With a dominant lights-to-flag victory, Australian Ryan Briscoe clinched the first title of the new Formula Three Euroseries at the Hockenheimring, two races before the end of the season.

Having started from pole position, the Prema Powerteam driver led the field of 31 drivers without any problems. After some doughnuts in front of the enthusiastic
crowd, however, it didn't go that well, as the 22-year old stalled his engine and had to have his winning car pushed home by Polish team-mate Robert Kubica.

"I am very happy with this title," Briscoe bubbled, "It was quite difficult, because Christian has become quite strong, but my team and myself have done a good job and that has paid off.

"Of course, I knew during the race that I would win the title if I kept my position. Therefore, I concentrated as well as I could in order not to make a mistake. It is my first title in F3, and is very important for me and for my team.

"In Australia, motorsport has become very popular with, especially with Mark Webber in F1 but, for next year, nothing has been decided yet. I would like to continue my work with Toyota, but I don't know whether I will be competing in another championship in 2004 or if I will have a different programme."

Christian Klien, who still had hopes of winning the championship title, had to take full risk during the second race at the Hockenheimring. Victim of this attacking mood was Nico Rosberg, who was pushed off the track by the Austrian on lap three and dropped back from third to 17th place. Klien escaped from the collision without any damage and took third place for the remainder of the race, despite attempting to wrest second from Mucke team-mate Markus Winkelhock, who wanted to take
third place in the championship. Cementing rookie of the year honours was scant consolation for Klien.

"I had a good race but, today, Ryan was the quickest," the Austrian admitted, "For the title, I should have scored some more points at the start of then season. I am very satisfied with my position, and I didn't want to take too many risks when I was running behind Markus - it wouldn't have changed anything in the championship situation.

"I hope to win the two races at Magny-Cours, I did quite well there in testing and that would be a great way to end the season."

Although Winkelhock failed in his quest to wrest the position in the final standings, he did close up to within only three points Olivier Pla. The Frenchman, who had a safe advantage ahead of the race, missed out on valuable championship points at the start and finished the race in sixth place.

"I had a good start and I could initially follow Ryan's pace but, from the second lap onwards, I was having trouble with the brakes," Winkelhock revealed, "From that moment onwards, I had to keep my second place and then tried to make it to the finish because, in the closing stages, I could see Christian coming quite close in my rear view mirrors. There was no team order between the two of us, so I had to do everything to defend my position.

"My goal for Magny-Cours is claiming third place in the championship but, beyond that, I think that, after three years in F3, it is definite that I will look towards another category. Why not the DTM?"

Bruno Spengler was one of the driver who was given a place by Pla at the start, and made further ground catch the Frenchman's ASM team-mate Alexandre Pr?mat for fourth place before the flag. On lap eight, Pr?mat was left to deal with Robert Doornbos, who had chased Spengler throughout, but proved a little too impatient, and chose the wrong moment to try and pass, causing both cars to retire. The result did little to prevent France from taking the Nations' Cup, however.

Equally unfortunate was the result of the battles between Adam Carroll, Fabio Carbone and first race winner Timo Glock. The latter, who claimed victory from 17th place in an incredible wet-dry race on Saturday, had to retire on Sunday with a bent front wing.

Alexandros Margaritis continued his shining end-of-season form and, following his second place from 15th on the grid on Saturday, rose from eighth to fourth place, taking Spengler on the penultimate lap.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...