America's Tveter Runs as High as Sixth In FIA F3 Europe's Opening Tripleheader
SILVERSTONE, England, April 12 — Last weekend's FIA Formula 3 Europe tripleheader at Silverstone was all about the starts and restarts for America's Ryan Tveter.
His standing start in Race 3 on Sunday morning was a thing of beauty, as he blasted from 13th on the 35-car grid to ninth on the first lap. He held off all challengers and ran in ninth place for the next 15 laps of the 18-lap race, as the rookie driver from Oyster Bay, N.Y. sought his first point in this very competitive series. Only the top 10 drivers earn points.
He almost got it, as he finished 11th. However, a spin by Emerson Fittipaldi's grandson, Pietro Fittipaldi, in the Village Corner forced a full-course yellow on lap 15. On the ensuing restart Tveter passed Brandon Maisano to vault into eighth, but Maisano was able to get the cut back on Tveter out of the final chicane and the two ran side by side down the start finish straight. Tveter was then on the outside for the first corner and had to cede the position back to Maisano coming quickly under attack by Mikkel Jensen and Callum Ilotta little later in another corner on the same lap Maisano, Callum Ilott and Mikkel Jensen slipped by him on the inside and he ended up 11th, just missing the points payoff. Tveter went on the defensive into Village Corner, but Jensen was just able to sneak by into the loop forcing Tveter slightly wide and allowing Ilott to slip through as well. Still, it was a great start for the young driver and the yellow #26, which is sponsored by Jagonya Ayam! KFC IndonesiaKentucky Fried Chicken Indonesia, Game Ready Injury Treatment System, Sparco, Brett King Design and Switzerland’s Autobau conference center and racing museum.
The driver that led every lap of the first race in the tripleheader on Saturday, Felix Rosenqvist, had to start last in Race 2 on Saturday and in Race 3 on Sunday due to a technical infraction with his car. He was the fastest driver in qualifying and his goal was to get some points in Race 2 and Race 3 too despite that setback, but Tveter was able to hold him off and Rosenqvist finished right behind Tveter in 12th place on Sunday morning. Tveter was 0.718 of a second behind Jensen and 0.715 of a second ahead of Rosenqvist at the checkered.
Tveter started ninth in the second 18-lapper on Saturday, which was his best starting spot of the weekend. Once again he had a terrific standing start, as he vaulted to sixth and avoided a crash by two other drivers in one of the first turns of the 3.660-mile, 18-turn road course. He got by Alexander Albon, Jake Dennis and Gustavo Menezes on that first lap before a full-course yellow waved for the accident.
The pressure was intense on the restart on lap three, and contact with Menezes dropped him back to 17th. He ran in 17th position until Markus Pommer got by him on lap 11 to drop him to 18th, and he lost one more spot when Arjun Maini did the same a little later. Tveter’s car was also compromised by the contact with Menezes, with his front left steering arm bent and the car’s floor dragging along the straights.
Tveter didn't give up, though. He climbed back up to 16th by passing Ilott, Dorian Boccolacci and Pommer. The latter had had contact with Ilott, as his car's front wing was askew at that point and both of them were under investigation by the series officials. On the very last lap Dennis had contact with another driver that dropped him from tenth to 29th. That gave Tveter one more position and a 15th place finish, but the race was also a confidence-builder since he had been as high as sixth.
Tveter started 12th in the first race and once again he had a terrific standing start, as he charged into ninth place by missing a tussle by George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Maisano. Unfortunately Tveter had contact on lap two, which dropped him to 14th place. The contact damaged one of the rear wishbones of Tveter's Dallara, which is fielded by Jagonya Ayam! with Carlin, and he dropped out with five laps complete due to the damage.
Tveter's fastest race lap in Race 2 was a 1:53.694, while he turned a 1:52.423 in Race 3. In both qualifying sessions, Tveter did an excellent job to qualify 12th for the first race in Q1 and cracking into the top-10 of the 35 car field with 9th for race 2 with his Volkswagen-powered dallara chassis. He was 12th in the first qualifying session with a 1:52.309. He was tenth in the second qualifying session with a 1:52.042. Earlier in the weekend he had some mechanical issues in testing, and his best practice time was a 1:52.856.
"Overall it was a great start for my first weekend in F3!" said Tveter. "We ran well in the points, but finished narrowly outside the top 10. The races were tricky, but in each race I had great starts and was able to make a few positions on the start. The pace consistently improved throughout the weekend after we had some technical issues in testing and the qualifying went very well for my first qualifying session in F3.! To be in the top-10 and to progress every session was exactly what we had hopeda great achievement and I look forward to continuing that at Hockenheim. The races were very hectic and challenging, but I learned a huge amount. We narrowly missed some good points, but it’s also very encouraging and exciting to be that close.”
“A big thanks goes to everyone at Jagonya Ayam with Carlin for all their hard work. The team is working well together. Everyone isThey're doing a great job and the car is very competitive. As a team we had a very good weekend too, as Antonio Giovinazzi was on the podium in all three races and George Russell won Race 2. We are leading the team point standings, so that's great!”
"Running in the top 10 in this championship with such a big grid was definitely a positive, and each time we were on track we improved. I was quite pleased to be fighting for points in my first F3 race weekend. Now it's just a matter of building on that.
"We ran with the World Endurance Championship and there was a big crowd, which was nice," he added. "The F3 championship does a fantastic job. They're very organized, so it was all good."
This year the FIA F3 European championship features 35 drivers from 17 countries. Eighteen of the 35 are rookies like Tveter, and prior to this weekend's season opener only three of the 35 had ever won a European F3 race.
The next event is another tripleheader May 1-3 at Hockenheim, Germany. Tveter will tackle the track at Pau, France for the first time May 15-17. The series then travels to Monza, Italy May 29-31. The complete 11-event, 33-race schedule can be found on FIAF3Europe.com.
The series is broadcast in the United States on FOX Sports 2, and all the events will be available for viewing on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship channel on YouTube. All three races from Silverstone are already posted there.
Fans can follow Tveter through his Web site at RyanTveter.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The team's Web site is at Carlin.co.uk.