Tveter on the Pace at Pau; Battles Back After Crash in Qualifying
PAU, France, May 20 — Ryan Tveter began the third round of the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship by setting the fifth-fastest time in practice in Pau. At one point he was running third in the qualifying session, but two incidents on a treacherous, wet circuit denied the young American of a good starting spot in all three races last weekend. After that Tveter focused on just finishing all three races on the tight street circuit where passing is extremely difficult. He did just that, avoiding multiple incidents and steadily advancing in each race. He bettered his starting position by six spots in the first race and four positions in the second race, both held on Saturday, and eight positions in Sunday's finale.
Tveter's time of 1:24.020 during practice in extremely tricky, wet conditions on his first visit to the challenging circuit comfortably put him in the top five ahead of Carlin teammate and Silverstone Race 2 winner George Russell, and only a few tenths of a second from P2 and the fastest time set by Prema Powerteam's Jake Dennis. Dennis went on to collect three pole positions and win Races 1 and 2 of the weekend.
Going into qualifying later on Friday, conditions were again wet and constantly changing. Tveter was battling at the front in P3 just a couple tenths between his teammate Gustavo Menezes and Dennis, who was fastest at the time in the closing few minutes of the session. After finding a gap behind Dennis, Tveter was in a good rhythm before the Mücke Motorsport car of Michele Beretta went spinning across the track at the Foch Chicane in front of Tveter and Dennis.
Dennis was just able to avoid Beretta but unfortunately Tveter didn't have similar luck. The Italian stopped spinning directly perpendicular to Tveter and he could not avoid T-boning into his sidepod. The accident took off Tveter's car's front wing, but he was able to return to the pits to replace his car's nose.
Once the session resumed Tveter went out once again behind Dennis. He set the fastest first sector of the session at that time on his first flying lap with only a couple of minutes remaining before unfortunately making contact with the barriers at Turn 6, which put him out of the session.
The incidents spoiled Tveter's efforts to secure good starting positions as the track was rapidly drying and others improved, relegating him from third and fighting for the pole position to 15th in his group and 29th on the grid for Race 1. Tveter also injured one of his thumbs in the second impact, but he fought through the pain to drive in Qualifying 2 and all three 29-lap races later in the weekend.
“Pau started off very well and despite the setbacks in qualifying that hampered the rest of the weekend, including my hand injury in Q1, I was determined to fight on," Tveter said. "Battling for pole in Q1 gave me a lot of confidence and showed that we were very fast before the incidents. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it feels good to have shown our pace and to have pushed on to finish and advance in all three races. It was definitely important experience to gain, and my hand should be fine for Monza next week. Thanks to the guys at Jagonya Ayam! with Carlin for giving me a fantastic car and for all their support over the weekend. I look forward to getting back to work at Monza.”
Tveter turns 21 today. His next event is May 29-31 in Monza, Italy. The entire schedule is available on the series' Web site at FIAF3Europe.com.
The races are available for viewing on the FIA Formula 3 European Championship channel on YouTube. 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.