Daniel Juncadella dominates Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort
|By Sam Tremayne||Sunday, July 15th 2012, 12:54 GMT|
Daniel Juncadella scored a dominant win in the 2012 Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort.
The Spaniard was a heavy favourite for the race as soon it was clear the morning's rain would dry before the start, particularly given his sizeable advantage in qualifying.
In contrast to last year, when he was eliminated on the run down to the first corner, a good start allowed Juncadella to convert pole into an easy lead which he set about extending throughout. Regularly the only man in the 1m33s, the Prema driver was never headed and eventually sealed victory by a comprehensive margin of 7.594 seconds.
Like last year however second on the grid did prove unhappy. Carlin's Carlos Sainz Jr lost momentum at the start and had dropped to third behind Prema's Raffaele Marciello before the field got to Tarzan.
One lap later and he lost out again, as local man Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec) got a massive tow down the main straight and managed to drive around the outside to snatch third.
Sainz would come back at the Dutchman as the race wore on, closing to within four tenths in the final laps. His challenged faded at the death however, allowing van Asseldonk to claim the final step of the podium.
Marciello was never able to challenge Juncadella, but he was able to move away from the fight behind him and eventually seal a quiet second in his first race at Zandvoort.
Behind the lead four things were much closer, particularly at the start. Mucke's Felix Rosenqvist, winner of last year's race, was the big loser away from the line as he dropped four places to ninth, putting him in the midst of a multi-car battle which included Pascal Wehrlein (Mucke), Will Buller (Carlin), Alex Lynn (Fortec), and Prema duo Michael Lewis and Sven Muller.
The group did eventually separate, with Wehrlein driving away from the rest to claim fifth. Lynn meanwhile put Buller under pressure but was unable to find a way through and had to settle for sixth.
Lewis was under far heavier pressure from Rosenqvist throughout but held on to seal eighth, with the Swede and Muller covered by less than two seconds at the flag.
Felix Serralles (Fortec) was a casualty of the first lap, while Luis Sa Silva (Angola Racing Team) spun out while trying to find a way past Connor Daly (Double R) four laps from the finish.
Invitation class glory went to T-Sport's Josh Webster. The Briton's cause was aided by heartbreak for main rival Sandro Zeller, who was forced to start from the pitlane, and two laps late, due to a broken left driveshaft. He lasted 16 laps before retiring as the right then gave way.
Results - 25 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 39m28.564s 2. Raffaelle Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc + 7.594s 3. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 17.394s 4. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW + 18.473s 5. Pascal Wehrlein Mucke Dallara-Merc + 22.008s 6. Will Buller Carlin Dallara-VW + 28.611s 7. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 29.450s 8. Michael Lewis Prema Dallara-Merc + 29.975s 9. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 31.793s 10. Sven Muller Prema Dallara-Merc + 32.613s 11. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 34.110s 12. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc + 41.954s 13. Dennis van de Laar Carlin Dallara-VW + 48.363s 14. Andrea Roda Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc + 50.978s 15. Conor Daly Double R Dallara-Merc + 56.787s 16. Josh Webster T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1m27.234s 17. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen + 1 lap Retirements: Luis Sa Silva Angola Dallara-Merc 21 laps Sandro Zeller Jo Zeller Dallara-Merc 16 laps Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc 0 laps