Motorsport News - F3
Bernstorff shows great pace at a very wet Spa F3
31st July 2012
Ma-con Motorsports Emil Bernstorff enjoys an action packed weekend at the world renowned Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (27/28 July), as the FIA European Formula Three Championship rolled into the Belgium circuit supporting the Total 24hrs of Spa.
The 2011 McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year finalist, like many of the Euroseries runners initially struggled to get to grips with the Cooper Tires used by the British Formula Three International Series, leaving him with a qualifying performance of 20th and 17th of a 29-car field as he adjusted to the different characteristics of the tyres.
Bernstorff was immediately placed on the back foot in a dry race one, after the 19 year-old stalled his VW powered Dallara F312 on the start line, dropping back to 29th position in the fracas.
A determined Bernstorff quickly recovered to catch the pack of young chargers as they exited Les Combes for the first time, he then went on to pick off his counterparts one-by-one to finish the 30-minute race in a creditable 17th position by the chequered flag.
Saturday, 28th July, saw the heavens open at the Grand Prix venue just ten minutes before the second race of the weekend was due to start, and with three centimetres of rain falling in just ten minutes; officials were forced to cancel the race.
A wet race three turned out to be just as eventful as the first for the 2011 ADAC Formula Masters Vice Champion. Whilst lining up on the grid, Bernstorff stalled his car as his wet foot slipped off the clutch pedal but was able to restart his ma-con racer before the lights went out for the start of the race.
After Initially dropping two positions due to his frantic start, Bernstorff made the best of the very poor visibility to work his way up to 10th position by the finish line (fourth in the Invitational Class), whilst also proving to be one of the fastest drivers on the track when the rain intensified towards the end of the race.
A spin at Rivage did however halt Bernstorffs challenge on Daniel Juncadella for podium honours in the invitational class.
I really struggled to get to grips with the Cooper Tires in the dry said Bernstorff. They were difficult to get used to as a driver, and to set the car up to get the most out of the tyres, as we normally run on Hankooks in the FIA European Formula Three Championship.
We didnt qualify as well as I would have liked but I had a lot of fun in the races, progressing well in both. The second race of the weekend was in very difficult conditions but we showed great pace, if I hadnt had the spin at Rivage then I really think that I could have challenged Juncadella for third in the Invitational Class.
Things are coming along now in my first year of Formula Three. On the Hankook tyres the car now feels much better than at the beginning of the season and I'm confident that we can now start to consistently challenge at the front.
The FIA European Formula Three Championship will resume in three weeks time at Nurburgring situated in Germany
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