Roberto Merhi takes F3 Euro Series title with Valencia win
|By Jamie O'Leary||Sunday, October 2nd 2011, 10:06 GMT|
Roberto Merhi wrapped up the F3 Euro Series title with a dominant victory in the final race of the weekend at Valencia.
The Prema Powerteam driver made a clean getaway from pole position and disappeared at the front of the field, eventually taking his ninth win of the year by over 17 seconds from his team-mate Daniel Juncadella.
Not only did Merhi become the first Spaniard to win the championship, he also helped the Prema squad win its first Euro Series drivers' title since Ryan Briscoe in 2003.
Juncadella's first lap was a brilliant one, the Spaniard snatching third spot from Felix Rosenqvist out of the Doohan curve on the opening lap and then passing the Swede's Mucke Motorsport team-mate Nigel Melker a few corners later.
Melker mounted a late attack on Juncadella and got to within 0.4s with a few laps to go, but was unable to pass. Behind them, Rosenqvist and the Signature cars of Marco Wittmann and Laurens Vanthoor completed the top six.
With Wittmann only managing fifth, however, he is now tied for second place in the championship with Juncadella with only the Hockenheim finale remaining.
The top 10 was completed by Signature's Daniel Abt, Prema driver Gianmarco Raimondo, the Motopark entry of Kimiya Sato and Signature's Carlos Munoz.
Jimmy Eriksson had been in the fight too, but the Motopark driver finished last after a jumped start earned him a drive-through penalty.
Results - 27 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 40m20.201s 2. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc + 17.436s 3. Nigel Melker Mucke Dallara-Merc + 18.240s 4. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc + 18.935s 5. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW + 29.998s 6. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW + 43.697s 7. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW + 52.984s 8. Gianmarco Raimondo Prema Dallara-Merc + 53.525s 9. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW + 56.070s 10. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW + 1m03.468s 11. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW + 1m06.632s