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Euro: Rookie Sims celebrates first F3 victory
16 August 2009
British driver Alexander Sims underlined his potential for the future by recording a maiden Formula Three victory in the second Euroseries race of the weekend on the 3.629km Nürburgring sprint circuit.
The reigning McLaren
BRDC Young Driver of the Year overtook Mucke Motorsport team-mate Christian Vietoris on the run to turn one and, although his initial attempts to break away were thwarted by a safety car - to cover a collision involving Pedro Enrique (Manor Motorsport), Basil Shaaban (Prema Powerteam) and Nick Tandy (Kolles & Heinz Union) - he eventually managed to open out a near four-second cushion over the polesitter.
“It was a good day for me," Sims, who graduated from Formula Renault over the winter, admitted, "The important things were my good start and the fact that Christian left enough room for me in the first corner. In the second half of the race, I was able to pull clear and drive a relatively safe victory home.”
Vietoris, who still harbours title hopes despite the dominance of ART's Jules Bianchi in recent races, had inherited pole after finishing in eighth position on Saturday, but had no answer to Sims' start, and was content to rake in a solid haul of points with one eye on the bigger picture.
“Alexander's start was better than mine and that was the key to his victory," the German confirmed, "I left him enough room in the first corner because, of course, I am also thinking about the championship. Even though my chances of the title aren't that big anymore, I will only give up when even the theoretical chances are gone.”
Vietoris was able to trim the margin to Bianchi slightly after the Frenchman gained only a handful of spots to come home in fifth position, with Signature's Mika Mäki and ART team-mate Valtteri Bottas making the most of the reverse grid to finish ahead of him..
“I didn't have a chance against the guys in front of me, so I just tried to keep Valtteri Bottas behind me at bay and bring third place home," Maki commented, "I scored some points and a podium finish, which is quite all right.”
Bianchi's standings' lead is still 25 points, despite coming under pressure on the final lap from rookie team-mate Esteban Gutierrez. The young Mexican came up just short, however, crossing the line 0.072secs behind the Frenchman.
The three protagonists that caused the safety car phase all retired, and were joined on the sidelines by Roberto Mehri and Christopher Zanella. Henkie Waldschmidt, Sam Bird, Marco Wittmann and Stefano Coletti rounded out the top ten on the road.
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