Coloni Motorsport confirmed its promise from Friday's qualifying sessions in Sardinia, with Marco Bonanomi, Michele Ruggolo and Christian Montanari taking fifth, sixth and seventh places on the streets of Cagliari.

Despite the relative lack of experience between team and drivers, however, all three pilots achieved solid results, with Marco Bonanomi coming out best of all in fifth place.

The young Italian started from third position on the grid after a strong superpole performance, and immediately tried to attack second-placed man Paolo Montin on the outfield line into the first corner. However, the state of the circuit caught the Coloni man out and, forced onto the dirty side of the road, lost two positions to drop into the fifth place he would hold to the end.

"I made a good start from the third position and I tried to pass Montin at the first corner, but unfortunately, between the first and second corners, I lost two positions due to the dirt," he confirmed, "Overtaking is very difficult here and I couldn't catch up. We will have to see what will happen after the start on Sunday - it is very important here at Cagliari because, if you make a mistake, you compromise the whole race."

Michele Ruggolo, making his debut in a Formula Three car, kept his sixth position after an exciting opening part of the race.

"It went really well, considering that this is my first F3 race," he said, "I lost a position after the start, but took it back on the first lap. After that, I got close to Marco, but overtaking here is very hard and I had to follow him. We can get a good result on Sunday, and we are already heading in the right direction."

It was an equally aggressive race for Christian Montanari who, last month, had clinched the runners-up spot in the Italian F3 series for Coloni. Thanks to his customary excellent start, the San Marinese driver made up two positions straight away, and then got closer and closer to his team-mates, eventually finishing seventh to clinch a better grid position for race two.

"Unluckily, starting from that far behind is a big problem but, in spite of this, I earned two positions after the lights went out," he reported, "After having joined Marco and Michele, I followed them until the chequered flag, as overtaking was almost impossible. All in all, I improved my start position for race two and this is not bad."

"I'm sorry for what happened to Marco, who lost the possibility of taking a win due to the dirt," summarised team boss Paolo Coloni, "However, I'm happy with the results taken by our three drivers on their debut on a street circuit in an F3 car. Thanks to these results, we will be able to fight for the podium in race two."

 

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