Raikkonen Robertson Racing endured a tough outing at Spa-Francorchamps as the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series headed to Belgium for the latest rounds of the season.
Despite the strong showing in qualifying – with Daisuke Nakajima eighth and Carlos Huertas ninth - hopes of a strong finish in the first race of the weekend were dashed early on in Friday afternoon, after Huertas stalled on the grid as the cars began their parade lap. Managing to get away after a few seconds, Huertas made his way through the field to take his original starting position as the cars filed onto the grid for the race start.
All three Raikkonen Robertson cars – with Kevin Chen in the third car for the weekend - made it down to the first corner, but on the exit Nakajima tangled with Riki Christodoulou and Walter Grubmuller, putting him into instant retirement.
Meanwhile team-mate Huertas was running a strong race; taking fifth place early on the young driver had somewhat of a lonely race. Finishing fifth on the road, Huertas was later handed a one minute penalty for taking his original grid position, as the rules stipulated that once all cars have left the grid, stranded cars must line up at the back of the grid for the start. That penalty put Huertas 17th overall, making Chen the top Raikkonen Robertson car in 15th place.
In race two, all three Raikkonen Robertson drivers made it round the first lap safely, with Huertas making up one place to move up to fourth, while Nakajima was caught out by the partially wet track; running wide at Pouhon. The Japanese racer stayed clear of the barriers however to rejoin in 16th place. A clash with Henry Arundel on lap two saw Huertas drop to 13th place, leaving the young Colombian with plenty to do in the remaining laps.
As rain started to fall again on lap five, both Nakajima and Huertas excelled in the tricky conditions, overtaking numerous drivers as they made their way through the field. Huertas made his way past his team-mate to cross the line in seventh place with Nakajima eighth and Chen 15th for the second time.
“It was a tough weekend in Spa,” Huertas said. “I feel like I was really unlucky to lose fifth place in the first race on Friday, but I guess rules are rules. Conditions were really difficult in the race on Saturday and it's such a long lap at Spa that it can be dry in one part of the rack and wet in another. I had contact with Arundel early on which lost me a load of places which I wasn't happy about, but I had a great drive back through the field. I think we had a good car this weekend, but unfortunately the results don't really reflect that.”