Liam Venter battled through to take a historic podium result during the seventh and penultimate round in the 2013 European Formula 3 Open championship at Monza in Italy last weekend (October 5-6).
Venter, who is competing with Team West-Tec this season and running in the highly competitive Copa class, has had a difficult run of events of late. However, he was determined to put that behind him and encouragingly finished strong in practice on Friday, setting the third fastest time in class in FP3.
Although he then had a few problems in qualifying, he still managed to post a time that left him sixth, and from there he stormed through the pack in race one to secure second in his powered by Scala F308 Dallara.
It was the first time a South African single-seater driver has stood on the Monza podium since Jody Scheckter back in 1979, the year of his F1 title triumph.
“It was a good day all round on Saturday for me. We got a good start and I then kept my nose clean and powered through to P2,” said Venter.
“It was nice to get back up on the podium, especially at Monza, which is such a famous circuit and has such a great history.
“It is also special to think I am the first South African single-seater driver to have stood up there in more than 30 years.”
“We sorted a few things out between the last event at Spa-Francorchamps and now, so a big thanks to all at Team West-Tec, and to Craig [Dolby, my driving coach] for his help too. It is looking good again,” added the Accelerate Driver Development Ltd (ADD)-affiliated youngster.
Venter will now conclude his campaign in the 2013 European Formula 3 Open championship next month, when the series heads to Barcelona in Spain for the eighth and final round (November 9-10).