away from eighth placed Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational) with Serralles chasing the front of the pack in fourth. A second safety car was then deployed due to a collision at the back of the grid.
The restart saw Derani once again having a strong race, fighting well and fairly with Blomqvist up until the chequered flag. Derani came out on top however despite a top-ten finish, post race six drivers were awarded a 20-second time penalty for yellow flag infringements, unfortunately seeing Derani slip down into fifteenth. Serralles also had a great race and kept a steady pace to cross the line in fourth taking points towards the championship.
The 2.3 kilometre circuit of the Norisring yet again played host to an action packed race. Race two of the day saw a great result, with Serralles and Derani both finishing inside the top six.
Serralles, starting from fifth, had a strong start. Team-mate Derani, who had started from ninth on the grid, also made a sterling getaway and was hot on Serralles tail.
The young Fortec drivers battled it out cleanly for fifth place, with Derani coming out on top and taking home vital points towards his championship title campaign. Meanwhile once again having a solid race was Serralles who crossed the line just behind his Fortec team-mate in sixth, taking his second top sixth finish of the day.
Sunday saw the third and final race at the Norisring. Derani and Serralles had both qualified in the top-ten and powered off the start line from ninth and tenth respectively. For Serralles the start was not to go plan as he bogged down slipping into 21st, whilst Derani moved up into eighth.
Within just a few laps Serralles was picking up pace rapidly and by lap nine had moved into seventeenth. He continued to chase the pack up front and had picked them off to sit in thirteenth by the end of lap 27. Just as it looked as if Serralles would break into the top ten, an incident with Jann Mardenborough saw Serralles back in the pits and out of the race.
For Derani, an earlier move saw the young Brazilian slot into seventh as he took two cars at the hairpin. He then maintained his position up until the chequered flag taking points for seventh.
Reflecting on his race weekend Derani commented: “I believe that it has been a really good race weekend, we were always in the top seven and the car has been great. We showed we had the pace and I hope we can keep this for the next rounds.”
Andi Scott, Team Manager added: “Both Felix and Pipo had very strong performances on this difficult street track. We narrowly missed pole by two thousandths of a second and were very competitive in all three races. Now the team is looking forward to the next round of the British championship at Spa.”